Staying continuity compliant in a hybrid workplace
Insights 5 minutes read

Staying continuity compliant in a hybrid workplace

With the gradual return to on-site work, the shifting office landscape has taught us that remote work can be highly effective.
Published on
June 24, 2021

Keeping compliant: regulated industries and hybrid workspaces

The Australian workplace has fundamentally changed over the past year. With the gradual return to on-site work, the shifting office landscape in the wake of 2020 has taught us that remote work can be highly effective.

For businesses in highly regulated industries that have business continuity requirements, a fully remote workplace is not a feasible reality. But with 75% of workers believing employers will support flexible working arrangements in the future[i], businesses need to critically consider if a hybrid workplace could be an effective solution.

Keeping pace with a flexible workforce

As we start returning to offices in 2021, there’s a clear gap between employer expectations and employee desires. Many employees are no longer willing to spend 10-20 hours a week commuting, and 63% of Australians expect employers to provide a hybrid of remote- and office-based work. However, only 40% of employers are considering a long-term hybrid model.[ii]

Businesses in regulated industries have more constraints on the location of their employees and how they access data and physical information. For banks and other APRA-regulated businesses, 70% or more of employees are expected to be located in the office by their employers.[iii]

But those employees will expect the kind of flexible arrangements that will be standard for their knowledge-worker peers. So to retain top-performing talent, businesses will need to rethink how they can continue to maintain the required up-time and meet security requirements, while still supporting flexibility in working arrangements for their employees.

The impacts of downtime

Today more than ever, businesses are expected to be “always on”. For those in highly-regulated industries, like banks, insurers, financial traders or superannuation companies, ceasing operations for just a few hours, no matter the reason, can lead to a significant loss of revenue and huge brand and reputational damage. It also comes with the potential fines and investigations. These businesses must continue to serve their customers, who may also have been impacted by the office-closing event themselves, and their inability to do so can have flow-on effects to the businesses they serve as well.

Companies that need to guarantee 100% uptime, or something close to it, need to have employees on site for quick and easy access to server banks, important data and any physical infrastructure required to keep the business up and running.

While data security and virtualisation are at the forefront of many of the current technological advancements, for industries with more compliance conditions to meet, technology alone is only part of the answer.

But, if conventional office spaces and strict on-site working arrangements are a thing of the past, how can these businesses remain compliant with APRA’s requirements?

The future workplace is a hybrid

The changing dynamics in the workplace gives businesses an opportunity to experiment with new ways of working. Many businesses will likely elect to use a hybrid model where employees split their time working from the office for part of the week and remotely for the rest.[iv]

Key insight A strategic examination of the activities best performed in person and the effectiveness of both remote and co-located work will give businesses the ability to critically consider alternative workplaces and working models.

One main advantage of hybrid work is that it allows for maximum flexibility for both employees and employers.  A workplace model that fulfills regulatory requirements while still allowing flexibility in work locations will be the ultimate goal.

Remote work doesn’t necessarily mean working from home, and the increasing options available for controlled security and continuity will allow the shift away from 100% of employees keeping a conventional office presence.[v]

New ways of operating

There is no going back to the pre-pandemic workplace. So the question now is how can we transform businesses instead of planning a return to ways of working that were becoming outdated and obsolete even before the pandemic. The challenge will be striking a balance between security and collaboration, and structure and flexibility.

Businesses around the world have discovered over the past year that both remote work and trusting employees is not only possible, it’s often more profitable[vi]. Employees remain effective and productive, and they feel better, too. With the rise in automation, serviced offices, and technological advances in digital interaction and security, there are greater opportunities for businesses in regulated industries to adapt to the shifting landscape of the Australian workplace – without compromising their security and compliance.

How we help

An Interactive Serviced Office is the perfect option for businesses looking for a hybrid workplace solution.

Our offices are fully equipped, ready-to-go suites complete with desks, chairs, PCs or laptops, telephony and all major telco options on site. Interactive’s huge team of  IT experts and engineers are available to rapidly fix any IT issues tenants encounter, minimising the risk of downtime.

To learn how our serviced offices can support your business and organise a free consultation with one of our experts.

Struggling with your hybrid office strategy?

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