The tool has been developed by FERMA’s Remote Working project group
FERMA launched a project group to explore the risk management angle of remote work at the beginning of 2020. The group is composed of leading risk managers from major companies in Belgium, France, Italy and Sweden.
The project group traces its roots directly to the findings from FERMA’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.
More broadly the future of work is an important area for policy. That policy landscape in turn impacts upon the risk environment in which companies operate. The future of work therefore has implications from social rights to cybersecurity.
FERMA also aims to serve its wider community with practical and usable insights from our expertise. For instance, the group aims to develop resources that could support SMEs in their tackling the topic of the various risks and opportunities related to remote work.
About the tool specifically
FERMA’s project group has developed a simplified risk management tool for remote work that builds on the framework that the French risk management association AMRAE had established previously with a tool for SMEs.
The tool is a simple questionnaire that organisations of any size can use. It 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.