EXECUTIVES around the world are more upbeat about the prospects for business than they were a year ago, according to the latest Economist/FT survey of around 1,500 senior managers, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (updated August 21st 2014). The balance of respondents who think that global business conditions will soon improve has increased from two percentage points to 18, though this is down from the beginning of 2014. There is some cause for concern. Over 55% of those surveyed who work in the energy industry think that the turmoil in Iraq will lead to higher oil prices in the next 12 months. Almost two-thirds reckon the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.
The Economist/FT global business barometer is a survey conducted four times a year by the Economist Intelligence Unit in order to gauge trends in business confidence. Based on the responses of more than 1,500 senior executives, it measures overall confidence by looking at the balance of those who think global business conditions will improve over the next six months against those who expect them to worsen. Our interactive barometer allows you to track business sentiment over time. You can look at the results by region or industry. The “in focus” section highlights responses to topical supplementary questions each quarter. Note: Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding.
To executives expecting to save on office space when some employees continue working remotely post-pandemic: Not so fast.
What comes next with regard to the new office will be a global experiment like we’ve never seen. The successes will come from organizations with leaders who are thoughtful and deliberate.
When it comes to flexibility, executives are often worried that they’ll open Pandora’s box and set a dangerous precedent if they allow some employees to work flexibly. They worry that if they let a few employees work from home, then the office will always be empty and no one will be working.