Only 20% of chief executives at FTSE350 firms polled recently knew how many people worked at their head office or how much their HQs cost to run.
The Future of the Corporate Centre study, conducted by Maxxim Consulting, found almost half of head office employees worked solely on compliance activities.
Organisations are losing their direction because managers are too focused on compliance, the survey found.
“Companies have become bogged down in compliance activities, to the detriment of the overall company,” said Sozen Leimon, partner at Maxxim Consulting. “Head office has lost sight of its true purpose, which is to provide strategic direction for the business units it was designed to unite.”
Compliance activities were defined as the work required to meet corporate legal and regulatory liabilities, and included internal audits, employee health and safety, and tax and treasury matters.