What happens to your business when unplanned disruptions keep you or your employees from coming to work? And what if your physical offices or equipment are destroyed? The recent deluge of rainy weather and the Covid-19 outbreak have shown the impact of disruption on businesses who are unprepared. Business continuity is best planned in advance – but now is better than never, if you’re concerned about how a possible incident could affect your business.
Plan for Business Continuity
A Business Continuity Plan (“BCP”) is about identifying those parts of your company that you cannot afford to lose such as information, stock, premises, staff and planning how to maintain these, if an incident occurs.
Any incident, large or small, whether it is natural, accidental or deliberate, can cause major disruption to your company. But if you plan now, rather than waiting for it to happen, you will be able to get back to business in the quickest possible time – or even have no downtime in some cases. Delays could mean you lose valuable business to your competitors, or that your customers lose confidence in you.
You really need to start thinking about a BCP to manage the risks faced by your company, whether from internal system failures or external emergencies such as extreme weather, flooding, terrorism, or infectious diseases. We can help you produce and implement a BCP. For advice and assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on 01432 278 179.
Working from Home Offers Flexibility
Could your employees work from home if the worst case scenario did occur? Whilst we appreciate not all of your employees will be able to work at home, some of your employees will be able too. Do you have a home working policy? Have you undertaken a risk assessment? Unfortunately, you need to start thinking about this and putting policies and procedures in place in case the worst case scenario does occur.
There are a number of circumstances in which the ability to work from home on an occasional or temporary basis may be of benefit to you and your employees, for example:
- If a child, elderly relative or dependant becomes unwell, or arrangements for their care breaks down at short notice;
- When travelling to the office is difficult (e.g. weather);
- Maybe public transport has been disrupted (e.g. act of terrorism, weather);
A quiet, uninterrupted work environment will assist in dealing with a backlog of administrative tasks or in writing reports to a deadline.
We can provide you with a template home working policy.
Do any of your employees work on their own? How do you keep in touch with them? Do you know what is happening to them when they are working alone?
The law requires you to think about and deal with any health and safety risks before an employee is allowed to work alone. Things you should consider to help ensure lone workers are not placed at risk include:
- Assessing areas of risk including violence, manual handling, the medical suitability of the individual to work alone and whether the workplace itself presents a risk to them;
- Requirements for training, levels of experience and how best to monitor and supervise them;
- Making sure you know what is happening, including having systems in place to keep in touch with them;
- Emergency procedures are in place so that members of staff working alone can obtain assistance if required;
- Making arrangements so that someone else is aware of a lone worker’s whereabouts at all times.
You might not plan a rota that includes lone working, but having a plan in place means that if something happens that prevents other staff from coming to work (such as sickness, weather, etc) your team and your business is prepared. The key is to prepare your business before this happens – as otherwise, your business could be disrupted because your staff, procedures, and policies don’t account for lone working.
Business continuity is better for you, your employees, and your clients or customers. It makes a disaster less of a disaster and can help you identify ways to keep your business strong in the face of an incident.
For advice and assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on 01432 278 179.