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Businesses are rebuilding their resilience in the face of disruption

Challenge 1

Resiliency

For decades, the business world has moved and innovated at a comfortable pace. But in 2020, we’ve seen a paradigm shift. Timeframes of years and months have changed to weeks and sometimes days. As we move into the ‘new normal’, our follow-up research has showed that many businesses are already adapting, planning for new business practices and even entirely new business models for a post-COVID world.

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Large businesses were the most likely to have a continuity plan in place in early 2020.

44% of large companies – those with 250+ employees – had a fully documented and tested business continuity plan before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

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Future ready’ businesses were unquestionably the most prepared for the COVID-19 crisis.

More than half (53%) of FRBs already had a comprehensive continuity plan ready – far more than the 30% of businesses overall.

Base: W2N2. 800 (All respondents)

Large businesses were the most likely to have a continuity plan in place in early 2020.

44% of large companies – those with 250+ employees – had a fully documented and tested business continuity plan before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Future ready’ businesses were unquestionably the most prepared for the COVID-19 crisis.

More than half (53%) of FRBs already had a comprehensive continuity plan ready – far more than the 30% of businesses overall.

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Shifting profits

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Unsurprisingly, many organisations have struggled to maintain profits as a result of COVID-19.

Nearly half of businesses surveyed in May 2020 reported that profits are now below the level they were 12 months previously.

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But ‘future ready’ businesses have proven to be more resilient when facing a crisis.

They weathered the storm better and are more focussed on thriving, not just surviving. Even despite COVID-19, 30% of FRBs have actually seen profits grow year-on-year vs. 21% of businesses overall.

Base: Q75a. 800 (All respondents)

Unsurprisingly, many organisations have struggled to maintain profits as a result of COVID-19.

Nearly half of businesses surveyed in May 2020 reported that profits are now below the level they were 12 months previously.

But ‘future ready’ businesses have proven to be more resilient when facing a crisis.

They weathered the storm better and are more focussed on thriving, not just surviving. Even despite COVID-19, 30% of FRBs have actually seen profits grow year-on-year vs. 21% of businesses overall.

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A digitalisation catalyst

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Overall, 71% of firms have made at least one new technology investment in direct response to COVID-19.

Many of these purchases or upgrades have helped support employees to work flexibly and remotely – either through new software or hardware.

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Future ready’ businesses have invested even more broadly across all technologies.

They were particularly likely to expand their cloud storage capabilities (36% of FRBs vs. 24% of businesses overall), as well as improve their cybersecurity systems, and also to provide employees with new smartphones and tablets to employees.

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The top tech investment for Large businesses was ‘cloud storage solutions’.

37% upgraded or expanded their capabilities to store and access files from the cloud, with ‘new laptops for employees’ being the second most common purchase for large businesses.

Base: W2N7. 800 (All respondents)

Overall, 71% of firms have made at least one new technology investment in direct response to COVID-19.

Many of these purchases or upgrades have helped support employees to work flexibly and remotely – either through new software or hardware.

Future ready’ businesses have invested even more broadly across all technologies.

They were particularly likely to expand their cloud storage capabilities (36% of FRBs vs. 24% of businesses overall), as well as improve their cybersecurity systems, and also to provide employees with new smartphones and tablets to employees.

The top tech investment for Large businesses was ‘cloud storage solutions’.

37% upgraded or expanded their capabilities to store and access files from the cloud, with ‘new laptops for employees’ being the second most common purchase for large businesses.

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Helping others is good business

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Organisations have supported their colleagues through the pandemic with more than just new technology.

‘Accommodating flexible working hours’ was the most widely adopted action (45% of businesses overall). Other measures have proven that businesses are extending far beyond simply improving productivity and efficiency.

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Future ready’ businesses have been especially likely to consider employee wellbeing during these difficult times.

They have consistently done more to support and help colleagues cope, and were notably more likely than other businesses overall to have ‘sent messages of solidarity and encouragement’, as well as ‘cover additional staff expenses'

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Large businesses were more likely than other sized firms to ‘provide additional wellness advice and emotional support’.

30% of large businesses have supported their employees during the pandemic in this way. They were also the most likely to ‘update sick leave/absence policies’, ‘cover additional staff expenses’, and ‘establish digital communities to encourage internal communication’.

Base: W2N11. 800 (All respondents)

Organisations have supported their colleagues through the pandemic with more than just new technology.

‘Accommodating flexible working hours’ was the most widely adopted action (45% of businesses overall). Other measures have proven that businesses are extending far beyond simply improving productivity and efficiency.

Future ready’ businesses have been especially likely to consider employee wellbeing during these difficult times.

They have consistently done more to support and help colleagues cope, and were notably more likely than other businesses overall to have ‘sent messages of solidarity and encouragement’, as well as ‘cover additional staff expenses'

Large businesses were more likely than other sized firms to ‘provide additional wellness advice and emotional support’.

30% of large businesses have supported their employees during the pandemic in this way. They were also the most likely to ‘update sick leave/absence policies’, ‘cover additional staff expenses’, and ‘establish digital communities to encourage internal communication’.

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