NewtonX Current + Fortune Analytics: What CFOs really think about the future of work

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated change across virtually every aspect of our lives. From work life to the economy to emerging technologies to DEI and beyond, we continue to grapple with the journey to back-to-normal.

With this topic top of mind for so many leaders, we’re excited to launch our new proprietary research arm here at NewtonX: NewtonX Current. To get a pulse on how professionals are recovering and adapting to the future of work, we surveyed 75 CFOs in partnership with Lance Lambert, Editor of Fortune Analytics.

This edition of NewtonX Current features exclusive insights that examine the post pandemic financial recovery and the broader implications of return-to-work on DEI, technology, and innovation from the perspective of CFOs. The results tell a story of current marketplace perceptions and misperceptions, CFOs predictions, and whether we can expect a return to anything that resembles the world we knew over a year ago.

We’ve consolidated the study’s learnings into this report, download it today. Continue reading for our executive summary, click here to download it.

Click here to download our NewtonX Current + Fortune report, ‘What CFOS really think about the future of work.’


 The future of the water cooler and working from the couch 

Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, nearly all CFOs worked in-person. Now, 40% of CFOs are currently working fully remotely, and 46% are working hybrid in-person/remote. Most working hybrid don’t have fixed days in-person. With the widespread availability of vaccines, many are hopeful that we will see a return to work. The full report uncovers CFOs perspective on going back to fully in-person work and how many expect to go fully remote. This section of the study focuses on:

  • Understanding the ideal workplace and schedule model for the future
  • Shifting perceptions on work travel 
  • Opinions on total compensation and benefits in light of the current economic climate
  • The impact of remote work on productivity


Balancing the books and headcount per square foot

From household spending to retail sales and consumer goods to job losses (which wiped out 113 straight months of job growth), it’s clear that Covid-19 has profoundly impacted the global economy. However, there might be some good news for commercial real estate: 46% of CFOs expect no change in their post-pandemic office-space requirements. Only 20% expect a reduction of less than 20%.

This section dives into the topic of recovery, profits and revenue, employee headcount, and more. Our 75 CFOs unpack:

  • When CFOs expect to return to pre-COVID 19 revenue levels 
  • How much, (and how different) will office space look and feel like 
  • When do CFOs believe full-time employee headcount to return


ESG to DEI to AI and beyond

It’s not more important than ever for organizations to be able to articulate a clear ESG and DEI strategy for employees, investors and customers alike. We asked CFOs how their organizations are responding to these top of mind issues. In this section we look at:

  • The shifting requirements related to DEI and ESG in relation to company-wide importance
  • Cross-team collaboration especially with CHROs and HR teams
  • The growing need to educate and train employees in AI and emerging technologies
  • The changing role of the CFO, now and into the future

About the Study

Methodology:
NewtonX recruited 75 current CFOs to complete a 15 minute survey from April 27th to May 5th, 2021. NewtonX conducted everything from survey design to hosting, fielding and ultimately delivering fully analyzed insights in a presentation. Click here to learn more about NewtonX’s services and capabilities. 

The Author:
Patiwat Panurach (he/him) is VP of Strategic Insights and Analytics at NewtonX, the world’s leading B2B market research firm. He leads NewtonX’s end-to-end research consulting engagements. Patiwat has over 2 decades of experience in qualitative and quantitative market research on topics in strategy, business development, M&A, marketing, product development, and HR for clients in technology, retail, energy, and public health. Prior to NewtonX, Patiwat spent 7 years at the Boston Consulting Group, founded startups in Vietnam and Thailand, and earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

NewtonX Current:

NewtonX Current is the proprietary research arm of NewtonX. Current research is designed, coded and fielded by our team of senior researchers to answer today’s most pressing questions. Each publication will be informed by topics of interest from the B2B research community and will range from trends in Cybersecurity to Advertiser spending. We’re excited to share B2B insights on the topics that matter most.

 

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