RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS

RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
OUTLOOK   2021
Five predictions
RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                                             Five Predictions | International SOS

    Contents                                                                                                                     Introduction
    Introduction                                                 3       Geopolitics &                                                                                                 by the crisis and reassess their positive impact

                                                                         Civil Unrest
    Ben Page, CEO, Ipsos MORI                                                                                                                                                          upon society. Milton Friedman’s dictum from
                                                                                                                            14                                                         1970, that the sole responsibility of business is to
                                                                                                                                                                                       engage in activities designed to grow profits, is

    Exec Summary
                                                                         UNDERNEATH A COVID-19 MYOPIA                       15                                                         increasingly challenged: 62% of the global public
                                                                4                                                                                                                      now say businesses have a responsibility to speak
    Arnaud Vaissié, CEO, International SOS                               CITIZEN ACTIVISM                                   17                                                         out on the big social and political issues affecting
                                                                                                                                                                                       their country.

    Research Process                                                     Duty of Care
                                                                                                                                                                                       While parts of the economy face massive
                                                                6                                                                                                                      disruption, elsewhere we are likely to see

                                                                                                                                                                                       permanent, positive changes. These include
    WORKFORCE RESILIENCE                                                                                                    19                                                         less commuting, more distributed workforces,
    COUNCIL VIEWS                                                6                                                                                                                     a better carbon footprint, a re-imagining of
                                                                         ‘EMERGING RESILIENTS’                              20                                                         offices, and potentially better quality of life
    BUSINESS RESILIENCE TRENDS SURVEY                            7                                                                                                                     for employees. In turn, these changes bring
                                                                         CHANGING C-SUITE RESPONSIBILITIES                  23                                                         increased domestic risks; so this year, for the
    COVID-19 IMPACT SCALES AND UNDERLYING                                                                                                                                              first time, the Risk Outlook report looks at how
    MEDICAL & SECURITY RISK RATINGS                              7                                                               The future is uncertain. In the 12 months since       employers’ strategies for Duty of Care and

                                                                                                                                 the last Risk Outlook report, COVID-19 has dealt      employee health and safety are evolving, in
    ON-THE-GROUND MEDICAL                                                                                                   26   a sudden shock to the system which has left           response.
    & SECURITY INTELLIGENCE NETWORK                              7                                                               people, governments and businesses focusing on
                                                                         A SOURCE OF TRUTH                                  29   their immediate survival. As this report describes,   There’s also cause for optimism. In our recent
                                                                                                                                 our view of all the risks and opportunities which     study, 7 in 10 of the global public said their own

    A Year of
                                                                                                                                 lie ahead of us is now filtered through the prism     employer was doing a good job to help their

                                                                         Mental Health
                                                                                                                                 of the pandemic.                                      country recover from the pandemic – in some
                                                                                                                                                                                       countries, a much better rating than the national
                                                                 8                                                               Ipsos research shows that, in response to             government achieved. Many businesses have, in
    Dr Pascal Rey-Herme, Group Medical Director,                         NEW PSYCHOLOGICAL VULNERABILITIES                  35   uncertainty and inequality, many people               double-quick time, re-engineered entire business
    International SOS                                                                                                            around the world are gripped by anxiety about         processes and driven through profound cultural
                                                                         LOWERING FINANCIAL BARRIERS                        36   the future. Globally, 78% agree we live in an         change.
    THE PRISM OF FUTURE RISKS                                    9                                                               increasingly dangerous world and 52% expect
                                                                                                                                 a global conflict to erupt in the next 25 years.      For the fifth year in a row, we are proud to have

                                                                         Risk Blind Spots
                                                                                                                                 Concern about the speed of change is another          developed the Risk Outlook report alongside
    2021 Risk
                                                                                                                                 trigger; eight in ten say the world is changing       International SOS. 2020 has shown that, on its
                                                                                                                                 too fast. At the same time, trust in experts – as a   own, the past is a poor guide to the future. But

                                                                         WORKING FROM HOME                                  39   defence against fake news and misinformation of       armed with this expert analysis and insight,
                                                               12                                                                all kinds – has never been stronger.                  leaders will be better equipped to navigate the
                                                                         HOW WILL THE PANDEMIC END?                         42                                                         uncertain times ahead.
    FIVE PREDICTIONS FOR 2021                                   13                                                               We also know that business leaders want to build
                                                                                                                                 back better: to grasp the opportunity presented       Ben Page
    © Copyright 2020 - International SOS Assistance UK Ltd - All rights reserved.                                                                                                      CEO, Ipsos MORI
    Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the prior consent of International SOS Assistance UK Ltd. 1130

