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Business Continuity

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5 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Risk Mitigation and Response Strategy
Project Management 10 min read

5 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Risk Mitigation and Response Strategy

Risk mitigation is when you identify potential threats to your projects and develop a plan to address them. Here are five steps for mitigating risks.

5 Tips to Help You Power Through a Recession
Leadership 5 min read

5 Tips to Help You Power Through a Recession

Whether we are in a recession or not, anxiety can be crippling. Here are five ways to deal with ongoing uncertainty in the workplace.

Developing a Robust Business Continuity Plan: Essential Steps for Marketers
Project Management 10 min read

Developing a Robust Business Continuity Plan: Essential Steps for Marketers

It is essential for marketers to have a robust business continuity plan in place so that a company can continue its operations smoothly in the face of unexpected events or disruptions. By understanding the importance of a business continuity plan and its key elements, marketers can take the necessary steps to develop and maintain an effective plan that will safeguard their business. Understanding the Importance of a Business Continuity Plan A business continuity plan is a proactive strategy that outlines the steps and actions a company will take to continue its core functions in the event of a disruption. It provides guidelines and procedures to mitigate risks, manage crises, and ensure business resilience. Marketers have a unique role in the overall functioning of a company, because they are responsible for promoting products or services, building brand awareness, and driving sales. A disruption in marketing activities can have significant implications for the company's reputation and revenue. Therefore, marketers need to be prepared with a solid business continuity plan to minimize any potential impacts on their marketing efforts. Key Elements of a Robust Business Continuity Plan A robust business continuity plan consists of several key elements that work together to ensure the company's continued operation. These elements include: Risk Assessment and Management Before developing a business continuity plan, marketers need to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities that could disrupt their marketing activities. This includes assessing both internal and external factors that may pose a threat, such as natural disasters, cyber attacks, or supply chain disruptions. Once the risks are identified, strategies can be put in place to manage and mitigate these risks. This may involve implementing security measures, creating backup systems, or establishing alternative communication channels. In the case of a natural disaster, marketers may need to consider the potential impact of flooding on their physical marketing assets, such as retail stores or warehouses. They may develop a risk management strategy that includes relocating these assets to higher ground or investing in flood-resistant infrastructure. For cyber attacks, marketers may conduct regular vulnerability assessments and implement robust security measures, such as firewalls and encryption, to protect their digital marketing platforms and customer data. Business Impact Analysis A business impact analysis helps marketers understand the potential impacts of different disruptions on their marketing activities. By assessing the potential consequences, marketers can prioritize their response and allocate resources accordingly. During the business impact analysis, marketers should identify critical marketing functions and determine the potential loss of revenue or customer impact resulting from disruptions. This analysis provides valuable insights into where resources and efforts should be focused in the event of a disruption. For instance, if a supply chain disruption occurs, marketers may analyze the potential impact on product availability and customer satisfaction. They may identify alternative suppliers or develop contingency plans to guarantee uninterrupted delivery of goods or services to customers. In addition, marketers may conduct customer surveys or market research to understand the potential impact of disruptions on customer loyalty and brand reputation. This information can help them prioritize recovery efforts and allocate resources to minimize any negative consequences. Recovery Strategies and Procedures Recovery strategies outline the steps and procedures that marketers will follow to recover their marketing activities after a disruption. These strategies may include alternative marketing channels, backup plans for lost data, or contingency plans for promotional activities. For example, if a marketing campaign is disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances, marketers may have a recovery strategy in place that includes redirecting resources to alternative marketing channels, such as social media or email marketing. They may also have backup plans for lost data, such as regularly backing up customer databases and marketing analytics. As for contingency plans for promotional activities, this may involve having alternative promotional materials or messaging ready to go in case the original plans are disrupted. The objective is for marketers to quickly adapt and continue engaging with their target audience, ensuring minimal disruption to their marketing efforts. Steps to Develop a Business Continuity Plan Now that the importance of a business continuity plan and its key elements are understood, let's dive into the essential steps for marketers to develop a robust plan: Establishing the Planning Team The first step in developing a business continuity plan is to establish a dedicated planning team. This team should consist of key stakeholders from the marketing department, as well as representatives from other areas of the company. The planning team will be responsible for conducting risk assessments, performing business impact analyses, and creating recovery strategies.  