Kevin Ellis, the chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers UK, recently emphasized the importance of junior staff spending increased time in the office to advance their careers, citing the growing role of AI in automating tasks that were traditionally entry-level opportunities for learning and development. In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ellis pointed out that as generative AI takes over routine tasks, it’s crucial to accelerate career progression for junior staff.
He stressed at World Economic Forum the significance of face-to-face interactions and collaborative work in the office environment. This stance aligns with efforts by companies to encourage more office attendance, contrasting with employee preferences for remote work established during the pandemic. Ellis specifically advised younger employees to resist the allure of working from home, suggesting a presence in the office four to five days a week for career success.
This conversation arose as PwC published a report indicating the rapid adoption of AI by British companies, surpassing international rates. The report, which surveyed over 4,600 global CEOs, revealed that 42% of UK leaders had implemented AI in the past year, compared to 32% worldwide.
Ellis also discussed the impact of AI on the auditing industry, predicting a shift from hourly billing to outcome-based fees and the increasing significance of technology licensing and charges.