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RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                                 Five Predictions | International SOS

    Exec Summary
                                            Intelligence is the key to navigating                   3 years’ worth of innovation in 6 months                           2021: a need to protect domestic
                                            uncertainty                                                                                                                workers at home or in the office
                                                                                                    Change will continue to be the only constant
                                            In last year’s paper, I began by saying that            in 2021, our ability to continually adapt will                     International SOS, as an enabler of globalisation,
                                            ‘the only certainty is uncertainty’, and those          define our success. I estimate that we have                        is emotionally vested in our physical presence
                                            words have never felt truer than they do today.         delivered three years’ worth of innovation and                     at our clients’ sites and enabling safe business
                                            We accurately predicted that an increase in             organisational change at International SOS in just                 travel. We operate in over 1,000 locations around
                                            geopolitical tensions and infectious disease            a few months.                                                      the world – going to an office and travelling the
                                            outbreaks would be among the biggest                                                                                       world felt like a necessity to success.
                                            disruptors to business in 2020.                         Innovation, even with challenging budgets, has
                                                                                                    allowed us to look at our risk registers in order to               The working-from-home explosion was
                                            In this year’s report, I wanted to reflect on several   prioritise response and future practices: concerns                 surprisingly rapid and effective. But it is creating
                                            important variables that have shaped my thinking        over digital growth have now been matched by                       new high-volume risks; if we can no longer see
                                            as a CEO in 2020, and I feel are central to             health and wellbeing2. Because the pandemic                        our teams, how sure can we be of their optimal
                                            remaining resilient in 2021:                            has reminded us that no machine is going to                        health and security?
                                                                                                    function without humans.
                                                                                                                                                                       Pre-pandemic, the growing trend in domestic
                                            The C-Suite have an opportunity to                                                                                         employee health and wellbeing was a significant
                                            deliver positive sustainable change                     For many, healing will come with safe                              discussion point with our clients; many aspired to
                                                                                                    travel                                                             go further but most approached with caution.
                                            This year has felt worse than the global financial
                                            crisis in 2007/8, the pandemic has truly                We all have a desire to move to a feeling of                       In 2020, we have quickly turned on a switch;
                                            encompassed the whole world. And it keeps               normalcy, to get back to a more reasonable                         domestic employee health matters just as much
                                            going: the length is very unique, and its endpoint      rhythm of change. Our priority now, on our way                     as for those working abroad. The risks are no
                                            is not in sight.                                        to regain control, is to encourage our people to                   longer ‘foreign’. They are in our everyday lives.
                                                                                                    take leave, visit families, regroup, reenergise, so
                                            At the very start of the crisis, explaining its         we can emerge stronger in 2021. Because of this,                   While there is more uncertainty, than certainty
                                            severity to the C-Suite was critical for us; but        we have an emotional investment in return to                       ahead of us, be assured that we are on familiar
                                            some of our clients did not have an easy path.          travel.                                                            ground. Our business and our clients thrive in the
                                            Health and security were often seen as someone                                                                             unfamiliar. We must keep a close eye on the path
                                            else’s job. Fast forward to where we stand                                                                                 ahead, address threats with razor-sharp focus,
                                            today and we find ourselves with a firm seat at                                                                            and emerge stronger from this into a promising
                                            the table. Why? Leaders quickly realised that                                                                              future.
                                            employee health is the most important variable in
                                            the survival of their organisation.
                                                                                                                                                                       Arnaud Vaissié
    Arnaud Vaissié                          Health and security advisors are now recognised                                                                            CEO, International SOS
    CEO, International SOS                  as integral to leadership in a crisis1 today and for
                                            a long time to come.

