More than 80% of middle-market CEOs say they are likely to allow for a partially remote workforce even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, according to the latest CEO Survey from Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business and New York-based IPA 100 firm Marcum LLP. Nearly half of the more than 250 CEOs surveyed (45%) also said they will require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if it is legal to do so, and another 36% said they would offer incentives to employees to get the vaccine.
In addition to allowing more remote work, survey participants also cited revising their strategic plans to mitigate future risks exposed by the crisis (80%) and building resiliency against supply chain disruptions (77%) as a couple of the long-term changes they are considering based on their experiences during the pandemic.
“The tide is beginning to turn as CEOs have embraced a disbursed workforce as a viable new operating model for the long term and the availability of a COVID vaccine enables more plants and offices to begin reopening,” says Marcum chairman and CEO Jeffrey Weiner. “We also saw that CEOs are incorporating lessons learned during the pandemic by revising their strategic plans to mitigate future risks exposed by the crisis, as well as to withstand supply chain shocks. A large majority also told us they plan to negotiate more flexible terms with vendors and will be increasing their cash reserves against any future liquidity crisis.”
In terms of their outlook for the general business climate, 10% of CEOs rate their outlook as “very positive” (10 on a scale of 1-10), compared to just over 3% who were “very positive” at the time of the last Marcum-Hofstra survey two months ago. Sentiment also improved among more moderate respondents, with 75% of CEOs rating their outlook in the positive range (1-5), compared to less than half (48.3%) in the previous survey. CEOs in most sectors of the economy were conservatively optimistic about the next 12 months, with 100% of those leading wholesale/distribution companies rating their outlook between 5-10, followed by those in technology/communications (82% positive), retailing (75% positive) and manufacturing (74% positive).
The complete Marcum-Hofstra CEO Survey, as well as an archive of prior surveys, is available at marcumhofstraceosurvey.com.