MOST global chief executives across 44 industries have a positive outlook for next year despite concerns such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to global leadership community YPO.

YPO said in a statement on Tuesday that a Global Pulse survey was conducted from Nov. 18 to Dec. 5 involving 1,700 chief executives across 101 countries, which showed that 81% of the respondents believe there will be a favorable business outlook in 2022, but this will come with high uncertainty and volatility.

The survey indicated that 37% of executives recorded a 20% increase in revenue or more since the start of 2021, while 17% of respondents said they experienced a decline of 10% or more since the beginning of the year.

YPO said hiring improved, with 38% of the respondents experiencing a 10% increase or higher in the number of employees since the start of 2021, while 45% of companies said that their total employee count is “about the same” as it was in early 2021, and 16% said they experienced a decrease.

The survey also showed that 71% of chief executives were “either very or somewhat” concerned about the impact of inflation on their businesses for 2022. Some 51% of respondents also plan to raise prices to alleviate the effects of inflation.

“74% of the respondents in the Food and Beverage industry, 73% in Manufacturing, and 62% in Retail and Wholesale Sales planning to raise prices in response to inflation,” YPO said.

Among respondents, leaders from the United States were more concerned about inflation compared to their counterparts all over the world.

YPO also reported that only 2% of respondents believed that supply chain problems will be resolved in early 2022. Some 39% said the issue will be addressed by the end of next year, while 38% expect it to happen in 2023 or later. 

The survey also disclosed that 67% of respondents find that it is somewhat or very difficult for the businesses to find employees for the general work force at present and 57% of respondents had the same levels of difficulty when it comes to C-Suite and executive hires.

“Despite clear concerns over productivity, many are moving forward with flexible and remote work schedules. Even though only 1% of executives surveyed believe employees are more productive at home than in the office, 74% of business leaders shared that some form of flexible work arrangements will become more permanent,” YPO said.

“With pandemic pressures taking their toll on teams, some businesses are taking steps to improve mental health benefits, with 35% reporting some type of mental health investment or strategy for employees and 16% saying they don’t have one now but plan to add one,” it added.

Meanwhile, YPO said 28% of respondents have invested in cryptocurrencies, with 13% planning to invest in the future, and 60% saying that they do not have plans to invest.

The survey added that the top regions where respondents do not plan to invest in cryptocurrency include South Asia, Western US, and Mid-America US.

In contrast, regions where members are investing in cryptocurrency include Northeastern US, Africa, and Southeast US and Caribbean.

“Heading into 2022, YPO member chief executives shared all business leaders should keep their eyes focused on these key management issues (such as) improving employee engagement and work culture/retention, exploring alternative cash streams and protecting existing cash flows, preparing for the impact of inflation, planning for any future supply chain issues, and understanding evolving customer needs,” YPO said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave