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Survey Indicates Workforce Shifts Inevitable Following COVID-19 Pandemic

As we continue to work from home due to the COVID-19 mandatory quarantine, we are hearing that some real estate experts are predicting that company executives may choose to keep a percentage of their workers working remotely once business are allowed to resume operations.

A recent survey done by Gartner, Inc. the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500 supports the speculation.


Gartner, Inc. surveyed 317 CFOs and finance leaders on March 30, 2020 and discovered that 74% intend to move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.


“This data is an example of the lasting impact the current coronavirus crisis will have on the way companies do business,” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research for the Gartner Finance Practice. “CFOs, already under pressure to tightly manage costs, clearly sense an opportunity to realize the cost benefits of a remote workforce. In fact, nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20% of their on-site employees to permanent remote positions.”


With 81% of CFOs previously telling Gartner that they planned to exceed their contractual obligations to hourly workers, remote work is one example of creative cost savings senior finance leaders are seeking in order to avoid more severe cuts and minimize the downside impact to operations. CFOs previously reported to Gartner that they were taking additional steps to support employees in this area by adjusting to more flexible work schedules and providing company-issued work from home equipment. These action by finance leaders help minimize disruptions workers might be facing as a result of the crisis.


“Most CFOs recognize that technology and society have evolved to make remote work more viable for a wider variety of positions than ever before,” Gartner’s Bant said. “Within the finance function itself, 90% of CFOs previously reported to us that they expect minimal disruptions to their accounting close process, with almost all activities able to be executed off-site.”


As companies continue to grapple with the ongoing business disruptions from COVID-19, permanent remote work could complement cost-cutting measures that CFOs have already taken or plan to take. In Gartner’s most recent survey, 20% of respondents indicated they have delayed investment in technology spending.  An additional 12% are planning to delay.  An additional 13% of respondents noted they had already made cost reductions in real estate expenses, with another 9% planning to take actions in this area in the coming months.


Gartner, Inc. is an advisor and resource for more than 15,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.