Executives Split Over Timeline of Return to Normal

March 05, 2021

Contributor: Teresa Zuech

Fewer executives see near-term return to normal as COVID-19 vaccination strategies take time to ramp up.

A Gartner survey of global executives at the end of January showed that 52% said their organization would return to “normal” in the third or fourth quarter of 2021, but that was down from 62% just six weeks before. 

Read more: Are Vaccine Passports the Route to a Faster Postpandemic Recovery?

When will organizations return to normal business operations?

The reality is that many business leaders are still unsure what the future looks like. Gartner surveys of global executives in December 2020 and January 2021 show:

  • There was a 10 percentage point drop in leaders predicting “normal” would begin in the first half of 2021 —with an additional 10 percentage point drop of those anticipating the second half.
  • There was a 16 percentage point rise in those predicting “normal” will return sometime in 2022, with a 4 percentage point rise in those saying it will be years from now (if ever.) 

Among 130 global enterprise leaders surveyed, just 30% said their organization is definitely including vaccine issues in their overall strategic planning, and another 30% responded that it’s likely that the vaccine will be a consideration.

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