Big Four accountancy firm PwC said today it would reopen offices across the UK from 8 June as the coronavirus lockdown eases.
The firm said it would open its London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Reading, and Bristol offices from next Monday.
Kevin Ellis, PwC UK chair and senior partner, said: “Just because we can work from home I don’t think we should, at least not all the time. We’re a people business and the virtual world isn’t a substitute for human contact for a business like ours.
“Physical proximity helps with ideas, helps with teamwork, helps with mentoring and developing our staff and is important for mental health. There’s also a multiplier effect – when we get back into the office the local communities that support offices benefit too.”
Ellis said the firm had a “team of people working hard on how we return to the office in the safest, most practical way”.
He added: “With social distancing guidance in place, we can safely accommodate up to 15 per cent of our people in our buildings, but the reopening sends a positive signal to our people and paves the way for more people returning when it’s safe to do so.
“The first staff members to return will only be those whose essential work for the firm or clients will significantly benefit from being delivered from an office. We’re also keen to support those who are finding working from home tough.
“Although it is a gradual and phased approach, in line with government guidance, I believe beginning to return to our offices is a step in the right direction as our country moves through the crisis to economic recovery.
“But it’s not a case of simply going back to how things were. We will capture the learnings from having some 22,000 people working remotely – it will change habits for the better, such as cutting down on business travel.”