                                                                                                    1   https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/leadership-in-a-crisis-responding-to-the-coronavirus-
                                                                                                    2   Accenture: ‘Every business will be a health business’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52289142

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International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                                   Five Predictions | International SOS

    Research Process                                                                                                BUSINESS RESILIENCE
                                                                                                                    TRENDS SURVEY
                                                                                                                    Now in its fifth year, the survey is targeted to those
                                                                                                                                                                             business sustainability during the pandemic. The
                                                                                                                                                                             impact is dynamic and will change as outbreaks
                                                                                                                                                                             progress and mitigation measures are implemented
                                                                                                                                                                             and withdrawn.

                                                                                                                    who organise, influence, or are responsible for, their   International SOS assigns medical risk ratings
                                                                                                                    organisation’s employee health, security and risk        based on the pre-pandemic situation. The rating
    This 2021 risk forecast is the result of the detailed analysis from several research pillars:                   mitigation processes and policies. The survey seeks      must be interpreted in conjunction with the
                                                                                                                    to understand whether perceptions of employee            COVID-19 domestic operations scale and the
                                                                                                                    risk have changed: what health and security risks        COVID-19 cases status. For locations in outbreak
                                                                                                                    are of most concern to organisations and their           status, even the best healthcare systems may be
                                                                                                                    people, including: domestic employees, assignees         overwhelmed, limiting access to medical care, and
                                                                                                                    and business travellers. Are there significant           the risk of infection in the general community is
       RESEARCH                                                FIVE PREDICTIONS FOR                                 differences in risk mitigation methods and concerns      increased.
       PILLARS                                                                                                      across regions? How are organisations and their

                                                                                                                    people modifying their behaviour or policies to          The security risk rating evaluates the threat posed
       Workforce Resilience
       Council Views                                                                                                respond to these new realities?                          to employees by political violence (including
                                                                                                                                                                             terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest
       Business Resilience                                                                                          On behalf of International SOS, Ipsos MORI carried       and war), social unrest (including sectarian,
       Trends Survey
                                                                                                                    out an online survey among 1,425 risk professionals      communal and ethnic violence) as well as violent
       COVID-19 Impact Scales                                                                                       across 99 countries. International SOS provided          and petty crime. Other factors, such as the
                                                                                                                    Ipsos MORI with the sample which consisted of            robustness of the transport infrastructure, the
       Medical & Security Risk
                                                                                                                    customers and contacts. Fieldwork took place             state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of
                                                                                                                    between 22 September and 19 October 2020.                the security and emergency services and the
       On-the-ground Health                                                                                                                                                  country’s susceptibility to natural disasters are
       & Security Intelligence                                                                                                                                               also considered where they are of sufficient
                                                                                                                                                                             magnitude to impact the overall risk environment
                                                                                                                    COVID-19 IMPACT SCALES                                   for employees.
                                                                                                                    AND UNDERLYING MEDICAL &
                                                                                                                    SECURITY RISK RATINGS                                    To find out more, go to:
                                                                                                                    In the 2021 edition of Risk Map, International
                                                                                                                    SOS provides underlying health and security risk
                                                                                                                    ratings for each location. However, these should
                                                             The 36 participants in this year’s Council are         be reviewed in parallel with the COVID-19 impact
    WORKFORCE RESILIENCE                                     from a mix of think tanks, associations, advisory      scales.                                                  ON-THE-GROUND HEALTH
    COUNCIL VIEWS                                            boards, NGOs, and IGOs. Ipsos MORI conducted                                                                    & SECURITY INTELLIGENCE
                                                             an in-depth interview with each participant            Due to the rapidly changing nature of the                NETWORK
    The Workforce Resilience Council (‘Council’) is          on behalf of International SOS. The opinions           pandemic, COVID-19 impact scales change
    made up of representative experts of all health,         provided by the Council are noted as ‘expert’          frequently. Together, the medical & security risk        International SOS has health and security experts
    security, and safety fields relevant to the risks of     opinions throughout this report, unless stipulated     ratings and COVID-19 impact scales provide a             based on-the-ground in over 1,000 locations
    working at home or abroad. These expert-fields           from another source. This research is designed         holistic view of the risks and COVID-19 impact in        across 90 countries. The qualitative opinions
    include but are not limited to: international risk       to be illustrative, detailed and exploratory.          each location.                                           of our senior health and security intelligence
    and security, employee health, employee security,        Findings are not statistically representative of the                                                            experts have been analysed in order to verify
    travel safety, employee wellbeing, occupational          audience interviewed.                                  The COVID-19 impact scales assess the current            the on-the-ground reality of the research
    health, geopolitics, sustainability, digitalisation                                                             impact of the disease on (a) domestic operations,        findings and to provide subsequent best practice
    and cyber security, public policy, and labour law.       The telephone interviews were conducted                or (b) inbound travel. The respective scales take        recommendations on how to address the risks.
                                                             between 13 August - 16 September 2020.                 into account integrated health, security and
                                                                                                                    logistics considerations - three key factors in

