Tribunnews Reporter Report, Fitri Wulandari

TRIBUNNEWS.COM, LONDON – One of the UK’s largest accounting firms, PriceWaterhouse Coopers will be closing most of its offices during the festive season Christmas and New Years for the first time to save on energy bills.

PwC employs around 24,000 people and will close its main London office from 23 December 2022 to 3 January 2023, as well as several smaller sites.

PwC head Kevin Ellis said the company had been keeping all offices open during the country’s festive period “while the UK is experiencing energy shortages”.

PwC currently has 19 offices in the UK. Most staff will be taking annual leave over Christmas, but the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has made work from home (WFH) now commonplace.

Ellis said his staff wanted the company to ‘reduce energy consumption’.

“Office life is very important to our culture and business, but opening all the offices over the holidays is certainly very strange at a time of energy scarcity,” said Ellis.

“We have taken a pragmatic approach to ensure several offices across the country remain open for those who need them,” said Ellis.

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The accounting and consulting firm said its regional offices in cities including Edinburgh, Belfast and Newcastle, would take a “similar approach” to its main Embankment Place site in London.

An internal memo says that for staff based in the capital, work space will be made available at the More London headquarters with some regional offices designating specific areas for workers to access.

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PwC has given its staff a great deal of control over their work patterns, including allowing them to start as early or as late as they like.

‘Opportunity to recharge’

PwC is not the first of the four major UK accounting firms to close offices for the Christmas holiday.

Deloitte has closed its offices during the festive period in recent years. All of its UK offices will be closed from 23 December 2022 and will reopen on 3 January 2023.

KPMG said it would close its UK office in the same period as it had previously done.

“This is a prime opportunity for our people to spend time with their friends and family, and recharge. During this period, our offices were only accessible to a small number of people who had critical business needs and where remote working was not possible, ” said a spokesperson.

PwC’s move comes as Enel, one of the world’s largest energy companies, warned it would “take years” to return energy prices to levels seen before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The war has caused global energy prices to soar, as countries, especially in the European Union (EU), seek to reduce gas and oil supplies from Russia.

In an effort to reduce the risk of power outages, National Grid has offered households and businesses discounts on their electricity bills if they trim peak time usage on some days during the winter.

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