According to the results of a survey by KPMG, most major global companies have cut back on their earlier plans to reduce their use of office space following the coronavirus-induced COVID019 pandemic, despite few businesses expecting to return to normal this year.
Around 17% of CEOs plan on cutting back on reducing their office spaces this year, down from 69% in the last August.
“Either downsizing has already taken place, or plans have changed as the impact of extended, unplanned, remote working has taken a toll on some employees,” said KPMG.
Many offices in New York, London, and other Western cities have been empty for months after health authorities ordered staff to work from home; with the roll-out of vaccines some companies are now planning for a return.
According to many CEO, they wanted vaccination rates to exceed half the population before they started to encourage staff back to the office – a target which is close to being met in Britain but remains distant in much of Europe. More than three quarters of CEOS, want the government to encourage people to return to offices before employers themselves request for it.
Around 31% of businesses expect their operations to return to normal this year, while 45% expect a return to normality in 2022. Just under a quarter of companies expect the pandemic to permanently change their operations.
KPMG’s survey covered 500 firms with sales of more than $500 million based in 11 countries including the United States, Germany, Britain, Japan and China, and took place between January 29 and March 4.