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HomeRemote WorkWhy CEOs are predicting hybrid work to persist

Why CEOs are predicting hybrid work to persist

The nature of work is changing dramatically, and more CEOs are predicting that hybrid work arrangements are probably here to stay. According to a recent KPMG US survey, CEOs’ views on work arrangements are changing, with a shift away from the typical five-day workweek.

Decreasing expectations for full office returns

62% percent of US CEOs predicted in 2023 that workers would be back in their office cubicles three years later on a full-time basis. In the most recent 2024 survey, this forecast has significantly decreased to just 34%. This change reflects the increasing acceptability of hybrid work arrangements, in which staff members divide their time between the office and their homes. The CEO and chair of KPMG US, Paul Knopp, highlights that work-life balance and morale-boosting hybrid work arrangements are probably here to stay.

Increasing support for hybrid and remote roles

The survey, which included responses from 100 CEOs of large US companies, indicates a rise in the acceptance of hybrid roles. From 34% in 2023, 46% of CEOs now expect previously office-bound roles to adopt a hybrid model. However, there remains a cautious stance on fully remote work, with only 3% of CEOs supporting it, a slight decrease from the previous year’s 4%.

Innovations in work scheduling

CEOs are looking into creative scheduling alternatives in addition to hybrid arrangements. CEOs surveyed indicated that almost 30% of them were thinking about switching to a four- or four-and-a-half-day workweek. This flexibility, which signifies a dramatic departure from conventional work norms, may be a reaction to the burnout that many employees are going through.

Economic optimism and hiring trends

According to the survey, 87% of CEOs are optimistic about the US economy’s future, reflecting their high level of confidence in the country’s economic growth. Positive feelings are also widespread, as 78% of CEOs express confidence in both their company’s future and the state of the global economy for the forthcoming year. In line with this optimism, 70% of CEOs want to expand their hiring, while only 4% anticipate layoffs and almost one-third anticipate a large rise in recruiting.

Embracing generative AI

The role of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in addressing staffing gaps is becoming more prominent, with nearly 70% of CEOs utilizing AI to some extent. Despite some employee resistance—reported by one in four CEOs—the majority are prepared to integrate AI more fully into their operations. Within the next 12 to 18 months, 38% of CEOs anticipate moving from AI pilot programs to broader implementation.

Transparency and responsible AI use

A noteworthy shift in CEO attitudes towards AI involves transparency about its use. An overwhelming 81% of CEOs now plan to indicate when AI has been used in producing content, a significant increase from only 19% in 2023. Additionally, nearly all CEOs (95%) reported having procedures in place to ensure the responsible use of AI.

Concerns amid optimism

CEOs are delaying big investment decisions despite the good outlook due to a number of considerations, including the approaching US presidential election. With the unclear legislative and regulatory landscape of the future, 62% of CEOs would rather wait until after the November elections. Inflation, geopolitical issues, and rising interest rates are other worries.

This change in the way executives think is part of a larger trend towards work settings that are more flexible, employee-focused, and technologically integrated. This trend is paving the way for big changes in the way people and businesses work.