The ongoing pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the way businesses approach both crisis and risk management.
With many workers having no alternative but to return to the office, why is it more about than just adapting the office?
The Age of Adaptability
“The crisis has caused teams to speed up their pace of change, for example, using remote communication tools, but there should also be a focus on restructuring properties, and crucially, reallocation of business and resource.”
Nick Holden, NexusProtect
“The risks present in each work environment naturally vary,” Nick states.
“For manufacturers, for example, the main concerns may be transitioning operatives back into the business safely. For offices, managers may have the argument that much more work can be done remotely.”
Changing the Risk Management Approach
“Businesses have to devise a ‘back to work plan’ under government guidance,” says Holden. “But this plan should also look at sustainability, both physically and financially.
“We need to consider things like staff rotas, cleaning routines, funding PPE, and a more sustainable supply chain.”
“More importantly,” Nick adds, “businesses need to have incident management plans.”
From a pandemic perspective, this may mean planning for local lockdowns, but from a broader perspective, it’s something all businesses should put into practice.
“In our experience working with the Olympics, we found that risk management and business continuity was more of a corporate tick box exercise and there were outdated policies in place that were never tested. This behaviour cannot be repeated throughout this pandemic”
Nick Holden, NexusProtect
“Risk management and business continuity need to become more of a front-line function, as important as health and safety,” warns Nick.
“We need to test these policies and bring them up to date. We’ve seen first-hand the effects of businesses failing to plan for every eventuality.”
An Holistic Approach to Returning Safely
As part of NexusProtect’s internal company reviews, teams are encouraged to work together rather than in silos to mitigate risk.
“Departments all need to interact, for example, HR, procurement, finance and IT, to return to work safely and maintain continuity,” Nick advises.
“We should be following government guidelines on specifics for certain workplaces – for example, offices or warehouses. But we should also consider our processes and departments.”
“If your teams are now working remotely part-time, is your IT infrastructure secure enough to enable this? Has your IT team communicated with all departments to remain secure?”
Likewise, finance needs to be informed of any insurance policies or long-term costs around PPE and other office adaptations.
“Risk and resilience need to be top priority, but we also need to consider the long-term effects,” Nick concludes.
For an accompanying read, please visit Nick Holden’s knowledge post, published by MHA Moore and Smalley.