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RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                         Five Predictions | International SOS

    A year of COVID-19                                                                                    RISK PROFESSIONALS PERCEPTION OF RISK IS AT A 5-YEAR HIGH
                                                                                                          When we look at risk professional’s
                                                                                                          perceptions of risks, around 8 in 10
                                                                                                          believe health and security risks faced
                                                                                                                                                          % say travel risks have increased in 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Up 28pp

                                                                                                          by domestic employees, assignees                72%
                                                                                                          and travellers have increased in 2020.                       63%
                                            COVID-19 has created three globally unified                   Those responsible for domestic                                                           51%
                                            crises: public health, economic and geopolitical.             employees are most likely to agree that                                    47%

                                            Woven through each of these three is also a                   it has increased.1
                                            major concern about the sharing of accurate,
                                            timely and trusted information. Accurate                      For business travellers alone, this figure
                                            information ultimately being a key variable in the            is 79%, a noticeable increase from 51%
                                            prevention of infections, and potentially death.              last year and the highest it has been           2016          2017          2018            2019        2020
                                                                                                          in the past five years. The last peak (of
                                            Just as the 9/11 attacks redefined employer                   72%) was reported in 2016, following a
                                            Duty of Care responsibilities from a security                 series of domestic terrorist attacks experienced         further in the next year. This is most acutely
                                            point of view, so will COVID-19 for the health                in the west. And the future is uncertain: around         felt by those based in Asia, especially for those
                                            agenda: following the 9/11 attacks, the way                   half of risk professionals believe that health and       responsible for assignees (60%) & business
                                            that employers saw their Duty of Care agenda                  security risks faced by employees will increase          travellers (60%).1
                                            completely changed. The responsibility of an
                                            employer needed to go beyond just ensuring that
                                            people were not injured in the workplace. And it              COVID-19 HAS BECOME THE PRISM THROUGH
                                            has been forever changed.                                     WHICH MOST FUTURE RISKS ARE SEEN
                                                                                                          The pre-pandemic Duty of Care practices we knew as employers have been called into question during
                                            What we have witnessed during the pandemic                    the pandemic. COVID-19 acts like a prism for those variables previously held-dear, creating five new
                                            is a complete change in approach: before                      shaping principles for the future of risk:
                                            the pandemic – as long as the employer was
                                            obeying health & safety regulation – no one was
                                            expecting them to prevent an employee from
                                            contracting seasonal flu in the workplace. Today,
                                            when we are talking about ‘return to work’ it’s no
                                            longer an expectation, it is a requirement that an
                                            employer puts in place measures to ensure their
                                            people will not get infected.

                                            Preventative measures have become highly
                                            politicised: perhaps most surprising of all to the
                                            health community has been the politicisation of
                                            preventative health measures. For example, the
                                            subject of mask-wearing has become a hotly
                                            debated topic in many countries. If it is a subject
    Dr Pascal Rey-Herme                     being questioned on the political battleground,
                                            it leads organisations to indirectly be seen as
    Group Medical Director,
                                            supporting one party or another. This is the case
    International SOS                       even if the intent is solely to protect and save

                                                                                                  1   Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021

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RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                           Five Predictions | International SOS

