A majority of the chief executives (over three-fourths of the total respondents) in India are willing to wait to see that at last half the population is vaccinated before opening their offices to the pre-pandemic levels, while only 45 per cent of their global peers will do so, according to a survey.
The survey, among the top-500 chief executives, by global consultancy KPMG said global executives do not expect to see a return to the normal course of business until sometime in 2022, as opposed to nearly one-third (31 percent) who anticipate this will happen later this year.
While 45 per cent of CEOs globally will wait for over 50 per cent of population to get vaccinated before returning to the office, as much as 76 per cent here want to do so before opening up, according to the survey.
The survey also said these CEOs are planning what the new reality will look like after the pandemic. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of them admit that their business model has been changed forever by the pandemic.
While nine of the 10 CEOs globally intend to ask their employees to report when they are to allow them back to work, the number is nearly total in the country with 94 per cent CEOs intend to do so.
Globally, 76 per cent of CEOs see government encouraging businesses to return to normal, the number is 86 per cent in the country.
However, globally CEOs are unlikely to downsize physical footprint compared to six months ago, as only 17 per cent of them are looking to downsize their offices as a result of the pandemic as opposed to 22 per cent in the country.
In contrast, 69 per cent had August 2020 said they are planning to reduce their office space over three years, demonstrating that either office downsizings have taken place or, as the pandemic has drawn on, strategies have changed. This number stood at 48 per cent in the country in 2020.
Significantly, most executives are apprehensive about a fully remote workforce as only 30 per cent of global executives (compared to 32 per cent in India) are considering a hybrid model of working, wherein most employees work remotely for two-three days a week. As a result, only 21 per cent of businesses globally are looking to hire talent that works predominantly remotely as 22 per cent here.
With increased threat on data security, global business leaders have identified cybersecurity as the top concern impacting their growth and operations over a three-year period.
A majority (55 per cent) are concerned about employees' access to the vaccine, which is influencing their outlook of when employees will return to the workplace. Ninety per cent of them are planning to ask employees to report when they are vaccinated before allowing them to return to workplace.
The study, conducted in late-January and early-March among 500 global CEOs from 11 major countries (Australia, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain and the US), sought their response to the pandemic, and the outlook over a three-year horizon.