Gartner: Top risk in workplace - second wave of COVID-19

By Janet Brice
Survey by Gartner reveals 49% of executives see remote working as a chance for cost saving during this “unique window for enterprise” in the new nor...

 A second wave of COVID-19 topped the concerns for global industries during the third quarter of 2020, reports Gartner who surveyed 119 senior executives.

The survey revealed the majority of top 10 emerging risks had a direct connection to the pandemic. But executives did report a chance for cost savings due to a rise in remote working dubbing this a “unique window for enterprise”.

“The consistency with which executives around the world are highlighting the second wave of COVID-19 as the top risk is notable in light of a looming and significant US presidential election, continued extreme weather events and broad social instability,” said Matt Shinkman, vice president with the Gartner Risk and Audit Practice. 

“The pandemic has either exacerbated many of the other risks noted by executives in our report or created entirely new sets of operational risk areas, so it makes sense that concerns over a second wave predominate,” he said.

Change in working practices

A second impact of the pandemic is the change to working practices with executives reporting that 19% of their workforce will be permanently remote - compared to just 10% pre-pandemic.

“We are beginning to see executives come to terms with prolonged remote work in a way that wasn’t feasible in the early stages of the pandemic, with the abruptness of the move revealing large operational holes in the ability to manage people and risks,” said Shinkman.

“Our data now shows that HR leaders have drastically stepped up their programmes for monitoring employee productivity, with 73% indicating they are partaking in some sort of monitoring, compared to less than half in April,” he said.

New opportunities

Gartner reports executives are seeing new opportunities in the changing workplace landscape:

  • 49% see remote working as a chance for cost saving
  • 27% highlight the potential for productivity gains

“The reality of prolonged remote work provides a unique window for enterprise risk management teams to shape the right policies to both encourage productivity, gain cost efficiencies and make sure the organisation is protected from a cybersecurity perspective,” said Shinkman

More detailed analysis is available to Gartner clients in the full report and webinar recording 3Q20 Emerging Risks Report and Monitor. Non-clients can complete free registration to read more in Emerging Risk Trends.

For more information on business topics in the United States and Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief North America.

Follow Business Chief on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Share

Featured Articles

DEI done right: Brook Sims, COO, MAC Diversity Recruiters

Passionate about helping others find their voice, diversity leader and COO Brook Sims talks powerful leadership, diverse teams and being a change agent

Q&A: China’s ecommerce innovator Jeff Li, CEO of Shoplazza

Named in Fortune China’s 40 under 40 for 2022, former Baidu head Jeff Li is the entrepreneurial founder and CEO of ecommerce platform Shoplazza

How hybrid work is revolutionising the physical office

As hybrid work models roll out worldwide, the purpose of the office is changing with collaboration, connection and networking taking centre stage

Trailblazer: Shanique Bonelli-Moore, DEI chief at Clorox

Sustainability

Dean Forbes – the Forterro CEO aiming for the moon

Leadership & Strategy

Why becoming a B Corp is good for business

Sustainability