During the process of establishing the planning team, it is important to identify individuals who possess a deep understanding of the company's marketing operations and have the ability to think strategically. These individuals should have a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks and challenges that the business may face, allowing them to contribute effectively to the development of the plan. Moreover, it is crucial to confirm that the planning team consists of individuals who possess strong communication and leadership skills. This will enable effective coordination and collaboration among team members, so that the plan is developed and executed smoothly. Identifying Critical Business Functions Next, marketers need to identify the critical marketing functions that need to be prioritized in the event of a disruption. These functions could include lead generation, brand management, advertising campaigns, or customer communications. By identifying these critical functions, marketers can focus their efforts on confirming that these activities can continue even in the face of a disruption. This may involve establishing backup systems, training additional staff, or developing contingency plans. During the process of identifying critical business functions, it is important to conduct a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of disruptions on each function. This analysis should take into account various scenarios, such as natural disasters, supply chain disruptions, or technological failures. Furthermore, marketers should consider the potential financial and reputational consequences of disruptions to these critical functions. By understanding the potential risks and impacts, marketers can develop strategies to mitigate these risks and uphold the continuity of their marketing activities. Developing Recovery Strategies Based on the risk assessments and business impact analyses, it is vital for marketers to develop recovery strategies that align with the specific needs of their marketing activities. For example, if a disruption affects a company's ability to use its primary marketing channels, marketers should have alternative channels in place to maintain communication with customers. This may include utilizing social media platforms, email marketing, or influencer collaborations. During the process of developing recovery strategies, marketers should consider the potential costs and feasibility of implementing these strategies. They should assess the resources required, such as financial investments, technological infrastructure, or human resources. Moreover, marketers should also take into account the potential impact of these recovery strategies on other aspects of the business. For example, implementing certain strategies may require reallocating resources from other areas of the company, which could have implications on overall business operations. Creating and Implementing the Plan Once the recovery strategies are developed, marketers need to create a comprehensive business continuity plan that outlines all the necessary procedures and steps to be followed in the event of a disruption. This plan should be clearly communicated to all relevant stakeholders within the marketing department and regularly reviewed and updated as needed. Implementation of the plan should be practiced through drills or simulations to verify all team members are familiar with their roles and responsibilities. During the process of creating and implementing the plan, it is important to establish clear lines of communication and escalation protocols. This will ensure that in the event of a disruption, all team members are aware of the appropriate channels to report incidents and receive guidance. Also, the plan should include mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the business continuity strategies. This will allow marketers to continuously improve and refine their approach to ensure maximum resilience in the face of disruptions. Testing and Maintaining Your Business Continuity Plan Developing a business continuity plan is only half the battle; testing and maintaining the plan is equally important to ensure its effectiveness. This involves regular testing of the plan and updating it as business needs change. Regular Testing of the Plan Marketers should conduct regular tests and simulations to assess the effectiveness of their business continuity plan. These tests can help identify any gaps or weaknesses in the plan and allow for adjustments to be made accordingly. During testing, marketers can evaluate the response time, communication effectiveness, and overall functionality of the plan. This provides an opportunity to fine-tune the plan and ensure it remains robust and up-to-date. Updating the Plan as Business Needs Change As a company evolves and business needs change, it is essential for marketers to review and update their business continuity plan to reflect these changes. This includes revisiting the risk assessments, business impact analysis, and recovery strategies to ensure they align with the current marketing landscape. Regular reviews and updates of the plan help marketers stay proactive and prepared for any potential disruptions that may arise in the future. Overall, developing a robust business continuity plan is an essential step for marketers to safeguard their marketing activities and ensure business resilience. By understanding the importance of a business continuity plan and following the key elements outlined in this article, marketers can take the necessary steps to develop an effective plan that mitigates risks and ensures the continuity of their marketing efforts even in challenging circumstances. Develop a robust business continuity plan with Wrike's strategic planning tools. Start your free trial and ensure your marketing efforts remain unhindered, no matter what comes your way. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

