Around 13% of companies have not availed of any of the Government’s Covid-19 financial support measures to date, according to a survey from PwC.
Some 50% of companies surveyed said they see State intervention being a temporary feature.
However, as much as 60% of Irish CEOs feel that global economic growth will decline over the next 12 months. They also continue to believe that the economic recovery will take more than a year.
Nearly a quarter of companies said they see the digitisation of their business as their main priority, while close to 100% said the Covid crisis will make them more employee-centric than ever, with people-protection programmes such as wellbeing initiatives planned.
The PwC survey also found that there is less of an appetite among CEOs in Ireland, compared to international leaders, to create low-density workplaces — only half of respondents said it would endure, compared to 61% in the rest of the world.
Nearly half of companies said that protecting employee health and safety will have the greatest positive impact on their organisation’s long-term reputation, in this post-Covid era.
“Business leaders now need to rethink how they operate in the future. They need to rethink everything,” said PwC Ireland managing partner Feargal O’Rourke.
“What’s critical now is that they use the important knowledge they’ve gained about their organisations effectively to balance short-term recovery, with long-term rethinking of their strategy.
And, with a no-deal Brexit looking increasingly likely, businesses also need to continue to plan for all Brexit eventualities,” he said.
A separate survey shows that Irish businesses — particularly those in the financial services sector — remain bullish about their prospects for next year.
As much as 64% of financial services firms expect to recruit more staff during 2021, with just over half saying they are not planning any pay or benefit cuts, according to the study by the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland (ACOI).
“The results are encouraging, particularly in light of the economic outlook for Ireland in 2021, and given what businesses have already been through over the last four or five months,” said ACOI chief executive Michael Kavanagh.
“The financial services sector has emerged as one of the areas of industry least affected by Covid-19. While niche areas such as aviation and travel insurance have been significantly impacted, overall the sector has remained relatively stable throughout the pandemic,” he said.
ACOI said less than a quarter of financial services firms have had to cut pay or benefits so far since the start of the Covid crisis, with most of these cuts believed to have been to benefits or bonuses rather than core salaries.