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CEOs Anticipate Full Return To Office Work Within Three Years

According to a global survey conducted by KPMG, two-thirds of chief executives expect workers returning to the office five days a week within the next three years.

This shift in focus comes as the hunt for talent takes a backseat to investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and efforts to fortify businesses against cyber crime.

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KPMG’s CEO, Andrew Yates, said that the survey, which involved over 1300 CEOs worldwide, revealed that nearly 80 per cent of these business leaders remain optimistic about the short- to medium-term outlook for their companies. 

“People were seriously less optimistic, and I think the change reflects the fact that we’re coming to the end of what’s been a very disrupted three-year period,” Mr Yates said. 

He pointed out that unusual economic shifts, including a surge in demand for products and services, have marked the 18 months since the COVID-19 lockdowns ended.

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One of the most notable findings is the changing landscape of priorities for CEOs. The skills shortage and the war for talent are no longer their main concerns. 

Last year’s talent shortage has given way to more subdued demand, leading businesses to adjust their cost bases, including labour settings. 

Shockingly, 22 per cent of Australian CEOs are considering potential staff cuts of up to five per cent over the next three years.

“Last year, the shortage of talent was front-of-mind for everyone,” he said.

“Demand has softened since then, and businesses are needing to make adjustments to their cost base, including labour settings.” 

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