- More than half of employers with pre-pandemic global expansion plans remain generally undeterred despite the resulting economic downturn, according to survey results from Globalization Partners and CFO Research released June 25.
- In a survey of 166 senior finance executives at companies with international expansion plans, 45% of respondents said they are either moving forward with expansion plans or delaying less than a year. Another 9% said they still intend to expand internationally but "remain in a year-long holding pattern."
- Respondents also identified employee health and safety as a top expansion concern — cited nearly twice as much as other issues like devising new business strategies, increasing sales pipeline and revenue, and reducing organizational costs, according to the organizations’ press release.
As employers braced for the pandemic’s predicted economic fallout, those that undertook cost-cutting measures most often responded with hiring freezes and reduced hiring, according to a March 30 Willis Towers Watson report. Some also reported wage freezes and delayed raises.
But as the crisis dragged on, employers have had to revisit long-term plans. For some, that meant mass layoffs; others say they’ve abandoned office life permanently.
And as this most recent report shows, some have reconsidered global expansion plans, with many still intending to move forward. That tracks with a March report from Velocity Global that found tech employers in the U.S. and U.K. continuing with international growth plans despite the pandemic.
The finding that employee health and safety is a top concern also aligns with recommendations that global employers view employee well-being as a priority. In a May report on mental health from the Business Group on Health, the organization outlined how such efforts can improve productivity and business performance. Careful, deliberate efforts are needed, however: "It is often difficult for the corporate office to understand the nuances that take place at the local level," Kathleen O'Driscoll, vice president at Business Group on Health, said in a statement. "These nuances are particularly important for mental health, where misunderstandings and fears are abundant."