As we begin to see reasons for hope concerning the longer-term trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic, boardrooms are also having to grapple with a multitude of business risks that they must navigate, often rapidly changing and of great complexity.
Here are some of the greatest of those risks – but also opportunities – that boards and management are required to be mindful of in mid-2021.
Continuity of trading
Crisis management, dealing with often unpredictable disruption, and business continuity have always been essential elements of risk management. However, the severity of the challenge that these factors pose has increased dramatically over the past 18 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, quickly becoming the main subject of discussion in boardrooms.
The pandemic has caused many ups and downs, with multiple country-wide lockdowns, ever-changing government restrictions, and considerable uncertainty. This has led to many businesses suffering sometimes extreme downturns, including – in some cases – having to close their doors for trading for good.
Even for those firms that have emerged in some degree of health from the pandemic so far, the return to the office has often been a testing process. Risk assessments need to be regularly undertaken, rules complied with, and the workplace made safe for employees at all times.
Maintaining employee wellbeing should be one of the top considerations for any boardroom, becoming increasingly important due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Multiple country-wide lockdowns have helped bring mental health discussions to the forefront, as large numbers of employees have had to deal with at least some degree of insecurity, uncertainty, and isolation.
With employees and fairness in the workplace having become key areas of focus for investors and in the regulations, it is clear that helping to ensure a high degree of employee wellbeing could be integral to also delivering strong productivity, output and results in the months ahead.
Since the onset of the pandemic, companies that have embraced remote working and focussed on employee wellbeing have often produced surprisingly positive results. However, it is fair to say that this remote working strategy was the direct result of a global crisis – a necessity – and therefore questions remain as to whether remote working after the worst of the crisis has passed could deliver different outcomes.
Therefore, businesses must choose an office model and operating strategy that aligns with the company’s longer-term objectives to produce the best results. Office-based models might be better for brands that strongly believe in an in-person office culture, whereas remote models may be preferable for firms that prioritise flexibility and independent working.
It might be that you desire the best of both worlds for your business, in which case, you may be drawn to a hybrid office model. This allows employees to work from home, the office, or a mix of the two depending on their personal circumstances and job role.
A hybrid model could enable businesses to take advantage of the monetary savings associated with remote working, plus the flexibility for employees to choose their preferred working style, while also allowing for processes and innovations that work most effectively in person. In light of this, a re-configuration of the layout of the office might be required, offering more collaborative areas as opposed to individual desks.
Continue to adapt with the help of London Registrars
Your business doesn’t need to struggle alone to overcome the challenges mentioned above that have arisen from the pandemic.
London Registrars can help your business to continue satisfying its legal, governance and compliance obligations through what remains of the COVID-19 crisis, encompassing such key services and solutions as the preparation and submission of the annual Confirmation Statement, minute book maintenance, and register of shareholders maintenance.
For more information about how we can advise and assist businesses like yours, please don’t hesitate to enquire to the London Registrars team today.