PwC staff flock back to es­cape shared flats

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Lucy Bur­ton and James Cook

AROUND 1,000 PwC staff are re­turn­ing to the of­fice ev­ery week as young em­ploy­ees seek refuge from work­ing in shared flats.

A to­tal of 8,000 staff are cur­rently us­ing com­pany premises, UK chair­man Kevin El­lis said, in a sign that work­ing pat­terns are chang­ing as firms adapt to the post-Covid world.

It came as fresh data showed a plunge in de­mand for tele­con­fer­enc­ing ser­vice Zoom.

Mr El­lis said that most em­ploy­ees com­ing in are seek­ing so­cial con­tact.

PwC em­ploy­ees – whose av­er­age age is 31 – are typ­i­cally not com­ing in for tra­di­tional nine to five, five day a week shifts, but in­stead us­ing of­fices for meet­ings or spe­cific tasks.

Mr El­lis said: “We em­ploy thou­sands of young peo­ple, some of whom are per­haps strug­gling to work with lim- ited space in shared flats, or who are just start­ing ca­reers and are look­ing for the in-per­son ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing.

“It’s im­por­tant that our of­fices are open and that peo­ple can come back.”

The ac­coun­tant is ex­pect­ing all of its 22,000 staff to go back to the of­fice, al­though mostly on a part-time ba­sis. It has in­stalled heat sen­sors on desks to en­sure so­cial dis­tanc­ing.

Data from Sen­sor Tower show that the use of web con­fer­ences has plum­meted. So far this month, 300,000 peo­ple have down­loaded the Zoom app, com­pared to a high of 4.8m in April.

Kevin El­lis, PwC’s UK chair­man, said some em­ploy­ees have been strug­gling to work with lim­ited space at home

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