More and more businesses have evolved to adopt hybrid working models in recent years — a fact that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many companies, however, what started out as a necessity has begun to show its merit.
Logging on from home, the office, or elsewhere has become the norm, and this flexible future is here to stay for many of us. But the transition has unmasked a number of challenges for companies to tackle.
Pre-pandemic protocols no longer fit this new way of life, and organisations are re-evaluating their business continuity strategies to suit this new normal.
Throughout this blog, we explore five key reasons why business continuity should be an essential part of your hybrid model.
1. To minimise downtime
Unplanned downtime is one of the greatest fears for any business. From weather incidents to cyberattacks; during an unexpected event, the priority is to get everybody to safety, and to protect your critical business operations.
Every second counts when it comes to getting back up and running, otherwise, your organisation's revenue and reputation can take a serious hit. Resilience must therefore cover all locations. If your employees are already able to work from home and can do so at the drop of a hat, your organisation’s downtime and impact on your business will be minimal if an incident was to arise.
2. Protect what’s important
Outside the office walls, unsecured networks can put company data at risk. With a work from anywhere policy in place, a major concern for businesses is whether connections and private information are secure.
Establishing a resilient IT infrastructure is therefore essential. Getting to grips with how your data is accessed, managed and stored is vital to mitigate any risk and reduce the likelihood of a cyberattack taking place.
Cloud solutions are now the go-to when operating a hybrid work model. Implementing a cloud structure means if a disaster was to strike in one place, you can access the system from elsewhere without delay. It is a good idea to choose a cloud provider that houses your data across multiple centres. This means if one centre was to go down, your operations should remain unaffected.
3. Communicate with confidence
Good communication is the keystone to business continuity. Think of communication as the glue that will prevent your business from crumbling under pressure. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to introduce a centralised remote communications system that will enable seamless collaboration when working remotely.
If you wait until a crisis arises before you act, your employees will be left adrift, unsure of how to help or who is responsible for which task. A well-established crisis communication plan is also essential for an effective response, as it will alleviate any misunderstanding during crucial moments. Communicate the plan as soon as it is established and keep reminding them periodically.
It’s also a good idea to extend this communication beyond your employees. Ensure that you consider how each situation could impact key stakeholders and review your plan regularly to make sure it remains relevant.
4. Ensure a full seamless recovery
Your initial response will determine how quickly you can get back on track. No matter where your employees are located, your business continuity plan should be designed to resume your operations as quickly as possible.
By regularly testing business continuity plans, you can ensure that your organisation is prepared for a swift recovery when disaster strikes. These tests should cover a range of scenarios to allow your business recovery plan to be optimised for whatever situation may occur.
5. Create a more agile workforce
A hybrid work culture is one that emphasises a skilful workforce. Ensure a blend of both digital hard skills and soft skills — such as problem solving, knowledge, and networking — agility will play a huge role in the culture of a hybrid business.
With the dualism of working in the office and from home, businesses need to ensure they can be prepared for the unexpected and guarantee resilience in business continuity, wherever their employees may be.
Organisations are, therefore, urged to strategically implement proactive measures to ensure efficiency. Through ongoing automation and digitisation, you can equip your employees with the tools they need to work independently in evolving situations, and react appropriately to emergency situations.
Expect the unexpected
Whether your workforce are in the office or working from home, business continuity is crucial to ensuring your business is ready to react to any situation.
See how CMAC's business continuity solutions can bolster your preparedness and ensure you can bounce back from any situation. Our latest innovation, HomeSafe, provides you with a fast, effective crisis management tool that enables you to safely evacuate and invoke multiple work to home plans in minutes.
To learn more about how you can safeguard your staff and your business, discover CMAC’s full range of ground transportation services, whatever your industry.