Survey: What to Expect in a Post-COVID-19 Corporate Environment

In its quarterly COVID-19 flash survey of approximately 400 corporate decision-makers across a range of industries, S&P Global Market Intelligence found that a post-pandemic corporate environment will include key changes made to global corporations’ operational conditions and the reprioritization of environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) topics and workplace flexibility. Among the highlights from the survey:

Operational impacts and organization changes

  • Compliance and regulatory requirements (34%), capital markets (33%) and management of policy and requirements related to COVID-19 (32%) are changes corporations are expecting to see resulting from the U.S. presidential election.
  • The expected timeline is shifting for a return to normal as 44% of respondents (compared to 18% in June) are expecting altered working conditions to last until 2021.
  • Dealing with a pandemic has led to positive organizational change for many as more than three-quarters of organizations (80%) say the demands of dealing with COVID-19 present an opportunity to make procedural or operational changes that will benefit the business in the long run.

Workplace and workforce priorities

  • Nearly two-thirds of organizations (64%) say a significant increase in remote working is a permanent change they have made due to COVID-19. One-third (33%) point to a corresponding permanent reduction in office footprint while two-thirds of organizations (69%) indicate that at least 75% of their workforce can work effectively remotely.
  • As students return to school (virtually or in person), two-thirds of organizations (69%) expect some portion of their workforce to require additional considerations. Three-quarters (77%) are or will be extending new considerations to staff, most commonly additional flexibility in working hours and locations (66%) and additional support for managers dealing with the need for flexibility (30%).

Corporate priorities and spending

  • ESG-related topics such as environment sustainability and social responsibility were cited as potential greater priorities by digital leaders (organizations actively executing on digital transformation strategies) compared to laggards (30% to 13% and 17% to 6%, respectively).
  • More than half of survey respondents (60%) believe that inefficiencies exposed by COVID-19 will drive technology investments at their organizations well into the future.