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New business landscape to stem from COVID-19

By The IJ Staff | June 23 2020 03:30PM

Photo: Rawpixel.com

Business leaders across North America are expecting a protracted recovery and foresee a changing landscape for the future, according to surveys of several hundred North American executives conducted by executive search firm Caldwell.

Caldwell has been hosting weekly virtual roundtables with executives across Canada and the United States since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executives plan to change company business strategies

The surveys indicate the pandemic has spurred changes across every industry, with 91 per cent of executives polled saying they are changing their business strategy – whether it be from slight modifications to complete reinventions.

And, most executives said they were preparing for a recovery marathon that could take 12 months or more.

When it comes to talent, 63 per cent of the executives said their organization is not yet expanding its numbers – either by bringing back previously furloughed employees or hiring new ones. Nearly three quarters of the executives surveyed felt they have the talent needed to help transform the business to the new post-COVID reality.

Workplace setting will probably change

Some of the biggest changes will take place in the actual workplace setting with three-quarters of executives saying their teams were equally if not more productive since the move to remote work. Just over 90 per cent expect to continue allowing employees to work from home to some degree, and nearly three quarters said that given the choice, their employees would prefer to work at home at least half the time.

Changes are also expected in terms of business travel and events, with 91 per cent forecasting varying degrees of reductions in business travel, and over one-third responding that they will only be comfortable attending large gatherings when there's a vaccine for the virus.

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