     ACCELERATING                                              burn security issues that have the potential to   RESTRICTING TRAVEL
     WORKFORCE TRENDS                                          quickly flare up (e.g. tensions between Russia    & WORK ABROAD
     Accelerating workforce trends that were                   and Turkey in various locations, ethnic issues    A lack of freedom of travel has meant that a        This also applies overseas, due to the physical
     already starting to be put in place, including:           in Ethiopia, protests in Thailand, etc.), or      focus on travel risk has shifted from concern       and mental health risks that COVID-19 is posing
     increased working from home and cybersecurity,            other ongoing emerging new zoonotic threats       around geopolitical threats, cybercrime and         to travelling employees. Any business travel or
     less business travel, and more investment in              such as bird flu and Middle East Respiratory      environmental disruptions to a shift towards the    international assignments in the near future will
     risk or crisis management capabilities within             Syndrome Coronavirus.                             physical and mental wellbeing of employees.         be more complex and more costly, yet arguably
     organisations.                                                                                                                                                  more precious.
                                                            •	Many pre-existing health issues among
                                                               employees have been unveiled consequent to
                                                               the crisis, from ergonomic issues, untreated
     EXPOSING VULNERABILITIES                                  chronic diseases to stress and mental health
     Exposing vulnerabilities that were previously             decompensation. This has emphasised the
     hidden such as departmental silos; lack of                need to understand the crisis with a much         EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE NOW
     board sponsorship; communication systems;                 broader perspective than one of a solitary        MATERIAL TO BUSINESS RESILIENCE
     ill-equipped organisational structures; and crisis        existentialist infectious disease threat.
     management gaps. It also appeared in areas like                                                             The traditional biomedical model of health at the   organisations, the wider the benefits are in terms
     global supply chains which have relied heavily                                                              workplace (with health threats as root causes       of employee engagement and retention.
     on countries working multilaterally. This has                                                               of diseases) is no longer valid. The health and
     shown that diseases cannot be addressed with           GROWING DOMESTIC RISKS                               wellbeing of employees and stakeholders of an       Never before has health become so material
     an occupational health lens in opposition to a         Employee health and security is now more firmly      organisation needs a broader approach that          to organisations as it has impacted business
     public health one; a holistic approach is needed       a domestic issue for corporates – 85% of risk        appreciates that health outcomes are predilected    growth, raised costs and increased risks. Business
     to tackle challenges from workplace organisation       professionals who are responsible for domestic       upon a number of ‘social determinants’.             post-pandemic has woken up to the realisation
     to case management, and from transmission              employees believe the risks have increased in        Health programming increasingly addresses           that good health is becoming as important to
     prevention to mental health consequences.              2020, the highest of all employee types1.            issues across the wider organisation from the       external stakeholders (employees, customers,
     Similarly, the fact that the workplace is no                                                                perspective of populations.                         suppliers, investors and society) as it is internally.
     longer limited to an office / factory / site / place   •	The key theme running throughout is an                                                                Increasingly we see the opportunity for firms to
     but to an employee’s home has brought many                agreement that COVID-19 has prompted              It is thus no longer possible to fully meet         engage in health initiatives to help address the
     new health challenges around sleep, exercise,             a loss of control for some organisations,         employees’ occupational health needs in the         huge equity gaps in health among employees
     nutrition, ergonomics and burnout prevention.             largely because their workforces are now          workplace without taking into consideration their   and their communities. In areas like malaria, TB,
                                                               remote and working from home. Experts             environmental, personal, mental and emotional       or vaccine-preventable disease – all of which
     Furthermore, pre-existing societal vulnerabilities        interviewed particularly note this in the area    health. For example, healthy lifestyle promotions   are predicted to rise post-pandemic - control
     around information silos – and the tendency for           of cybersecurity and wellness/wellbeing –         must now factor in cultural aspects, workplace      programmes can profoundly impact both
     the politicisation of issues not traditionally seen       with both mental and physical wellbeing           organisation, and employee commuting methods,       employees and communities alike.
     as political, such as public health measures –            being intertwined.                                while navigating the wide array of emerging
     have all been brought into sharp focus in certain                                                           technologies enabling an evidence-based and         Given its complexity, strategic health
     countries during the course of the pandemic.           •	We have witnessed the emergence of                data-driven approach.                               management is required to address the
                                                               Human Resources at the forefront of the                                                               requirements of health promotion, prevention
                                                               management of the crisis and taking the lead      Health management calls for a broader sense of      and protection in the context of the Sustainable
                                                               on its strategic direction. HR leaders have       responsibility, beyond the prevention and cure      Development Goals, particularly SDG 3 on health
     DEFLECTING ATTENTION                                      become our specific interlocutors to discuss      of diseases to the holistic management of a         and wellbeing. To date, corporate involvement in
     FROM OTHER RISKS                                          response plans and workforce support.             balanced state of physical and mental harmony,      meeting this metric has been ad hoc and industry
     Creating health and security blind spots:                 Additionally, the need for independent,           at a personal and organisational level.             or sector based. We see a trend towards more
                                                               factual, global, pragmatic advisory on the                                                            inclusion of health as a key priority for companies
     •	We have taken the focus off threats to                 disease and its consequences on health has        Health has become one of the strategic risks of     in the years to come.
        security that still exist, such as climate             emerged as a key priority for organisations.      organisations, as we have grown to understand
        change and extreme weather events, slower-                                                               how health management can directly influence
                                                                                                                 business performance. We see how the                Dr Pascal Rey-Herme
     1   Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021                                                                  higher the health agenda is considered within       Group Medical Director, International SOS

