Gartner Research

Executive Pulse: The Workforce of the Near Future

Published: 11 June 2020


Here’s a roll-up of pandemic-related executive sentiment and insights from thousands of functional leaders across the C-suite.

Fast word on tactics and concerns from thousands participating in our conference calls andpolls.

>> More detailed role-specific reports may be available on the website, depending on your subscription.

HR leaders are considering the implications of a more permanent hybrid work world — balanced between a base at home and the traditional workplace. The most cited concern is how the company can maintain its culture (30%).

HR leaders also worry about:

  • Sustaining productivity

  • Creating parity between in-office and remote workers

  • Enabling collaboration

Figure 1. Worried About the Culture of a Hybrid Office

What will office space need to offer? HR leaders want to give employees a place to get things done if, for whatever reason, they aren’t productive at home. While few told us they are concerned about remote cybersecurity, 17% see security as the most important function of the workplace. And the same percentage told us that the organization’s buildings are needed to cultivate innovation.

Figure 2. Rethinking the Future of the Corporate Office

Nine in ten (91%) data and analytics leaders report an increased demand for their work, including:

  • New reports and dashboards (48%)

  • Internal and external data sharing (22%)

  • New predictive models (13%)

  • Updates to existing predictive models (8%)

Figure 3. Growing Demand for Data and Analytics

The business wants insights into:

  • Employee health and system performance

  • Operations efficiencies

  • Customer preferences

  • Where to optimize costs

  • Digital business initiatives

CIOs report the following relationship-building activities

  • Educating the CEO and other senior stakeholders on the value on IT, especially in a crisis (72%)

  • Assuming leadership of high-impact initiatives (67%)

  • Deepening knowledge of specific operations to provide advice to business leaders (67%)

Figure 4. Impact of COVID-19 on CIO Business Relations

CIOs who are making moderate or significant changes say they are devoting attention to:

  • Tools and assets required to support IT capabilities (29%)

  • IT strategy (28%)

  • How IT value is communicated (29%)

  • Skills needed (27%)

Figure 5. IT Organization Change in Response to COVID-19

Forty-two percent of executives who described themselves as senior leaders lack confidence in top management’s ability to navigate well through a crisis.

As seniority decreases, doubt rises. More than half (51%) of managers say those at the highest levels can steer the organization through upheaval and 63% for non-managers. More than 900 employees we surveyed this month in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada described significant percentages of organizations that are not providing certain types of support.

  • Only 53% say the company is communicating changes to business priorities.

  • Only 51% say their organizations are supporting those directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19.

  • The same proportion say they have access to mental and emotional health support.

  • Only 28% say they’ve been developing the skills they need to adapt.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and police brutality protests around the world, diversity and inclusion leaders are past their urgent questions about communicating a commitment to equality.They are now telling us they’re turning their attention to sustained and meaningful progress on recruitment and retention of under-represented demographic groups.

Compiled by Daniel Ryntjes

Contact with any questions or comments.

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