The 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey found 45 percent of those surveyed do not expect a return to “normal” operations until 2022 while 31 percent expect to reach that stage this year.
While 76 percent of CEOs said government encouragement for business to return to normal is a prompt for asking staff to return to the workplace, 61 percent want to see more than 50 percent of the population in key markets vaccinated before returning to offices.
Meanwhile, the survey suggested changes in attitudes toward remote work. Only 30 percent are considering a hybrid model in which staff work remotely two to three days a week and only one fifth is seeking to hire workers who are predominantly remote, compared to 73 percent last year.
A concurrent development is that CEOs are less likely to reduce office footprints compared to six months ago. Only 17 percent are considering downsizing office space as a result of the pandemic, compared to 69 percent who said in August 2020 that planned to reduce office space over three years.