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RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Five Predictions | International SOS

     2021 Risk                                                                                                                                                                    FIVE PREDICTIONS FOR 2021

     Infectious diseases are just one variable shaping the future of risks in 2021. Even through the prism
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ecopolitical turbulence will exacerbate tensions, civil unrest and crime
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • After infectious diseases, organisations predict that the biggest employee productivity
                                                                                                                                                                                                           disruptors in 2021 will be country risk ratings, transport concerns, and security threats.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • More than a fifth also cited ‘geopolitical threats’ and ‘civil unrest’ as key causes.1

     of a COVID-19 pandemic, risks are interdependent and, often, mutually inclusive. While the risks are
     discussed independently within this research, it is important not to address any singular risk in isolation.
     A balanced risk management approach is the key to business resilience and long-term sustainability.                                                                                                Pandemic-borne crisis management teams will redefine Duty of Care practices
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Over half of risk professionals (54%) think having adequate resources to deal with
     The respective UN Sustainability Development Goals are listed for each risk category. A helpful                                                                                                       COVID-19 is a challenge for their organisation in ensuring the health and security of
     reminder of how we can address the risks of 2021, without losing sight of global sustainability goals.
                                                                                                                                                                                         2                 employees.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Over a quarter of organisations (28%) cite the ability to evacuate employees as a
                                                                                                                                                                                                           challenge in ensuring their health & security. Of those evacuations, risk professionals predict
                                                                               MENTAL                                                                                                                      that COVID-19 medical reasons will be the number one cause of employee evacuations in

                                                                               HEALTH        FITNESS
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The growing infodemic will increase demand for trusted sources of health &
                                                                              SDGs 2, 3, 6
                                                                                                                                                                                                        security information and advice
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Trust in advice from local governments & health bodies is seen as a key challenge for

                                                                                                                                                                                         3                 a third of risk professionals – most acutely felt in the Americas (40%). This corroborates
                                                                                                                                                                                                           a gradual erosion of importance placed on the information and advice provided by those
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Risk professionals identify that having access to accurate and timely information on health
                      CYBER                                                                                                                              POLICY &

                                                                                                                                                                                                           and security threats as a frequently mentioned challenge (40%), particularly among those

                                                                                                                                                                                                           responsible for assignees (45%).1

                     EMPLOYEE                                                                                                                                          HEALTH &
                     SECURITY                                                                                                         TOOLS      ORGANISATION          SECURITY

                       SDG 1                                                                                                                           SDGs 17, 9, 5

          PHYSICAL                  PETTY
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mental health issues will be a primary productivity disruptor
          SECURITY                  CRIME
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Almost 1 in 3 business risk professionals see mental health issues being likely to cause a

                                                                                                                                                                                         4                 decrease in employee productivity in 2021. Across the board, those based in Oceania are
                                                                               & TIMELY
                                                                             INFORMATION                                                                                                                   more concerned than in other regions about the impact of mental health on productivity in the
                                                                                SDG 4                                                                                                                      coming year.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Furthermore, experts saw mental health overtaking infectious disease risks in 2021. Experts
                                                                                                                                                                                                           believe organisations could have more employees on sick leave due to mental health issues
                                                                                                                                                                                                           than COVID-19.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Singular focus on COVID-19 will create risk blind spots
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The future is uncertain: around half of risk professionals believe that health and security

                                                                                                                                                                                                           risks faced by employees will increase further in the next year. This is most acutely felt by
                                                                                                                                                                                                           those based in Asia, especially among those responsible for assignees (60%) and business
                                                                                                                                                                                                           travellers (60%).1
                                            ENVIRONMENT                                                           SOCIOECONOMICS              PUBLIC
                                                                                                       POLITICS                               HEALTH
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Experts expressed concerns that organisations focusing too singularly on COVID-19, are
                                              SDGs 7, 13                                                            SDGs 10, 11, 16

