Alongside flexible work’s transition from a perk to a near standard in the corporate landscape, employees have begun to prioritize where and how they work above all else.
As data from FTI’s 2023 Global CFO Survey indicates, nearly seven in 10 out of the more than 300 global finance leaders surveyed indicated their companies are instituting no requirements for their teams to return to the office full-time. New data shows that despite commercial office space commitments falling victim to expense cuts for many companies, strong return-to-office initiatives by cities and companies alike have had little impact on the global view of hybrid and remote work offerings.
Executives have consistently had issues gauging productivity among their remote workforces. Data from FTI shows the problem is widespread internationally. Among the challenges in facilitating a remote workforce, 45% of those surveyed report issues around technology, while 44% report difficulties in employee development. The lingering issue of productivity rounded out the top three, with a tally of 42%.
The survey also mentioned the difficulty leaders are having in adjusting to the generational gaps between their employees. According to the survey, younger workers, who in general are more likely to request a remote work option, are more conscious of their well-being in the workplace. The report cites “physical health” as a priority for workers during the pandemic, and says younger employees believe this should be the C-suite’s number-one priority, more than any other business initiative.
Technology offerings for the finance department are impacting the roles and duties of financial leaders at a global scale, the survey found. Just over half (51%) of finance leaders responding to FTI’s August survey reported their role would require increased focus on technology implementation over the next 18 months.
Among the technology implementations occurring within finance tech stacks, 41% of finance executives plan to upgrade enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business intelligence systems, and 39% plan to implement enterprise performance management and FP&A solutions. According to FTI, by embracing these kinds of technology, finance leaders are displaying a desire to strengthen forecasting capabilities and financial consolidation, as well as enhance systems integration.
With the varying implementations of ERP, complicated trends in labor markets, and the strong cybersecurity defenses needed to protect financial data. the ability of C-suites to make decisions on which kinds of technology will work best for them and their employees can be complicated. Gauging the value of technology will continue to be an area of needed upskilling for financial leaders on a global scale.
On top of the data provided by the survey, respondents were given the opportunity to share their own thoughts on the topics gauged. Some of the most insightful responses on the topics are below.
“We are looking to hire more technical personnel to help realize the benefits of our financial technology stack.”
“Incentivizing current staff because they are continuously being poached. Attrition is our number one issue.”
“Our goal this year will be to improve our financial tech stack through automation to increase the effectiveness of our personnel and reduce costs.”
“We are laser-focused on preventing cyberattacks that could impact our internal financial systems and subsequent brand damage.”
“Raising of funds to meet the obligation of the business and ensure we have enough cash and liquidity.”
“We are focused on decreasing operational risk to maximize profits during a potential recession.”
“Continue to improve the accuracy of our financial data through the implementation of tighter processes and controls”
“Have better visibility on supply chain activity to anticipate potential disruptions and price fluctuations.”