How To Create a Business Continuity Plan Template
Leadership 10 min read

How To Create a Business Continuity Plan Template

Modern businesses face countless risks and challenges, and it is critical to have a business continuity plan (BCP) in place. A BCP helps an organization prepare for disasters, respond to disruptions, and recover in an efficient manner. In this article, we will walk you through a step-by-step guide on crafting the perfect business continuity plan template. Grab your notebook, and let’s dive in! Try Wrike for free Understanding the importance of a business continuity plan template A business continuity plan (BCP) is a preventive and proactive plan that helps an organization manage its operations during emergencies and disasters. It involves identifying and assessing potential threats and hazards that may disrupt a business’s operations. The purpose of a BCP is to minimize the impact of unexpected incidents. The goal is to ensure the company can maintain its essential operations with little interruption. Defining business continuity Business continuity refers to a business’s ability to continue its critical functions during a disruption, whether natural or human-made. This type of plan is a holistic approach that encompasses people, processes, and technology. Identifying potential risks and disruptions The initial stage in BCP development is assessing risks to identify potential threats that could affect the business’s operations. Organizations can categorize risks into internal or external factors, such as cyber threats, natural disasters, power outages, or supply chain disruptions. Once the organization has identified the risks, it needs to evaluate them to determine their potential impact. It’s crucial to assess both the likelihood of these risks happening and the potential consequences of not having a BCP. If a company heavily depends on its computers, a cyberattack or computer failure could be expensive and damage its reputation. A BCP can help mitigate these risks and ensure that the company can continue to operate with minimal disruption. The benefits of having a business continuity plan A BCP helps a company by reducing downtime, cutting financial losses, keeping employees safe, and protecting the brand’s reputation. It enables the organization to respond quickly and effectively to a disruption, resulting in minimal business interruption. Having a BCP in place can also increase customer trust and confidence in the companies ability to handle crises. Another advantage of having a BCP is that it helps spot areas for improvement in how the organization works. These changes allow for making processes more efficient, saving money, and becoming more resilient for the business as a whole. Try Wrike for free Lastly, BCPs hold organizations accountable, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Failure to comply with certain regulations can result in fines and reputation damage, along with endangering employees and customers. Key components of a business continuity plan template A BCP template has the following key parts: analyzing business impact, recovery plans, incident responses, crisis communication, and training. A BCP template is an essential tool for ensuring business continuity. In addition to the key parts mentioned, it should also include clear roles and responsibilities for employees during a crisis. These roles can help streamline decision making and ensure a swift response to any disruptions. Furthermore, the template should incorporate regular testing and revision of the plan to adapt to evolving threats and changing business needs. Good business continuity planning is an ongoing process that protects your organization and makes it stronger when facing challenges.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these components: Business impact analysis A business impact analysis (BIA) consists of two main parts. The first part involves identifying important functions within the organization. The second part involves determining how a disruption could impact the business’s finances, reputation, and compliance. Keep doing this analysis regularly to make sure it stays current and helpful for the business’s present operations. Recovery strategies Recovery strategies are what a company does to fix important things when something bad happens, using info from the BIA. These strategies include recovering data and systems, relocating staff, or seeking assistance from another company until things are back to normal. Remember to document the recovery strategies in detail and have them regularly reviewed and updated. Regularly test them to ensure they function well and you can use them quickly if there’s an issue. Communication and crisis management A communication and crisis management plan tells you how to talk to employees, suppliers, regulators, and customers when something goes wrong. The plan should ensure everyone understands the company’s response to the problem and its impact on the business. Training and awareness Make sure employees understand the BCP through education and regular training so they know what to do during disruptions. This preparation helps the organization respond effectively and minimize disruptions to its operations. Overall, your program should include training on the BIA, recovery strategies, incident response plan, and communication and crisis management plan.  