May 6, 2022 - Economy

PwC to shut down for a week twice a year

A colorful statue of a squirrel outside of an office building

A public art squirrel sculpture, created by artist Okuda San Miguel, stands on display in front of the PricewaterhouseCoopers office building in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston. Adam Glamzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shut it all down.

  • That's what professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers plans to do company-wide for two separate weeks a year, aiming to improve work-life balance and better compete for workers.

Why it matters: Bedeviled by the Great Resignation, companies like PwC are reshaping their work policies, allowing more people to work remotely, bolstering parental leave and raising wages in response to inflation.

  • PwC said it will close down its entire U.S. operation for a week in July and a week in December, having previously done so for only one week a year.
  • "What our people overwhelmingly told us is when the firm shuts down, that's when you can really relax," PwC U.S. chair Tim Ryan tells Axios. "They want the ability to plan."

The big picture: PwC was facing an exodus of talent to competitors, especially startups in the fintech, clean tech and and health tech spaces, requiring the company to evolve, Ryan says.

  • The company recently gave 5% mid-year raises to its workers and provided all 40,000 of its client service professionals — or about more than 70% of its U.S. workforce — with the option to work remotely permanently. About 2 in 10 chose to do so.

What they're saying: "It's so critical that employers create a work environment that helps people feel great about who they are," Ryan says.

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