Fortune 500 CEOs Think their Businesses Will Probably Never Return to Normal

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Will life at America’s biggest and most profitable corporations ever return to normal? Probably not, according to a survey of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies that Fortune conducted back in April.

We’ll share data on what those executives told Fortune in a minute. But before we do, we’d like to share two observations . . .

- Things are changing quickly in business right now, and even though the Fortune survey was done as recently as April, CEO thinking could have changed significantly since then.

- The fact that Fortune 500 companies might not get “back to normal” doesn’t mean that your company won’t. In fact, it could be that smaller and more agile companies are recovering faster.

What the CEOs Told Fortune

When will economic activity return to pre-pandemic levels?

  • 14.3% of the CEOs polled said first quarter 2021
  • 58.3% said first quarter 2022
  • 27.4% said first quarter 2023

When will companies’ capital spending exceed 2019 levels?

  • 19.1% said 2020
  • 35.7% said 2021
  • 27.4% said 2022
  • 13.1% said 2023
  • 4.8% said never

When will employees return to their usual workplace?

  • 27.4% said September 2020
  • 38.1% said June 2021
  • 8.3% said January 2022
  • 26.2% said employees will work from home indefinitely

When will business travel resume after the pandemic?

  • 15.5% said first quarter 2021
  • 26.2% said first quarter 2022
  • 8% said first quarter 2023
  • 52.4% said travel will never return to pre-pandemic levels

What has the pandemic’s effect been on technological transformation?

  • 75% of CEOs said the pandemic has accelerated companies’ tech transformation
  • 25% said the pandemic has had no effect or has slowed tech transformation

Who has done a good job in handling the crisis?

  • 22.9% of CEOs said President Trump
  • 84.2% said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell
  • 24.1% said U.S. Congress
  • 24.1% said China’s government
  • 68.7% said U.S. Governors
  • 14.5% said the World Health Organization
  • 92.8% said U.S. Corporate Leaders

And How Is Your Company Bouncing Back?

Some of your employees are eager to return to working in your company location or locations. Others loved working from home, and they want to continue to do so. Others might be looking for flexible or other options that let them tailor their schedules to their newly discovered preferences. Remember, KettleSpace offers a better way to help you and your employees define what will work best for them, and how. Talk with us today.

Explore Your Workspace Options.  Get Our Free Return to Work Handbook.

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