Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting
Only one in four organizations say they are very prepared for hybrid working (Cisco). The workplace shifts that occurred over the last two-plus years have introduced a flurry of operational hurdles, HR issues and unexpected business risks. And while these new challenges may be unwieldy — especially in industries like financial services that had not previously allowed remote work as a standard practice — they must be faced. Some form of remote working is the way of the future and organizations must adapt their risk and compliance programs to be as robust for a hybrid workforce as they have been across in-office environments.
I participated in a panel discussion on this topic at the recent SmarshCONNECT conference, alongside Robert Cruz, VP Information Governance at Smarsh. We discussed the challenges of maintaining employee engagement while ensuring that compliance controls work uniformly regardless of location and offered insights around how organizations are implementing strategies to navigate the future of work.
I shared several examples from our experience here at FTI Technology, including how we introduced new offerings, pivoted instantly to maintain continuity of service among remote teams and increased the visibility of compliance leadership to communicate expectations and plans. We moved quickly to strengthen processes and controls so that robust protection and compliance could be maintained while teams were enabled to work from anywhere. These are the very same things financial services organizations are attempting to execute as they brace for the new reality that remote work is here to stay.
In addition to sharing lessons learned from within our own organizations, the panel discussed the following key risk areas that are persisting in the hybrid work environment:
To some degree, these issues are affecting organizations in nearly every industry. Many organizations have either avoided them or implemented makeshift, temporary solutions, with the expectation that they would fully return to in-person work in the near term. Now that it’s become clear that remote and hybrid environments are going to be a permanent fixture in business going forward, it’s time to shore up policies to mitigate risk in a way that’s fit for the future.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.