The almost overnight switch to remote working during the pandemic heightened workplace safety and cyber risk

FERMA is offering its members a new, practice guide to risk mapping for remote working. The project stems from the risk association’s research among its members on the implications of the pandemic, including the Covid-19 report 2020. 

Risk managers said that although many companies had been developing remote working policies before the pandemic, the almost overnight switch that occurred in response to government public health measures heightened the level of risk.

Key issues included workplace safety and cyber risks, especially in the context of expanding digitalisation which the pandemic accelerated.

A project group composed of leading risk managers from major companies in Belgium, France, Italy and Sweden developed the tool, building on work that the French risk management association AMRAE had done previously for SMEs. 

How it works

The tool sets out a template of risks and opportunities linked to remote working divided into seven important categories: strategic, financial, security and safety, operational, regulatory and compliance and technological.

Relevant questions prompt the user to consider what exposure their organisation could have to certain risks in each category and their potential consequences. A simple scoring system of impact and likelihood of each of the categories of risk automatically creates a heat map and a radar screen visual.

Using the results, organisations can more clearly focus on identifying and mitigating the risks related to their policies and take advantage of the opportunities.

The project group also believes that the output from the FERMA tool can help managers in organisations of all sizes communicate important risks and opportunities with senior executives and other functions in the organisation.

In making this tool available on demand, FERMA aims to serve wider purposes. Its use could, for instance support risk management in SMEs, as well as contribute toward the European Commission’s aim of “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age” by providing the important perspective of risk management.