by John Knight

Every public sector organisation or large business has policies and procedures in place to help ensure business continuity in the face of an emergency. But as we all get used to the new ways of working that have emerged in the wake of the pandemic, organisations need to ask themselves if their business continuity and emergency planning policies are up to date and fit for purpose today, for every contingency.

Much has changed since March 2020, and while businesses could perhaps have been forgiven for not having the right policies in place then to allow for hybrid or home working, now, two years later and in a very different working landscape, it is imperative that these are all fit for purpose. The health and wellbeing of the business and the people that work within it, rely on the policies being right and adaptable enough to meet today’s very different working practices.

What’s changed since Covid-19?

One of the biggest workplace changes since the start of the pandemic is where the workplace actually is located. With a large percentage of the working population working from home, or more often hybrid working, developing an out of hours approach to meet business continuity and emergency planning requirements is essential. Every organisation is different, and the company’s policies reflect that, but some of the more common questions you need to think about might include:

What happens if there is a fire?

Do you know who is in the building that day? If they are not in the building, do you know where they are? Is there a clear and simple way for staff to share their whereabouts both from a management and safeguarding point of view? Does your team know what happens next if there is a fire in the workplace? It is worth reviewing your policies and ensuring that people know what is expected of them.

What happens if there is a cyber-attack?

Some of the biggest threats to business continuity these days are actually digital. With more and more sophisticated hacks, bugs and viruses, your IT team has its work cut out. This has been made harder by people working remotely and this needs to be addressed within your policies. Nothing is 100% secure, but there is a lot that can be done to help.

What happens if there is flooding?

Flooding can also create untold damage and is a natural disaster that is difficult to plan for. However, plan you must, to ensure that if the worse happens you and your team know what to do.

What happens if there is a pandemic?

Prior to 2020, many organisations would not have had a policy in place to deal with a global pandemic. The last two years have shown the level of impact a pandemic can have, and most companies now have a policy in place in the event of another one. What Covid-19 has showed us though, is that in general, we are adaptable when we have to be, and can successfully deal with change. However, having the right policies in place provides reassurance to your team and a clear pathway to follow, when everything else is out of kilter.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you with your contingency planning. We can help you develop and test your policies and procedures to futureproof your business and assist you to achieve business continuity whatever changes the future may bring to your working practices.