Business leaders of world’s most influential companies do not expect a return to the normal any time this year, said KPMG recently when releasing the 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey.
Survey results indicate that 45% of CEOs believe a return to a ‘normal’ course of business might happen sometime in 2022, as opposed to nearly 31% who anticipate this will happen later this year.
The changes prompted by the pandemic have resulted in 24% of CEOs saying that their business model has been changed forever by the global pandemic.
The study, said KPMG, was conducted in February and March of this year asked 500 global CEOs about their response to the pandemic and the outlook over a three-year horizon.
A majority — at 55% — of CEOs are concerned about employees’ access to a COVID-19 vaccine, which is influencing their outlook of when employees will return to the workplace.
In addition, 90% of CEOs are considering asking employees to report when they have been vaccinated, which may help organizations consider measures to protect their workforce, KPMG noted.
However, 34% of global executives are worried about misinformation on COVID-19 vaccine safety and the potential this may have on employees choosing not to have it administered, the firm added.
- 76% of CEOs see government encouragement for businesses to return to ‘normal’ as the prompt for businesses to ask staff to return to the workplace.
- 61% of global executives said that they will also need to see a successful (over 50% of the population vaccinated) COVID-19 vaccine rollout in key markets before taking any action toward a return to offices.
- When employees can safely return to workplaces, 21% of companies are looking to institute additional precautionary measures by asking clients and other in-person visitors to inform them of their vaccination status.
- The research finds that only 17% of global executives are looking to downsize their office space as a result of the pandemic.
- In contrast, 69% of CEOs surveyed in August 2020 said they planned to reduce their office space over three years, which demonstrates that either office downsizings have taken place or, as the pandemic has drawn on, strategies have changed.
- CEOs are considering what the new reality will look like, but post-COVID, 30% of global executives are considering a hybrid model of working for their staff, where most employees work remotely two to three days a week.
- As a result, only 21% of businesses are looking to hire talent that works predominantly remotely, which is a significant shift from last year (73% in 2020).