Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Four Out of Five Tech Executives Are Planning for the Return to the Office

Survey of Georgia technology leaders finds only 31% of executives plan to implement COVID-19 testing for employees, but most will require masks.

ATLANTA – Jul. 29, 2020 – At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 86% of Georgia technology executives said their employees left the office fully or partially to work from home, according to a recent report released by Arketi Group in conjunction with FinTech Atlanta, the Technology Association of Georgia and Technology Executives Roundtable. The Tech Executive Reopen Ready Report finds 81% percent of those who switched to a work-from-home model are now planning for their employees’ future return to the office.

“Innovative technology organizations thrive on collaboration – and that has been sorely tested by the rapid move to working from home as a result of the pandemic,” said Rob Pinataro, chair of the Technology Executive Roundtable and CEO of Payspan. “We wanted to understand how the executives leading these companies are thinking about the return to the workplace.”

The number one expert they are turning to for guidance on their return-to-work strategy is the Centers for Disease Control (80%), with 67% also pointing to state and local/regional experts and 55% the federal government. The overwhelming majority (96%) say their plan will or will likely prohibit employees showing signs of illness from returning to the office, and almost three-quarters (74%) will or will likely prohibit employees with a compromised health condition from returning. Interestingly, however, only 11% say they will definitely require any form of COVID-19 testing, and only 20% will likely require testing.

Masks and social distancing will be prevalent, with more than half (54%) saying they will or will likely require employees to wear masks in the office, and 79% are leaning toward social distancing mandates.

“The steps and practices technology companies are considering implementing for workplace return appear to be in line with the sources of guidance they are seeking,” points out Scott Grimes, chair of FinTech Atlanta and executive chair and co-founder of Cardlytics. “Bucking the ‘go-it-alone’ model frequently embraced by technology companies, it’s apparent this group of business leaders is actively seeking to align their actions with current healthcare guidance.”

Executives also see value in workspace changes, smaller meetings and providing disinfectant and PPE materials. Fifty percent will limit the number of people allowed in conference rooms. Sixty-five percent will or will likely reconfigure gathering and lobby areas for social distancing. A whopping 98% will or will likely provide sanitizer, wipes and PPE as appropriate.

The survey also found:

  • Of those with a return plan in the works, 60% said they had surveyed their workforce to gauge how comfortable they would be returning to the office. The majority (53%) said their employees were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with the idea.
  • Five percent of executives whose companies switched to a work-from-home model said their employees will only begin returning to the office once a vaccine is broadly distributed. Eight percent said they will continue work-from-home indefinitely.
  • A plurality of respondents, 47%, said they feel comfortable coming into the office for a limiting number of days each week, however 15% say they do not feel comfortable coming back to the office anytime soon.

“We know company leaders have many questions about bringing their workforce safely back to the office during the pandemic,” said Larry Williams president and CEO to Technology Association of Georgia. “We hope the insights provided by this research gives them a better picture of what their peers are planning and thus can help inform their own return plans.”

For the Tech Executive Reopen Ready Report, Arketi Group polled 242 members of FinTech Atlanta, Technology Association of Georgia and Technology Executive Roundtable between May and June 2020. Seventy-seven percent of respondents were C-suite members. To download the complete research findings, visit www.arketi.com/reopenready where additional reopening readiness tools and information can be found.

About FinTech Atlanta
FinTech Atlanta is a coalition of more than 100 organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, startups, universities, and industry associations, all working to cement Atlanta as the recognized global capital of financial technology. The group strives to fund and energize efforts to recruit, retain and expand businesses and jobs across the FinTech ecosystem in metro Atlanta. To learn how metro Atlanta and Georgia’s FinTech ecosystem is driving more than $30 billion in annual revenues visit www.fintechatlanta.org.

About Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 30,000 members through regional chapters in Metro Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon/Middle Georgia, and Savannah. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. The association provides networking and educational programs; celebrates Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology. TAG hosts more than 200 events each year and serves as an umbrella organization for 34 professional societies. For more information visit the TAG website at www.tagonline.org.

About Technology Executives Roundtable (TER)
Technology Executives Roundtable (TER) is an association for Georgia technology executives that provides CEOs, CFOs and general managers with the ability to maximize the value of companies through the exchange of top ideas, candid talk and a forum to share what is working, what is not and best practices to unlock business value. Monthly meetings feature speakers and panels of local and national experts covering topics such as strategic alliances, crisis management, non-conventional financing, M&A, intellectual property protection and other issues of interest to senior executives on company growth. For more information, visit www.ter-atlanta.com.

About Arketi Group
Arketi Group is a public relations and digital marketing firm that helps business-to-business technology organizations accelerate growth through intelligent strategy, public relations, messaging, branding and demand generation. Consistently recognized by Chief Marketer magazine as one of the nation’s “B2B Top Shops” and a “Chief Marketer 200” firm, Arketi helps its clients use marketing to generate revenue. Companies benefiting from this approach to B2B marketing include BioIQ, Cox, CHEP, Featurespace, FLEETCOR, Fiserv, NCR, OnPay and PRGX. For more information, call 404-451-7832 or visit www.arketi.com.