                                                                                                                                                                                                           creating risk blind spots, primarily: (1) the physical, psychological and security implications
                                                                                                                                                                                                           of working-from-home, (2) underlying health issues going unaddressed, and (3) wider

                                                                                                                                                                                                           environmental issues: extreme weather events, natural disasters and climatic changes such
                                                                                                                                                                                                           as extreme temperatures and pollution.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1   Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021
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International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                             Five Predictions | International SOS

     1                                                                                                                      I think geopolitical issues
                                                                 Workforce Resilience Council experts expressed
                                                                 deep concerns over the potential impact of the
                                                                 pandemic on the global geopolitical environment.       have been significantly
                                                                 With the economic, political and social effects        exacerbated. The position
                                                                 of the pandemic manifesting at international
                                                                 and national levels, the direct or indirect fiscal
                                                                                                                        of some countries has been
                                                                 stress especially will shape interstate relations      opportunistic with the
     ECOPOLITICAL                                                and exacerbate pre-existing trends. On a national
                                                                 level, public perception of government and
                                                                                                                        environment and the world
                                                                                                                        we’re living in at the moment
     TURBULENCE WILL                                             health bodies’ management of the pandemic
                                                                 will play into pre-existing divisions and security     and you’ve got other politicians,
     EXARCERBATE                                                 issues in certain states. In some cases, where the
                                                                 government is not perceived to have managed
                                                                                                                        who have been really expedient

     TENSIONS,                                                   the pandemic successfully, or has been unable          with the crisis as well from a
                                                                 to develop a robust sense of national purpose          personal political gain.
     CIVIL UNREST                                                in tackling the pandemic, there will be a higher
                                                                 likelihood of social unrest and anti-government
                                                                                                                                           Jason Smith
     AND CRIME                                                   sentiment, in addition to a hardening of pre-
                                                                 existing ideological divisions.                                           Principal Consultant –
                                                                                                                                           Risicare Consulting

                                                                 More broadly, while the pandemic’s significance                           Director - Risk Management
                                                                 is not in any doubt, it should not be the only                            Institute of Australasia
                                                                 lens through which we view security risks in                              Workforce Resilience Council
                                                                 2021 and beyond. In various states across the
                                                                 world, long-standing security issues remain the
                                                                 primary concern and whilst the pandemic is a
                                                                 complicating factor, it is the long-standing drivers   INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL
                                                                 for these security risks which will shape the          SECURITY CONCERNS ARE
                                                                 overall environment in 2021.                           BUBBLING UNDERNEATH A
                                                                                                                        COVID-19 MYOPIA
                                                                 ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL                                 While adding to existing hardships on the
                                                                 OPPORTUNISM                                            ground, the pandemic has not brought about
                                                                                                                        a fundamental shift in the vast majority of
         COVID-19 is causing an economic decline which will      On a macro-level, those countries and                  the ongoing conflicts, which will continue to
     increase political tensions and will end in trouble. So I   communities who are severely impacted by               feed regional security issues and great power
     think there will be supply chain disruption, personnel      economic recession and public health crises,           engagement, as will be the case in Afghanistan,
                                                                 may need to seek support from other nations.           for example.
     security and distribution issues coming out of it.          Furthermore, all states will be seeking vaccines.
                                                                 These factors will play into various pre-existing      Furthermore, the pandemic has also complicated
                         John Ludlow                             global dynamics and regional power struggles           the calculus with regard to key geopolitical
                                                                 with states seeking to use the pandemic to             issues. As 2021 draws on, with – in all likelihood
                         CEO, Airmic
                                                                 accelerate pursuit of strategic interests.             – increased vaccine production and take-up
                         Workforce Resilience Council
                                                                                                                        and reduced immediate term social, economic
                                                                 This has already been borne out with some of           and logistical restrictions, these conflicts and
                                                                 the politics surrounding vaccines developed in         geopolitical questions will again rise to the fore.
                                                                 Russia, the US, Europe and China, for example,         Whether this is the evolving situation between
                                                                 and is expected to be a notable feature of             the US and Iran, social unrest linked to stagnating
                                                                 interstate relations and soft power influences in      quality of life standards in Latin America, the

