As businesses are eagerly awaiting to reopen and bring employees back to work, 44% of chief financial officers have not yet planned on how to bring their employees back into the office, according to a new Garnter poll.
“Our latest CFO data also reveals that most executive teams are still trying to decide what factors they should use to determine how and when to reopen their offices and facilities,” Gartner Finance practice vice president, Alexander Bant said in prepared remarks.
The report indicates that 81% of CFOs will look to state and local officials to see when they can restart operations. Fifty-five percent of respondents indicated they will take a measured approach in bringing back their employees.
When it comes to specifics, seventeen percent of respondents indicated employees will work at the office on alternating schedules; and 34% of CFOs said employees will be allowed to voluntarily return to the office and those who want to work from home may do so for a certain period of time.
“Many CFOs seem to be conscious of moving too quickly, with only 4% of CFOs telling us that their organizations will require employees to immediately return to the office, even after receiving approval from state and local authorities to reopen their physical facilities,” Bant said.
All respondents believe that offices will be reopening sometime in 2020.
When offices do re-open, the report says that employers should make sure to put employees first. Some of the steps that CFOs are taking to put employees first include re-assessing the potential for “less dense real estate footprints to incorporate social distancing in the workplace” and moving to a “hoteling” setup which would allow employees to come in, but not have fixed spaces or desks.
A Second Wave
Many CFOs have not put in a second wave of COVID-19 into their financial models in the future.
“As CFOs are attempting to project revenue and profits for 2020, it’s surprising that 42% are not baking a second wave of COVID-19 into any of their scenarios,” Bant said. Only 22% of the respondents indicated they have been putting a second wave of COVID-19 into their models.
The report states that even though there is a lack of contingency planning for a second wave, CFOs are concerned about a decline in revenue.
“Approximately 85% of senior finance leaders expect revenue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19,” the report states.
Sixteen percent of respondents indicated that their top concern for April is a decline in revenue.
Gartner polled 99 CFOs between April 14 and April 19 for the results of the survey.