KUALA LUMPUR – KPMG has found that 45% of out 500 chief executive officers (CEOs) surveyed globally are not expecting to see a return to ‘normal’ until sometime in 2022, reported Bernama.
The global organisation of independent professional services firms that provide audit, tax and advisory services said nearly one-third (31%) anticipate it will happen later this year.
“Interestingly, only 6.0% of CEOs in the Asia Pacific predict to return to ‘normal’ by this year with a significant majority (59%) envisioning it will only happen in 2022,” it said in a statement following the release of its 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey.
The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of CEOs will look for a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout, where at least half of the population is vaccinated, before asking their staff to return to offices.
“The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is providing leaders with a much-needed dose of optimism in preparation for the new reality. Unsurprisingly, however, CEOs want to be confident that their workforce is protected against this virus before making any major business decisions.”
“We can see this is how CEOs are only anticipating returning to business as ‘normal’ in 2022,” KPMG managing partner in Malaysia Datuk Johan Idris said.
He said the situation last year has changed the way CEOs adapt and develop creative ways to sustain business operations. Now, over one-third of CEOs in the Asia Pacific consider their business model changed forever.
“Business leaders must now seriously plan for the long-term implications of the pandemic and grab this opportunity to redefine what the new normal looks like,” he added.
Other key insights in the survey from Asia Pacific’s CEOs also called for governments encouragement or enablement as a prompt to return to a normal course of business (68%) and 82% of them agree that public-private partnerships are crucial in building infrastructure around digital and innovation for business continuity.