Try Wrike for free Step-by-step guide to creating a business continuity plan template Business continuity planning is a critical process for any organization. Here is your step-by-step approach to creating a BCP template. Step 1: Assemble a business continuity team Assemble a business continuity team consisting of employees from various departments and functions, such as IT, operations, finance, and human resources. These staff members, who know the organization’s important tasks, will create and put the BCP template into action. Also, it is important that the team members have the necessary resources and support to carry out their responsibilities effectively. This may involve giving the team training, making sure they have the right tools and technology. Step 2: Conduct a risk assessment Next, conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify internal and external risks that may impact the organization’s operations. The assessment should consider a range of scenarios, including natural disasters, cyberattacks, and other potential disruptions. It should also take into account the potential impact of these risks on the organization’s critical functions.  Step 3: Identify critical business functions After assessing risks, determine which essential tasks must continue during a disruption. Critical functions are the top tasks the organization needs to prioritize, such as assisting customers, handling orders, and managing finances. Remember to involve key stakeholders in the identification of critical functions.  Step 4: Develop recovery strategies Next, develop recovery strategies that outline the procedures for restoring each function in the event of a critical disruption. Make sure you test and validate your strategies for effectiveness so you can implement them quickly and efficiently. This testing may involve conducting simulations or other exercises to identify any gaps or weaknesses in your recovery strategies. Step 5: Create an incident response plan Craft a plan that provides details on how the organization will respond to an incident. Ensure the procedures detail how to reach the crisis management team, evaluate the situation, and talk to stakeholders, employees, and customers. Make sure the plan explains how to use recovery strategies from Step 4 quickly and effectively when there’s a problem. Step 6: Establish a communication plan Develop a communication plan that outlines how to approach all stakeholders, employees, and customers regarding the disruption and the organization’s response. This plan needs a crisis management team, and their job is to organize how the organization deals with the problem. Establish this team in advance, and have their contact information readily available. Step 7: Train and educate employees Train and educate employees on the BCP and their responsibilities so that they know what to do during a disruption. Do practice runs often to make the plan work better. Everyone, including those not in the business continuity team, should take part. Step 8: Regularly review and update the plan Every year, go and update the BCP template to ensure accuracy. This will make sure it still works and fits any changes in the company’s operations, risks, and threats. It is also important to review the BCP following any significant changes to the organization’s operations or infrastructure. This may include changes to key personnel, IT systems, or the business’s physical location. Business continuity plan example In this business continuity plan example, we’ll explore the key components of a robust strategy to ensure an organization can weather unexpected disruptions. Let’s consider a manufacturing company. Its BCP might include strategies for relocating production to alternate facilities in case of a natural disaster or supply chain interruption. It may also detail communication protocols to keep employees, customers, and stakeholders informed during such events. Additionally, the plan could address data backup and recovery procedures to ensure critical information remains accessible. With a good business continuity plan, organizations can avoid long disruptions. They can keep a good reputation and hold on to trust from customers and partners, even in tough times. How Wrike can help with a business continuity plan template Wrike helps organizations create and maintain a good business continuity plan by being a flexible project management and collaboration platform. By leveraging Wrike, businesses can streamline their continuity planning efforts in several ways. Wrike helps team members communicate and work together easily, with real-time updates and task assignments — especially important during crises. Secondly, the platform supports comprehensive document management, making it easy to store and access critical documents, such as emergency response protocols and contact lists. Moreover, Wrike’s customizable workflow automation guarantees that it meets crucial tasks and deadlines without fail. This enhances the speed and efficiency of responding to disruptions, ensuring that the business can recover quickly and minimize downtime.  In summary, Wrike provides a robust framework for designing, implementing, and maintaining a business continuity plan, helping organizations safeguard their operations and respond effectively to unforeseen challenges. Conclusion A BCP is essential for any organization that wants to ensure business continuity during a disruption. You can create a BCP template by following the steps in this article. This template will assist your organization in managing risks and recovering from disruptions. Remember to review and update your plan regularly and educate your employees to ensure its effectiveness. Ensure your organization’s resilience by crafting an effective business continuity plan template with Wrike. Start your free trial today and safeguard your business from unforeseen risks and disruptions. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

