PwC to Employees: Work for Us, Live Anywhere

According to the The Wall Street Journal, “The accounting and consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP says most of its U.S. employees can now live anywhere in the country, in the latest sign that the pandemic is upending traditional working arrangements in a variety of white-collar roles. The article, by Chip Cutter cites similar development among other major companies. For example, Facebook is expanding eligibility for remote work to “all levels of the company.” Those employees not able to obtain permission to work remotely “would be expected to come into the office, at a minimum, 50% of the time.” This means that employees will be able to work remotely up to a maximum of 50% of the time, a practice virtually unheard of among major companies before the pandemic.

The article also references a Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company survey finding that only 41% of pandemic remote workers “looked forward to returning to the office.” A hybrid approach, working both in the office and remotely, was favored by 29%. Ten percent of workers were not comfortable returning to the office “in any capacity.” This is similar to a research by Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis to the effect that many employees will resist returning to the office, out of a “residual fear of proximity” (infection).

Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and author of Demographia World Urban Areas.

Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (1977-1985) and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appointed him to the Amtrak Reform Council, to complete the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1999-2002). He is author of War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life and Toward More Prosperous Cities: A Framing Essay on Urban Areas, Transport, Planning and the Dimensions of Sustainability.