COVID-19 has dominated every aspect of our working lives, imposing significant changes in working practices and behaviours for businesses and individuals. The response has been agile, with businesses taking exceptional steps to protect their employees, customers and communities.
Many firms have told the CBI that they have supercharged change and innovation in their own businesses, something they previously thought would take years. Many businesses have also been pleasantly surprised by how positive some of these changes have been, making them re-evaluate their long-term business thinking and planning.
Six months on from the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, firms are re-evaluating their long-term business strategies on issues such as flexible and remote working, office requirements, business travel and consumer preferences. Firms are also considering how the UK can begin to “Build Back Better” from this period.
In order to influence the CBI’s future work, and to best support the business community through this transformation, the CBI collaborated with Ipsos MORI – sponsored by Accenture and Hays Recruitment - to examine which changes are likely to be temporary, and which are seen to be permanent.
Read the full analysis here.
This research combined both quantitative and qualitative data. An online survey (fieldwork 7-16 October) received 573 business responses, from a range of sectors, regions and organisation sizes. Alongside this, the CBI hosted five online focus groups with Ipsos MORI and CBI members from the North East and North West of England, the East of England and Northern Ireland. Finally, Ipsos MORI held three online in-depth interviews with CBI regional members.
The survey paints a positive picture of how businesses will operate following the pandemic. It reveals:
- Almost seven in ten respondents anticipate increasing activities to “support net zero target”
- Nearly six in ten respondents think “people will shop close to where they live”
- Firms predict widespread adoption of hybrid home/office working patterns, with offices recalibrated for collaborating and connecting with colleagues.