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Get used to telecommuting

by on09 April 2020

Bosses finally see working from home as the way forward

The new normal telecommuting may be a bit more permanent than realised, as 74 percent of CFOs say they expect to move previously on-site employees remotely, post-COVID-19.

Beancounters at Gartner have been asking around, and after chatting to 317 CFO respondents on March 30, they discovered how remote work might become more of the norm as companies look to cut commercial real estate costs.

Gartner found that almost a quarter of respondents said they would move at least 20 percent of their on-site employees to remote work permanently. The research firm is taking the pulse of the COVID-19 CXO shifts in a series of surveys.

More than 80 percent of CFOs plan to exceed their contractual obligations to hourly workers and to fund that they are using remote work to offer flexible schedules and maintain operations.

Another 90 percent of CFOs said their close accounting operations could run effectively without disruptions off-site.

A fifth of CFOs said they are cutting their on-premise technology spending with 12 percent planning the same move.

And 13 percent of CFOs have already cut real estate expenses with another nine per cent planning cuts in the months to come.

The Gartner CFO survey also has data on other ways CFOs have already cut costs. The actions highlight various enterprise moves to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Executives are pursuing multiple options to avoid layoffs. Steps already taken include:

  • 60 percent have cancelled all leadership events and offsites.
  • 58 percent have frozen hiring.
  • 58 percent have cancelled conference spending with 51 per cent freezing travel and expenses.
  • 49 percent have delayed capital expenditures.
  • 32 percent have delayed or frozen current new hire offers.

CFOs are managing cash carefully and reluctant to take on more debt even as they tap lines of credit. Sales leaders are also testing lower-cost sales models, according to Gartner. Metrics such as seller activities, productivity, and customer engagement are being tracked to inform future budget cuts. Only eight percent of sales leaders are considering shifting traditional outside and field sales to virtual positions permanently.

Last modified on 09 April 2020
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