Nearly three in four CFOs plan to shift at least five percent of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions post the coronavirus, according to a survey by global research and advisory company, Gartner.


Gartner’s survey of 317 CFOs and finance leaders on March 30, 2020 found that 74 percent intend to move at least five percent of their previously onsite workforce to permanently remote positions post the pandemic crisis.

“This data is an example of the lasting impact the current coronavirus crisis will have on the way companies do business,” says Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research for the Gartner Finance Practice, in a media release.

“CFOs, already under pressure to tightly manage costs, clearly sense an opportunity to realise the cost benefits of a remote workforce. In fact, nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20 percent of their on-site employees to permanent remote positions.”

The Gartner survey found that:

• 26 percent said zero percent of their workforce will remain permanently remote.

• 27 percent say five percent will do so.

• 25 percent says 10 percent will remain remote.

• 17 percent says 20 percent will remain remote.

• Some four percent will have 50 percent remote.

• Some two percent will have more than 50 percent remote permanently.

Gartner says that with 81 percent of CFOs previously telling it that they planned to exceed their contractual obligations to hourly workers, remote work is one example of creative cost savings senior finance leaders are seeking in order to avoid more severe cuts and minimise the downside impact to operations.

“CFOs previously reported to Gartner that they were taking additional steps to support employees in this area by adjusting to more flexible work schedules and providing company-issued work from home equipment. These action by finance leaders help minimise disruptions workers might be facing as a result of the crisis,” it says.

Gartner says that as organisations continue to grapple with the ongoing business disruptions from COVID-19, permanent remote work could complement cost-cutting measures that CFOs have already taken, or plan to take.

The company says that in its most recent survey, 20 percent of respondents indicated they have deferred on-premise technology spend, with an additional 12 percent planning to do so.

An additional 13 percent of respondents noted they had already made cost reductions in real estate expenses, with another nine percent planning to take actions in this area in the coming months.

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