ATLANTA – The tide is turning positive for large-scale reopenings among electronics components suppliers over the rest of the year. That’s according to the ECIA’s latest member survey, conducted June 16 to 22, which noted measured optimism in the transition between the end of the second quarter and the end of the fourth.

Per the survey, 56% of companies expect half or or fewer employees will have returned to the pre-pandemic work locations by the end of the second quarter. At the end of the fourth quarter, 95% of respondents expect 75% or more of their employees will have returned to their company facilities. However, in the long-term, a notable share of companies expects between 75% and 90% of their employees will return to their previous work locations.

While the limitations on remote working are obvious for employees engaged in the operations functions, even in the near-term risk environment, a significant amount of time by other company functions will be spent in remote work environments, says ECIA. While this will shift in the long-term, companies will continue to evaluate remote working solutions as a part of their company workforce strategy.

In a somewhat surprising result, 96% of survey respondents expect their employees to resume domestic travel by Oct. 1, and 30% are expected to begin domestic travel in the coming month. The picture for international travel is one of much greater caution. Long-term solutions for managing international relationships will need to be developed and maintained as personal engagements will take longer to return.

“As the world works to find the new normal, companies will be redefining parameters around issues such as necessary versus unnecessary travel and business meetings,” said Dale Ford, ECIA’s chief analyst and author of the report. “These findings will be essential reading as the industry reaches a consensus about reopening policies.”

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