Almost half of the world's most influential companies do not expect to see a return to ‘normal’ business until sometime in 2022, as opposed to nearly a third who think it will happen later this year.
That is according to new findings from KPMG, which asked 500 global CEOs about their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook over a three-year horizon.
Six out of 10 respondents said that they will need to see over 50% of the population vaccinated in key markets before taking any action toward a return to offices, while nine in 10 are considering asking staff to report when they have had a jab.
Almost a third may implement a hybrid model of working for their staff, where most employees work remotely two or three days a week, although just one-fifth are looking to hire talent that works predominantly remotely, down sharply from almost three-quarters last year.
Moreover, one-quarter of CEOs said that their business model has been changed forever by the global pandemic, with many reevaluating the role that their company plays in society.
“The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is providing leaders with a dose of optimism as they prepare for a new reality,” said Bill Thomas, global chairman of KPMG International.
“Some executives have taken strong measures during the crisis to transform their operating model and ways of working, accelerating the rollout of key transformational projects, some by choice, some out of necessity.”
The respondents to KPMG's survey were all from companies with annual revenues greater than $500m (£365m), with 35% of the firms having more than $10bn in annual revenue.
They identified cyber security as the top concern impacting their growth and operations over a three-year period, with cyber security named ahead of regulatory, tax and supply chain concerns.
The findings also show that 89% are focused on locking in the sustainability and climate change gains their companies have made as a result of the pandemic, while 96% are looking to increase their focus towards the social component of their ESG programs.
“Many have given voice to issues they may not have previously commented on publicly – from tackling climate change to supporting the diverse communities they operate in – and we need to keep hearing those voices,” Thomas added.
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings