Now it’s WFH because of the cost of living crisis! Consultancy giant PwC tells 24,000 staff it will shut most of its offices over Christmas for the first time to save on soaring energy bills
- PwC is set to close its swanky central London office temporarily to save energy
- It is the first time that the accountancy giant has closed the majority of its sites
- Even during the coronavirus pandemic, PwC did not close all its offices entirely
- It has 19 buildings across the UK and is hailed as one of Britain’s ‘big four’ firms
Britain’s cost-of-living crisis has prompted one of the nation’s biggest consultancy and accounting firms to shut most of its offices for Christmas in a bid slash its heating and electricity bills.
PwC has told its 24,000 UK staff that it will close its swanky central London HQ at 1 Embankment Place and a swathe of its other smaller offices around the country to save on energy.
The decision will be the first time PwC will completely shutter the majority of its buildings over the festive period. Even during the coronavirus outbreak, the firm kept its offices open for emergency purposes.
‘With many using the festive period as an opportunity to take a well-earned break from work, and with offices typically being quieter during that time, this year we will be taking the opportunity to reduce our energy consumption further by reducing the space we heat and light from Friday 23 December until Tuesday 3 January,’ PwC told its staff in a memo leaked to the Telegraph.
PwC will be temporarily shutting its swanky central London office (pictured) during the festive period in a bid to save cash on energy bills
Heating and energy bills have skyrocketed this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to some businesses closing shop for good and causing misery to millions of cash-strapped Britons.
Last month the National Grid warned that rolling blackouts could hit the nation this winter if it is unable to import enough gas and electricity from Europe.
But the nation’s energy crisis has deepened since then, with delays to a new power station and a large projected drop in the amount of power that Britain will be able to import from France.
The National Grid almost activated its emergency winter plan for the first time, which would have seen the energy giant paying consumers to use less energy at peak times. But this was called off at the 11th hour.
The Government has been under pressure to tackle the energy crisis, amid reports the cost-of-living crisis was putting thousands of companies out of business.
Recent figures shows the number of business going out of business up to the end of September 2022 is now more than 20,000 – an increase of 72 per cent since 2021.
PwC has 19 offices across Britain and is hailed as one of the nation’s ‘big four’ accountancy firms. But it has been bullishly against staff working from home.
Kevin Ellis (pictured), UK chairman of PwC, said the decision to temporarily close buildings was part of its ‘pragmatic approach’ to save cash as energy bills continue to soar
The decision will be the first time PwC will completely shutter the majority of its buildings over the festive period. Even during the coronavirus outbreak, the firm kept its offices open for emergency purposes. Pictured is the inside of the organisation’s Embankment site
During the first Christmas of the pandemic, in 2020, PwC did not shut its offices entirely. And it kept all of them open during the festive period the following year despite the ballooning number of cases related to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Writing at the time, Kevin Ellis, UK chairman of the firm, said there was ‘no substitute for being with people face to face.
Speaking to the Telegraph over the weekend, Mr Ellis added: ‘Office life is hugely important to our culture and business, but having all our offices open over the holiday period doesn’t make sense at a time of energy scarcity.
‘Our people want us to do our bit to reduce energy consumption. We’ve taken a pragmatic approach ensuring some offices across the country remain open for those who need them.’
It’s understood that PwC’s London staff will still be able to access workspaces at the company’s More London office.