- The number of CEOs planning to cut office space has decreased from last year, a KPMG study found.
- Instead they’re favoring increased flexibility, according to KPMG’s latest CEO Outlook survey.
- KPMG also found more than half of CEOs are looking to increase investment in shared office space.
Many CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies are reconsidering their plans to cut down on their physical office space, instead they intend to offer staff more flexible working options and invest in shared office space, according to a new study from professional-services firm KPMG.
KPMG’s 2021 CEO Outlook survey, found that over a fifth (21%) of CEOs said they planned to, or have already cut down their office space, a significant decrease compared with this time last year, where almost 7 in 10 (69%) said they were planning to reduce their office footprint.
Over half of those surveyed (51%) said they were considering increasing their investments in shared office space. Elsewhere, around one-third of respondents (37%) said they have or plan to introduce long-term hybrid-work patterns that will see employees work remotely at least two days a week.
Every year, between June and August, KPMG polls 1,300 of the world’s top CEOs from countries including the US, UK, China, India, and Canada for its CEO Outlook survey.
It asks them about their optimism about the prospects of their business and their strategy plans over the next year. All companies in the report generate annual revenue of $500 million or more.
While the report didn’t go into detail on individual companies, HSBC and Shopify are among some of the high-profile names to have previously announced plans to cut office capacity, favoring remote work options. The advertising agency WPP outlined plans last year to shed 20% of its New York office space by 2025 in order to cut costs, while companies like Deloitte have told employees that they can work from anywhere.
The move in favor of flexibility chimes with a growing sentiment among many workers, who are seeking more of a balance between home and office working — though there is also a noisy minority of employees who favor entirely remote work.
Gary Reader, global head of clients and markets at KPMG, told Insider that the pandemic had forced business leaders to rethink their operations and the role employees play in the future of their companies.
“A hybrid model of working will likely be the trend for many organizations,” he added.
In August PwC polled 1,007 full- and part-time workers. Although 41% said that they wanted to be fully remote at the time, that reduced to 19% of respondents favoring fully remote work once the Delta variant is no longer a concern. The majority preferred a hybrid option of working in the future; around one-fifth of those polled (22%) said that they wanted to work remotely one day or less a week.