Halfway into the new year, the after-effect of last year’s pandemic lingers. We remember how it brutally rearranged the economic and corporate landscape of businesses across the world. Business summits, product launches, and everything in between were placed on hold while everyone remained indoors. Now with things opening back up, there are new findings that the drastic measures taken last year may not be permanent.
While some businesses were forced to temporarily or permanently shut down operations, others took advantage of emerging and existing tools to thrive.
Now, with over 50% of Americans vaccinated, we can deduce that the return to the office is imminent. But what are the changes that should be implemented to ensure recovery to how things were?
In our previous article, we discussed some of the emerging trends. A lot has changed since then. In this article, we will address some of the new findings and trends you should implement moving forward as a business owner. This is going to be based mainly on the 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey.
This study was carried out in February and March this year. 500 CEOs worldwide were questioned about their response to a post-pandemic economic future.
Governmental Policies Will Foster a Swift Return
With a massive rollout of COVID vaccines already in place, governments worldwide are urging business executives to swing into full operations. This is a needed push to encourage employees to return to the workplace.
But most business executives are hesitant about the idea as a lot of the population (including their workforce) are yet to be fully vaccinated.
As a business leader, you must ensure that your workforce is fully vaccinated to eliminate the spread of the virus. You should also place mitigation measures in place at your office premises and inform your clients and visitors to reveal their vaccination status.
Downsizing Workforce Takes the Backseat
With the administration of COVID vaccines across the world, business execs are not so keen on the idea of downsizing their staff. Back in August, 69% of CEOs agreed to reduce their office and downsize their workforce. According to the new findings? Only 17% maintain the stance of downsizing their workforce.
There are two takeaways here. Either the downsizing has occurred, or these CEOs have implemented a hybrid workplace. Noticeably, it is more of the latter option, as big tech companies are pretty okay with the idea of remote working. 50% of businesses now have plans for remote working in their policies this year.
Working from the comfort of anywhere was once normal for just virtual assistants and freelance workers. Now, it seems like it is the forward-thinking thing to do for business longevity.
But that is not all:
A Fully Remote Workforce Not Feasible
As much as working remotely is the new normal now, not every CEO thinks this can be fully adopted. Businesses and organizations in the manufacturing, production, and healthcare industry, for instance, cannot succumb to a fully remote workforce – as essential workers involved in the process cannot do so from their homes.
This is a massive deviation from the stance maintained last year in the heat of the pandemic when most business had many employees work predominantly from the comfort of their homes. At the time, the production rate was low, and due to lockdown protocols, everyone remained at home.
But now that production can begin once again, it would seem unlikely to maintain such a model for specific establishments in the industries above.
Cybersecurity Takes Centerstage
In the heat of the pandemic, remote working became the ‘New Normal’. While this was a massive win for both employers and employees, it posed substantial security risks.
A compelling report shows that over 4,000 ransomware attacks happen on the internet daily. Most of these attacks have a financial motivation. So, your business must sufficiently prepare to mitigate a data breach if it ever occurs. 22% of organizations worldwide already highlights cybersecurity as a top concern.
Most CEOs may see this as an IT problem. But data protection is a cross-functional, holistic concern that everyone should take seriously in your establishment.
ESG Gives Your Business a Competitive Advantage
As we now focus on a pandemic-free world, ESG criteria are necessary for businesses to comply with governmental policies and attract and retain the best investors and employees.
According to a report, 85% of investors in the US want to invest in sustainable businesses. 64% of millennials will not work for a non-ESG compliant company.
To stay compliant and keep your competitive edge, you should take advantage of the Edenark Group 14001 program. A proud partner of Expense To Profit, the Edenark Group offers this sustainability program that comes with a certification. Backed by the SEC, FINRA, ISO, World Bank, and United Nations, the sustainability program is what your business needs.
As we move towards a return to the office, you should be aware of the emerging trends to maintain your competitiveness in the long run. You can reach out to us to discuss how we can help you manage cut-down expenses in a post-COVID world.
Published by Marc Freedman
Marc currently serves as our Chief Cost Evaluator, expertly advising our client management team on how to help you successfully achieve your business and financial growth goals. A respected mentor to all he consults with, he is an avid collaborator and contributor to the spend consultant community, guiding thought leaders to formulate, design, and install the best operational solutions available to their clients.