PwC Singapore: Committed to Empower
Other than more natural lighting, PwC Singapore’s new Marina One office boasts a Work Café with foosball tables, where teams huddling around cosy working corners move freely to boardroom discussions. In-house facilities also include a business dining room and video studio.
“Our new office marks PwC Singapore’s commitment to embracing change and transformation, as a youthful and agile workplace buzzing with innovation,” Chief Human Resources Officer, Shaily Gupta, said.
“This is a reinforcement of what was already planned in our strategy, and we are ready to make the workplace conducive for millennials.”
Counting two-thirds of its staff as millennials, PwC Singapore introduced the Flex programme this year, providing options of working from home, dressing casually and independent management of work hours. Such policies on work-life balance were launched along the way to complement the new workplace environment, according to Gupta.
“The sophisticated and high-tech working environment – all these only took place in the past two years. Working at PwC Singapore, you do not get a boxed job which you just do and go back home. It is interesting to see how (staff) live their life and shape various interests here,” Gupta said.
Holding up her work phone, she said, “This is your life in PwC Singapore, your work phone. You can locate your colleague with this. There is no desk phone since we have hotdesking. You can be working in any part of the office, in our café or even in lazy seats somewhere. Your teammates can locate you through technology.”
“For claims, you can just take a picture through your work phone to submit them. Every touchpoint is digitalised, even from application to upon joining.”
Commitment to transformation
Gupta joined PwC Singapore in March this year, a few months after the big move.
“The only factor which made me join this place was (seeing) the commitment to make this change,” Gupta said, referring to new technology and flexibility programmes which transforms work life at PwC Singapore.
“Infrastructural change has already happened. There is an outstanding transformation journey that I want to be part of, to architect mindset and cultural change, to support the transformation from inside out.”
Describing the journey so far as a “high-speed roller coaster” ride, Gupta said, “There is a challenge in ensuring that the firm adopts this change, and walks the talk and runs with us. That’s the fun part of the assignment.”
“There is a huge group of millennials, whereas the management and partners are of my age group. We’re born in the non-digital age, we’re digital migrants, we’re digitally challenged. When any new technology is launched, millennials just download it on their work phones, whereas for my partners, I have to take them through classroom training.”
A community that embraces continual learning
Being open to learning continually means that employees stand to gain a holistic career experience through internal transfers, according to Gupta.
Gabriel Ong, Senior Associate, Risk Assurance Cybersecurity, has been with PwC Singapore for three years. Trained in accounting, he made a successful switch into cybersecurity.
“Being in a common pool of graduate hires upon joining, my first project was in IT compliance and computing security. I thought I should tell my job managers I’m willing to try but I’m sorry if I cannot perform up to task. They said they were prepared to teach and coach me since I was new. That reassured me a little. I did my best to follow up and try and understand what this domain was about. That was a big surprise for me and it turned out to be a happy surprise,” Ong said.
“It is not about being good at learning a fixed set of skills, but being open to learning new things everyday, something I still practise till this day.”
Working alongside peers with computing backgrounds, Ong strove to update himself on the latest developments, receiving trust and support from his managers. After much exposure on a range of projects, he now coaches junior associates, sharing client management tips with them.
Keith Chnioh, Associate, Financial Services Assurance, Asset Wealth Management, also hit the ground running when he joined PwC Singapore upon graduation in 2017.
“As an undergraduate, we tend to think very highly of ourselves and our capabilities. We thought we have an understanding of the industry. When you’re thrown into work, you’ll realise that you know very little. Here at PwC, I get to immerse myself in the industry to learn more continually,” Chnioh said.
With a strong coaching culture and supportive network for the exchange of expertise, PwC Singapore also rolled out Vantage, a new smart learning platform this year, for staff to share knowledge on latest trends and developments.
Focus on life apart from work
“There are two things that I enjoy most about PwC – flexibility and learning new things everyday,” Ong said.
The father of two said, “Before the Flex programme was official, when my boys were sick or had school field trips, I was given the option to work flexibly as well. I am able to balance work commitments, without missing out on those precious moments.”
Chnioh on the other hand, appreciates meeting like-minded colleagues passionate about the same sport, through being on the PwC Singapore soccer team.
“The firm sees you as a person, not just a worker. The firm gives you the space to shine as an individual,” he said.
“Our graduate hires are our future leaders. Our young and talented staff are responsible people, it is important to empower them, for them to bring out the best in themselves. Our new office reinforces this direction and the culture that we are heading for,” Gupta said.