Global Chief Executives’ Business Outlook Is Increasingly Mixed Compared to March; Almost All Agree Recent Business Adjustments Will Have Long-Term Benefits According to New YPO Survey

Over 2,500 chief executive respondents have a firmer grasp on how to navigate this new reality

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly half of chief executives in 100 countries reported a significantly more negative business outlook than on 1 March 2020, according to a new survey by YPO, the global leadership community of 28,000 chief executives.

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While 49 percent have a negative outlook, more than one-third (37%) of respondents said their business outlook is slightly or significantly more positive in this new survey, YPO Global Pulse: The New CEO Frontier: Leading in the Post-COVID World. Both sentiments represent a notable improvement over previous YPO Survey data.

Conducted 21-24 September with 2,572 respondents, the survey offers insights into business leaders’ current economic outlook, business predictions a year out, and perspectives on the pandemic’s permanent impact on the workplace.

Key additional findings include:

  • Leaders are most optimistic about revenue growth in the next 12 months, but respondents were split with 39% anticipating a 10% or more increase in revenue while 35% anticipate a 10% or more decrease.
  • Workforce outlooks are less variable. Most (45%) expect their total number of employees to be the same in a year, while 30% foresee their total number of employees to be down by 10% or more.
  • Many (40%) leaders expect their total fixed investments to remain the same in the next year with the rest evenly split between a more than 10% increase or decrease.
  • Flexible work arrangements for employees are here to stay. Over three-quarters (78%) of chief executives report they will continue to offer them in a post-COVID world.
  • Chief executives believe business adjustments they made to digital/technology investments (51%), leaner operations including workforce reductions (46%) and increased agility (43%) as a result of the pandemic will have the biggest long-term benefits.
  • Business travel is still uncertain. While most (47%) business leaders are comfortable now travelling to a local in-person event, comfort around global travel is highly mixed with 12% now ready while 27% are unsure when they will be ready.

YPO Global Pulse  Methodology:
The YPO Global Pulse: The New CEO Frontier: Leading in the Post-COVID World was conducted by YPO from 21-24 September 2020 via an online questionnaire. A total of 2,572 YPO members responded to the survey. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 1.84 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

About YPO:
YPO is the global leadership community of more than 28,000 chief executives in 142 countries who are connected by the shared belief that the world needs better leaders. Each of our members have achieved significant leadership success at a young age. Combined, they lead businesses and organizations contributing USD9 trillion in annual revenue. YPO members inspire and support each other through peer learning and exceptional experiences in an inclusive community of open sharing and trust. Visit ‪ypo.org for more.

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