Global CEOs downsize physical office spaces, accelerate move towards digital workspace: KPMG survey

According to the results of a survey released on Tuesday, companies across the glove are moving their operations online so as to cut expenses related to office space and make recruiting and retaining staff part of their top priorities.

The survey by accounting firm KPMG showed, 80% of business leaders had accelerated their digital expansion plans during the COVID-19 induced lockdowns as they adjusted for staff working remotely and dealing with online customers.

Although there is some uncertainty surrounding the eventual scale of the digital shift, away from physical work spaces to the digital realm, however, 69% of respondents, are planning to cut their office space in the short term.

“Maybe some kind of hybrid finds its way into the new everyday reality,” said Bill Thomas, KPMG International’s global chairman and chief executive.

According to 73% of respondents, the shift towards working from home had increased the pool of job candidates. As a result, companies can tap global talent rather than be limited by geographical spaces.

“There’s a comfort level with this that people have never had before,” said Thomas.

Talent risk, i.e., covering recruitment and retention as well as the well being and health of staff, jumped from 11th to first in a ranking of risks over the next three years, said CEOs.

The Wuhan Coronavirus crisis has split CEOs over the three-year outlook for the global economy, with 32% saying they are less confident than they were at the start of the 2020 with another 32% saying they are more confident.

Despite the uncertainties created by Brexit, CEOs were more bullish about their country’s economy than in all other countries, other than those from Japan and China.

Between July 6 to August 5, KPMG surveyed 315 CEO from France, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, UK, the U.S., and China as part of its CEO Outlook; KPMG had initially spoken to 1,300 CEOs in January and February 2020.

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