In this article Peter Kinselley encourages us to look at our recovery plans in the midst of a global pandemic and following recession.

We are still in the grips of lockdown, facing a recession and Brexit is rapidly heading our way. Most office workers are unlikely to return to work until later in the year and for many, temporary home working will continue into 2021.

So why are we encouraging you to look at recovery when we face an uncertain future?

Why Should We Focus on Organisational Resilience?

Recent events in Scotland and the North of England have reinforced that the risk of contracting COVID-19 has not gone. The high street has been decimated and this is evident in the number of empty units occurring daily.

With Government support ending for employees in October, we should all be considering the long-term future of our businesses and planning on how we will ride out what is going to be a bumpy future.

Lockdown has presented business with several lessons and this can be broken down into the following:

  • Planning
  • Productivity
  • Teamwork
  • Health
  • Environment

Planning

The current lockdown meant that Business Continuity Plans (BCP)  were exercised and for many, for the first time. For many it was a shock at how ineffective the plans were.

We encourage businesses to take the time to revisit their plans and look to how they will manage future spikes in the virus, the business response to a potential recession and develop a new and improved plan to support a sustainable business.

Productivity

Most organisations have seen an increase in productivity during lockdown. While there has been much reporting around this, it’s important that organisations look at why this is and learn from the findings.

Productivity has been linked to an increase in staff wellbeing, however, lockdown has also highlighted issues such as mental health, domestic abuse and disruption in sleep and exercise patterns, which should be considered when looking at any future business planning.

Teamwork

A major concern of lockdown was how were individuals and teams going to respond with a lack of physical contact.  The use of video conferencing tools has helped with this challenge and appears to support increased productivity. The main issues facing teams today is the anxiety of returning to work and the use of public transport and the risk this brings.

Health

The COVID-19 outbreak has shown that our health as a key issue. Research has identified those who are at risk and they include those health conditions that can be prevented though exercise and diet and highlighted the importance of personal hygiene.

The NHS Live Well program identifies 9 areas to manage your health. These learnings should be used by organisations to review the effectiveness of their current wellbeing programmes to make sure they are individually-tailored while reducing the risk of absence.

Environment

Volumes of road traffic are noticeably starting to build, and we look like we are returning to the bad habit of using our cars for all journeys.

We must use the learnings from the lockdown period to help our planet and local environment.  The challenge to businesses are:

  • Do we need to return to the office?
  • Do we need to meet in person?
  • And, do we need to drive to our next meeting?

The alternatives offer a healthier lifestyle, but we need to educate and give ourselves and our teams permission to pursue a new way of working.

In the wise words spoken by Michael Dell:

“Recognise that there will be failures, and acknowledge that there will be obstacles. But you will learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, for there is very little learning in success”.

Businesses can use the learnings from the current challenges to prepare for the future and by doing this we can be hopeful of a happy and healthy future, which is good for our families and the environment.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, then it must be to look after the environment. In the past 250 years, there have been 10 pandemics, with 4 occurring in the past 20 years (SARS in 2002/3, Swine Flu in 2009, MERS in 2012 and COVID-19 in 2019/20).

The question we have to ask ourselves is why?

There are a number of contributory factors:

  • The use of antibiotics, not only in medical use but also agricultural use. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, but bacteria (and other ‘germs’) are very clever and are able to adapt to their environment. The best example is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), where the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus has become resistant to antibiotics
  • Global travel, this is one of the reasons why COVID-19 has spread to 188 (out of 195 recognised) countries
  • Changes in the ecosystem from human destruction of the rainforests, forcing animals to adapt and live closer to humans

From a pandemic perspective, the most dangerous place to live is where humans and lots of animals (namely birds and pigs) live together in close confines.

Sadly, this is not unique to our times, since the agricultural revolution some 10,000 years ago, where humans started to settle down and become farmers, humans and animals have lived in close proximity, viral epidemics have been the bane of people’s lives and with global travel compound’s the problem.

Speak with one of our consultants to discuss how we can support your business continuity planning by calling 020 7469 0200, or email [email protected].

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