A recent survey conducted by professional services firm KPMG suggests that a significant portion of chief executives believe that the five-day office workweek will return in the next few years, with 64% of global CEOs and 63% in the UK expecting a “full return” to office working by 2026. Additionally, a majority of CEOs are considering linking promotions, pay, or other benefits to office attendance. Specifically, 87% of CEOs globally and 83% in the UK are “likely” to link financial rewards and promotion opportunities to in-office working practices.
KPMG UK CEO Jon Holt noted that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this issue, and a hybrid working model may continue to be essential for attracting and retaining talent. CEOs recognise the importance of having the right employee value proposition to meet their business needs. Younger employees, in particular, have had their early work experiences shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of the cost of living, so supporting their careers and well-being is a priority for leaders.
The survey also revealed concerns among UK CEOs about the global economy, with 84% expressing worries about rising interest rates and tightening monetary policies potentially leading to or prolonging a global recession.
Furthermore, the survey indicated that a significant number of CEOs are investing in generative AI, but only around 50% expect these investments to yield a return in the next three to five years. This reflects a growing interest in AI technology, but it may take some time before the investments translate into tangible benefits for businesses.
Overall, the survey findings suggest that the future of work and the return to office working are complex issues, and businesses are exploring various strategies to address them while also considering the economic landscape and technology investments.