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ARLINGTON, VA, April 3, 2020

Gartner CFO Survey Reveals 74% Intend to Shift Some Employees to Remote Work Permanently

Nearly Three in Four CFOs Plan to Shift at Least 5% of Previously On-Site Employees to Permanently Remote Positions Post-COVID 19

A Gartner, Inc. survey of 317 CFOs and Finance leaders on March 30, 2020* revealed that 74% will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.

“This data is an example of the lasting impact the current coronavirus crisis will have on the way companies do business,” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research for the Gartner Finance Practice. “CFOs, already under pressure to tightly manage costs, clearly sense an opportunity to realize the cost benefits of a remote workforce. In fact, nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20% of their on-site employees to permanent remote positions.” 

Figure 1: 74% of Companies Plan to Permanently Shift to More Remote Work Post COVID-19

Source: Gartner (April 2020)

With 81% of CFOs previously telling Gartner 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 minimize 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 minimize disruptions workers might be facing as a result of the crisis.

“Most CFOs recognize that technology and society has evolved to make remote work more viable for a wider variety of positions than ever before,” said Mr. Bant. “Within the finance function itself, 90% of CFOs previously reported to us that they expect minimal disruptions to their accounting close process, with almost all activities able to be executed off-site.”

As organizations 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. In Gartner’s most recent survey, 20% of respondents indicated they have deferred on-premise technology spend, with an additional 12% planning to do so. An additional 13% of respondents noted they had already made cost reductions in real estate expenses, with another 9% planning to take actions in this area in the coming months.

Gartner clients can read more in CFO Actions in Response to COVID-19: Week of 30 March 2020.

Non clients can read more here and find a selection of coronavirus-related resources here.

*About Gartner CFO Cohorts
In response to urgent CFO demand, Gartner Finance is holding weekly CFO cohorts as a forum for CFOs to discuss emerging COVID-19-related areas of concern and what actions they are taking or not taking. The findings in this release are from a poll of CFOs and their direct reports leading up to the second cohort, hosted Monday, March 30, which included more than 250 CFOs.

About the Gartner Finance Practice
The Gartner Finance practice helps senior finance executives meet their top priorities. Gartner offers a unique breadth and depth of content to support clients’ individual success and deliver on key initiatives that cut across finance functions to drive business impact. Learn more at https://www.gartner.com/en/finance/finance-leaders

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 15,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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