The 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey finds that almost half (45 percent) of global executives do not expect to see a return to a ”normal” course of business until sometime in 2022.
As opposed, nearly one-third (31 percent) anticipate this will happen later this year.
The changes prompted by the pandemic have resulted in one-quarter (24 percent) of CEOs saying that their business model has been changed forever by the global pandemic.
A majority (55 percent) 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.
Interesting, 90 percent of CEOs are considering asking employees to report when they have been vaccinated.
However, one-third (34 percent) 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.
Government and vaccination rates driving decision-making
Three-quarters (76 percent) of CEOs see government encouragement for businesses to return to ‘normal’ as the prompt for businesses to ask staff to return to the workplace.
In addition, 61 percent of global executives said that they will also need to see a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout in key markets before taking any action toward a return to offices.
When employees can safely return to workplaces, one-fifth of companies (21 percent) are looking to institute additional precautionary measures.
Global CEOs are less likely to downsize physical footprint compared to 6 months ago
The research finds that only 17 percent of global executives are looking to downsize their office space as a result of the pandemic.
In contrast, 69 percent of CEOs surveyed in August 2020 said they planned to reduce their office space over 3 years.
Global executives remain apprehensive about a fully remote workforce
CEOs are considering what the new reality will look like, but post-COVID, only three in 10 (30 percent) of global executives are considering a hybrid model of working for their staff.
As a result, only one-fifth (21 percent) of businesses are looking to hire talent that works predominantly remotely, which is a significant shift from last year (73 percent in 2020).