How to Create a Strong Contingency Plan
Project Management 10 min read

How to Create a Strong Contingency Plan

Your contingency plan is the backup plan you’ll turn to when the unexpected happens with your project. Learn how to do contingency planning with Wrike.

What is Succession Planning & Why Does it Matter?
Leadership 7 min read

What is Succession Planning & Why Does it Matter?

Succession planning is essential to retain your top talent. Learn how to create an effective succession planning process to power up organizational success.

Your Customers Can Help You in Crisis
Leadership 5 min read

Your Customers Can Help You in Crisis

Today, no company can be immune to the current economic situation. So it is the time for many businesses to analyze their business model and risk profile. Economics experts join their voices stating that the best thing you can do to withstand the crisis is to improve your customer service and be attentive to customer needs.  Terry Leahy, the head of TESCO, a British-based international grocery and general merchandising retail chain, noted in one of his recent interviews that staying close to customers is the key to surviving the current, difficult economic conditions. “We learned some lessons, and the message is simple – stay with your customers. Listen to your customers.” For project managers, it’s important that you treat your customers as stakeholders.  John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods) and Kip Tindell (CEO of The Container Store), who drove their companies with a constant growth over good and bad times, explain their take on stakeholders in this very interesting interview. It’s a must-read for executives in the current economic conditions. Lots of companies now will have a closer look at the opportunities offered by Web 2.0 tools. Online communities, blogs and social networks are great sources of information about your customers, their opinions and their needs. Corporate blogging has become a popular trend. Books are written about it. Blogs have become effective in allowing customers to speak to each other. There are hundreds of superb examples on the Web. Take the Starbucks Gossip blog, for example. It’s a powerful communication channel for the largest coffeehouse company in the world. Each post on Starbucks Gossip gets up to 200 comments. This is an endless source of hands-on information and valuable ideas from Starbucks lovers. Blogging is just one example. It’s important to be open to your customers, so in this respect, all means of communication are good -- blogs, forums, e-mail, phone, you name it. This will help you to lend an attentive ear to your customers’ voices and perceive their unmet needs. Companies that are not afraid to be open to their customers reap the rewards of customers’ trust. Yet another advantage is that they can implement ideas coming from their customers’ community to make the product or service better. The closest example to me is our project management software. We prioritize the development of Wrike’s new features, based on our users’ feedback and requests. Every voice counts, as we believe that a happy customer makes our business thrive. We can say that our customers help us improve the product, giving us tips on what direction of development to choose next. So listening to your customers is important for being able to survive in a harsh economic situation. But what’s even more important is being able to change your business based on your customer feedback and to do it quickly. Paying attention to your customers’ needs is the first step. The next one is being agile and adaptive to the changing requirements. Here’s where Project Management 2.0 practices and supporting tools can be of great help. Project Management 2.0, which is based on the vigor of collective intelligence and power of emergent structures, can help you incorporate customer feedback into your tactical plans much faster. First, a project blog, wiki or a project collaboration solution makes your project work more transparent for your clients. Having this insight into how you deliver the product or service your customers can introduce their ideas and thoughts on how it can be improved. Let’s say a customer leaves a comment on your blog or drops you an e-mail with a really brilliant idea that no one from your team had before. Still, it’s just an idea. Only you and people from you team know how to apply it to the project. This idea then can be input into your collaboration system, so that each member of your project team can develop this idea into something bigger and offer a way to incorporate this idea into your project. The project manager can then find the best way to fit the idea into the project development, so that it benefits all the stakeholders. The project then will be a result of the collective work of many minds. Emergent structures employed in the Project Management 2.0 applications will be the engine that makes this work possible. The whole process of incorporating customers’ feedback into the project development becomes much faster and easier. The company becomes truly agile and responsive. This means it will be more resistant to economic downturns. I would appreciate it if you could share your experience of fitting your clients’ feedback and requests into your project work. Have you used Web 2.0 and Project Management 2.0 tools for that? Please leave a comment below.

How Wrike Supports Communities During COVID-19
News 3 min read

How Wrike Supports Communities During COVID-19

Learn how Wrike supports customers, recognizes community members, and funds impactful causes during COVID-19.

What Brexit May Mean for Your Business (Work Management Roundup)
Leadership 5 min read

What Brexit May Mean for Your Business (Work Management Roundup)

Welcome back to the weekly Work Management Roundup, where we collect and curate links to articles on business, work, productivity, and careers. And what a tumultuous week it's been! One word for you: BREXIT. That's all anyone will be talking about for at least a month.

Business After COVID-19: Where Agencies Are Today
Collaboration 5 min read

Business After COVID-19: Where Agencies Are Today

Staying agile in times of uncertainty is one way to prepare your agency for business after COVID-19. Learn more about business continuity and disaster recovery post-COVID.

