A new survey of C-suite executives finds overall that employers are split on whether to require the COVID-19 shot for employees to return to in-person work with 51% leaning toward yes an 49% leaning toward no.
Image: West Monroe

The new normal is still a few quarters away and the details are still uncertain, according to a new survey of executives.

In a new survey, West Monroe asked 150 corporate leaders about the COVID-19 vaccination shot, when they expect operations to return to normal, and relocating headquarters.

Nearly half (49%) of the companies plan to hire more people this year. The leaders identified front-end customer experience and e-commerce and data analytics as the top tech priorities for 2021. Twenty-six percent said that their operations have already stabilized although most (35%) are predicting that won’t happen until later this year. Twenty-three percent expect some kind of normal in Q2 2021 but 13% say they don’t expect the new normal to arrive until 2022.

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

West Monroe, a consulting firm, also asked if companies would require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination shot and 51% said they were leaning toward yes while 49% said they were leaning toward no. Employers on both coasts are more likely to require the shot if people want to work on-site. Companies in the South were most likely to answer no with 57% saying they would not require the shot.

When it comes to restrictions related to the pandemic, 45% said social distancing requirements are having the biggest impact on productivity, followed by remote work at 34%.

The office isn’t going away anytime soon with 38% saying that workers will be mostly onsite as soon as possible while 43% say the workforce will be a mix of remote and in-person. Only 1% said their workforce would be fully remote. This reflects the nature of work in the top four industries in the survey: Healthcare, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, and financial services.

In a related question, executives indicated that they will be factoring in more than just the bottom line when making decisions for their companies. Here is how respondents answered this question: In 2021, what role will social, economic, and moral issues play in your organization’s decision-making:

  • They will play an increased role: 55%
  • Their role will not change: 32%
  • They will not play a role at all: 9%
  • They will play a decreased role: 3%

The survey included 150 C-suite leaders at companies with $250 million in revenue and was conducted in early January 2021.