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The “New Normal” – Working from Home

A new wave of disruption more forceful and more pervasive than what we have seen previously is likely to unfold in the next decade. While the roots of this disruption—technological, economic, geopolitical, demographic or environmental—may remain the same, the unique convergence of these factors should unleash unprecedented change in the broader society and economy. Foremost among the drivers of disruption will be technology. The fusion of current technologies, such as machine learning and blockchain, and emerging ones such as quantum computing, will create new opportunities, and also engender new risks. Additionally, technology will also radically change work as we know it, as well as who is doing the work, and where it gets done.

According to a Deloitte survey, 60% of chief financial officers expect to increase spending on technology for virtual work and automated processes in the next 12 months. The findings which are supported by another study by PwC, suggest that companies see the advantages of remote work in terms of cutting real estate costs and maintain productivity. Deloitte’s survey highlighted the uncertainty felt by the business. Most CFOs say they do not expect their operations to return to “near-normal” levels in 2020. But that varied by industry. For instance, the retail and wholesale sector was pessimistic. In retail/wholesale, 47% of CFOs said operations would not return to near normal until the second quarter of 2021 or later. And 42% of CFOs in manufacturing did not expect operations to normalize until the second quarter of 2021 or later. In addition, two-thirds of CFOs said they expect their workforce would shrink by 10% within the coming 12 months.

A report from research firm Valoir found that the abrupt move to working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a 1% reduction only on work productivity and more than 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full time in the future.

Alastair Tempest

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