The Post-Covid Work Habits to Make (and Break) as an Employer
Remote Working 10 min read

The Post-Covid Work Habits to Make (and Break) as an Employer

Have you ever had a habit that you wish you could break? Biting your nails, scrolling on your phone at night, procrastinating — we all have our vices. Having our lives flipped upside down by the pandemic over the last year (and spending a lot more time cooped up) has forced us to reckon with the bad habits we’ve accumulated over the years, as well as the better habits we’d like to create for ourselves.  But while many of us have done a great job of taking up yoga, cooking meals from scratch, or learning a new skill over lockdown, our work habits are still an area that may need some improvement. Working from home over the past year has allowed us to take stock of our life in employment — how our working style works (or doesn’t work) for us, and what we may want to change when things return to ‘normal.’ And now, as our ‘new normal’ begins to take shape and teams around the world begin to migrate back to the office, it’s a perfect time to make and break some work habits. Why good work habits are important to managing your team As an employer, you have a lot of responsibilities to your team. How you work every day sets an example to those around you — that’s why it’s vital for you always to be actively learning and trying to improve the careers of everyone on your team. The habits you invest in at work show your teammates what is expected of them and how you would like your team to operate. If you create good work habits, your team will be motivated to follow your lead and invest in their own positive habit-building. Now more than ever, it’s essential to motivate your team for success, as we all prepare for returning to work after COVID. Important factors in your return-to-work program To figure out which habits are most important for you to build as we return to the office, it’s essential to understand your employees’ mindsets. After working at home for over a year, many of us have reevaluated our work priorities and what we want from employers in the future. In a 2020 survey, the Adecco Group questioned 8000 workers across eight countries about what would be important to them in working post-COVID, with some interesting insights. A strong case was put forward for employer flexibility and favoring results over clocked hours, with 69% of employees suggesting that their contracts should be based on meeting the needs of the business rather than the hours they work.  74% of employees said they wanted their managers to demonstrate an empathetic and supportive leadership style post-pandemic, with 70% citing support for their mental wellbeing as an important factor in returning to the office.  But while employees are stating emotionally available management as a top priority, employers need some help in that arena. More than half (54%) of the leaders surveyed said they need “support to be able to navigate these new expectations,” with just 12% “excelling” in holistic support of their employees during lockdown.  So how can employers begin to support their teams in returning to the office post-pandemic? As with all great businesses, the example should come from the top. As a leader, the habits you invest in every day, both for your own working style and your employees’, set the example for how you want your business to succeed. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of essential habits to form as you prepare for RTO, as well as some to leave behind.  The work habits you should make when returning to work after COVID Open communication The way you communicate with your employees has a direct correlation to your business’s success. Organizations with effective change and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. According to McKinsey, productivity can increase by up to 25% in organizations where employees are connected. As an employer, strive to create an environment of open communication and transparency. Employees appreciate being kept in the loop about important updates and changes, especially when much about the workplace is so uncertain. Practice regular updates and feedback sessions with your team, engaging with them on a personal level as well as on a corporate one. Use remote tools to your advantage and create a stream of consistent communication with your team, no matter where they're based. Your team should know that you are available to listen to their concerns and will communicate with them openly wherever possible. Active feedback Whether it’s to address an issue with their work or praise them for a job well done, it’s vital that your organization practices active and regular feedback for your employees. According to Officevibe, “four out of 10 workers are actively disengaged when they get little or no feedback”, with 43% of highly engaged employees receiving feedback at least once a week. Liaise with your team leads and ensure that a feedback policy is put in place for your organization. Celebrate your employees’ wins, both big and small, and advocate for them when their work is not up to par — ensure that they feel supported and work with them, not against them, to find a solution. Mentorship A 2016 Gallup engagement poll showed that 82% of managers and executives are seen as lacking in leadership skills by their employees. Team leaders have many responsibilities, but being a reliable and consistent mentor to their employees is perhaps the most important. As an employer, investigate implementing a mentoring program in your organization. Pair new hires with more experienced executives and encourage open conversations around career advice and development in the office. As an individual leader, make it a habit to check in with your team individually on how their career goals are developing at your organization. What can you do to lead and encourage them? Embracing hybrid working It’s no secret that COVID-19 has completely changed the game in terms