The post-pandemic world will come as vaccination rates accelerate. In the last year the world economy has suffered considerably from the causes of the health crisis, and it has also brought changes in companies that are here to stay. But although many are eager for the desired normality to arrive this year, the truth is that more and more voices are delaying it until 2022. Thus, according to a study carried out by KPMG of 500 CEOs from around the world, among whom 25 from Spanish companies, 45% of these do not foresee that normality will arrive until next year. While 31% believe that this could reach the end of 2021. In Spain, this same question threw up a few weeks ago higher percentages, being 66% of the companies those that expected to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
Come when you arrive, the truth is that the vaccination strategies of the countries will determine everything. In fact, CEOs slightly improve their forecasts for their company, sector and country over the 3-year horizon compared to last year, thanks to the vaccine. Although the report also notes that "the new restrictions have had a negative impact on the economic outlook and CEO confidence in the global economy is at its lowest level since 2017."
Employee safety will be one of the keys in CEOs' plans to operate in the new business landscape. More than half of the respondents are concerned that their employees do not have access to the vaccine. A fact that could make them less competitive. For this reason, nine out of ten CEOs intend to ask their employees to report when they have been vaccinated, which will help organizations consider measures to protect their workforce. Additionally, a third of respondents are concerned about misinformation. about vaccine safety employees who choose not to get vaccinated can receive.
The complete return to the office is another of the unknowns to be solved. According to the survey, 61% of CEOs will not ask their professionals to return to the office until the vaccination process is successfully rolled out in their key markets. In turn, three out of four will wait for the governments of these markets to encourage businesses to get back to normal, while only 5% will ask for it depending on what their competitors or similar companies do.
Also, in relation to the vaccine and the safety of employees, 21% of employers will ask their clients and those who visit their facilities if they have received the vaccine. In addition, 26% intend to reduce international travel until the pandemic is not over.
Teleworking loses strength
Regarding the changes caused by the pandemic, 24% of respondents say their business has changed forever. Even so, trends such as teleworking lose steam over time. If last year 73% of those surveyed were inclined to hire resources that predominantly work remotely, that percentage has been reduced to 21%. In addition, only one in three CEOs intend to apply the hybrid format, where employees would work remotely for two or three days.
As a consequence of the lesser boom in teleworking, companies also do not plan to reduce the physical spaces of the offices. Thus, the report reflects that only 17% of CEOs plan to reduce the physical space of their offices, compared to 69% who expected it in August 2020. This data reveals that either the size of the offices has already been reduced or Well, as the pandemic has dragged on, strategies have changed.
One of the changes that companies will make will be the greater commitment to digital. Specifically, 61% of those surveyed assure that will boost digital tools of communication and collaboration and more than half plan to manage the relationship with their clients mainly through virtual platforms such as chat bots, telephone, web and social networks. Additionally, 61% say their willingness to complete M&A over the next 3 years will be driven primarily by the desire to acquire digital technology to transform the customer experience or value proposition.