of remote and hybrid working. The pandemic has accelerated the burgeoning trend of hybrid working worldwide, and, according to countless reports, the method is here to stay. While it can be difficult to pivot your leadership style to mesh with a hybrid working model, endeavor to make it a priority for you and your team. Ensure your remote workers are supported, both holistically and technically, with the right equipment and software to collaborate seamlessly. Investing in technology Over the past 18 months, innovations in technology have made it possible for teams to collaborate and communicate in unprecedented conditions. As we transition back to ‘normal,’ adopting a technologically forward mindset is just as important. Technology can be utilized in myriad ways at your organization — whether that’s in work management software to streamline projects, scaling AI to prevent failures and defects in your products, or creating a safe, post-COVID environment for your employees.  While building your new work habits, remember that some of your well-practiced habits may not be serving you like they used to. Here are some that you should consider leaving at home as you return to the workplace. The work habits you should break in your post-COVID office Overdrawnpointless meetings We’ve all thought to ourselves, “couldn’t this have been an email?” in a Zoom meeting at some point this past year. As we return to the office, employees are less likely to politely accept unnecessary time-wasting. While regular meetings and updates are necessary for smooth project management, it’s worth keeping them to a tight schedule and only herding everyone into the boardroom when completely necessary. Make use of your newfound technology innovations and explore more efficient ways to communicate with your team.  Multitasking You may pride yourself on being a fantastic multitasker, but is this skill beneficial to your work? Studies have shown that when our brain tries to switch back and forth between two tasks, especially if those tasks are complex and require active attention to complete, we become less efficient. Similarly, if you work on your tasks with your email or chat software constantly pinging you about other tasks, it’s difficult to complete anything to a good standard. When you return to the office, cut your multitasking, focus on one task at a time, and encourage your team to do the same. You may start to notice a marked improvement in productivity.   Favoring time over output As your employees have gotten used to more flexible working hours, you should reevaluate how you measure their performance as they return to the office. Are you more interested in them staying late every evening or turning in a fantastic finished product? As we return to ‘normal,’ your employees will be just as motivated to do their jobs well, but time spent online should not be a marker for success. As a leader, set an example of not micromanaging your teams’ schedules, especially outside working hours. Research has shown that an ‘always on’ culture can be harmful to productivity and employees’ mental wellbeing. Scrap clockwatching and see how your team can get creative with their workloads.  Disorganization A 2017 Staples survey of small business owners saw 1 in 3 say that workplace disorganization leads to less productivity. What’s more, 75% of struggling or failing business owners believed that workplace disorganization had contributed to their lack of success. Workplace disorganization means lost opportunities, lost productivity, and lost revenue for your workplace. As an employer, it’s imperative that you are organized and coordinated in your day-to-day work. Workers rely on you for guidance and assistance, and if you’re scrambling to locate a certain file, contact, or project deliverable, this can eat away at their confidence in your leadership. Invest in organizational tools, such as a flexible all-in-one work management system like Wrike that can keep everything in one place and give you more time to lead. Ignoring work-life balance According to Gartner’s 2020 ReimagineHR Employee Survey, employers that support employees with their life experience see a 23% increase in the number of employees reporting better mental health. This is of a huge benefit to employers, who see a 21% increase in the number of high performers compared to organizations that don’t provide the same degree of support to their employees. Over the pandemic, workers have experienced higher stress levels than ever before. As we transition back to the workplace, you must invest in their mental wellbeing, which starts with encouraging a healthy work-life balance. How Wrike can help your team form better work habits as you return to the office Using a work management system like Wrike can encourage your teams to do their best work. Here are just some of the ways that using Wrike can help to build positive work habits: Collaboration-focused software, including chat and email integrations and real-time feedback and editing, will allow your team to work together from anywhere and communicate seamlessly, cutting back on wasted time waiting on emails or bad connections. Resource management tools will take the stress out of organizing your return to work program. Create tasks and subtasks for all your RTO needs, and organize deliverables seamlessly. Our all-in-one software means that your hybrid and remote workers don’t have to worry about technology troubles or lack of access. Everything is right at your fingertips with Wrike. Interested in how we can help your teams to thrive post-pandemic? Try Wrike with a two-week free trial.

How Fortune 500 Companies Are Managing the Return to the Office
Leadership 10 min read

How Fortune 500 Companies Are Managing the Return to the Office

After a year of remote work, enterprise return to office planning is in full swing. Here are seven lessons from Fortune 500 companies mapping out the future of work.

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