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RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                 Five Predictions | International SOS

                                                       emerging Salafi-jihadist threat in         Citizen activism will continue                          Timely intelligence and response will
     TOP FIVE EXPECTED CAUSES                          northern Mozambique, the regional                                                                  build resilience in a turbulent world
     OF EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY                          fallout of the rising ethnic violence in                    James Bird
     DECREASES IN 20211                                Ethiopia, populism and nationalism in                       Security Director, Intelligence and    Given all of the above, and the complex and
                                                       Europe, or tensions between India and                       Operations, International SOS          interwoven health, economic, social, political and
                                                       China, or the US and China – some or all                                                           security aspects of the pandemic, risk managers

                                                       may pose potentially thorny challenges                                                             are going to face many challenges in 2021. These
                                                       for risk managers in 2021.                 The pandemic has also shone a bright light on           are going to be compounded by the problems of
                                                                                                  structural inequality, with individuals of lower        both excessive information, and misinformation.
      infectious diseases (COVID-19, malaria,          Domestically, in general terms, public     socioeconomic status – which in many countries
      dengue, Ebola, Zika etc.)                        sentiment to their governments             has direct correlation with ethnicity – often           At a time when the distinction between opinion
                                                       has been defined by how well they          disproportionately affected in mortality terms.         and fact is often blurred, obtaining timely,

                                                       are perceived to have handled the                                                                  apolitical, verifiable and actionable information
                                                       pandemic. In certain cases, such           This dovetailed with a reinvigoration of the Black      has never been more valuable to organisations
                                                       as Lebanon, the pandemic has               Lives Matter movement in the United States              to inform strategic and tactical decisions and to
      country risk rating                              highlighted pre-existing issues around     following the killing of George Floyd at the            ensure the business continuity.
                                                       governance and added further fuel          hands of police in May 2020. His death sparked

                                                       to anti-government sentiment. Whilst       widespread protests not just in the US but all over     A key part of access to analysed and assessed
                                                       impressive pandemic performance in         the world, with solidarity gatherings in counties in    information is using this to build an organisation
                                                       places such as South Korea, or New         Europe, Asia and Africa and South America, many         specific picture of the types of domestic and
      transport concerns                               Zealand has bolstered public faith in      of which also addressed local issues of structural      international threats and risks that would
                                                       the government. That said, impressive      inequality and racial injustice at the hands of the     necessitate an organisational response, and

                                                       pandemic response does not nullify         law.                                                    then putting the plans in place to manage that
                                                       the threat posed by underlying popular                                                             response. The pandemic has brought business
                                                       discontent, as has been recently           Prior to the pandemic, the issue of climate change      continuity planning to the fore and the flexible
      security threats                                 demonstrated with the growing protests     was a notable source of mobilisation and as 2021        approach adopted by many companies in 2020
                                                       in Thailand, which have expanded           progresses the expectations of many citizens will       will need to be retained and developed, as they

                                                       despite a well-regarded pandemic           be for their government to take advantage of the        analyse the dynamic threat environment and build
                                                       response.                                  ‘re-set’. These expectations cross various issues       actionable plans to enable their business to thrive
                                                                                                  including, but not limited to, social justice and       in the uncertainty and be prepared to respond
      mental health issues                             In Europe and the United States            climate change. They will, however, likely clash with   nimbly when the situation necessitates.
                                                       especially but not exclusively, the        competing visions and priorities across the political
                                                       pandemic has heightened societal           spectrum, as various countries map out their
                                                       divisions and led to increases in          economic, social and political trajectories.

      More than a fifth also cited ‘geopolitical       support for various right-wing populist
      threats’ and ‘civil unrest’ as key causes.       politicians and groups, fuelled in         This will translate into more demonstrations
                                                       significant part by misinformation         and highly charged political atmospheres,
                                                       and social media. This has led to the      particularly as the slower-burn economic impacts
                                                       increased politicisation of scientific     of the pandemic start to be felt, which, again will       Around a third of risk professionals felt that
                                                       outputs such as mask wearing and           disproportionately fall on those at the lower end of      security threats would be among the top
                                                       vaccines, the effects of which will not    the socio-economic spectrum.                              causes of employee productivity decreases in
                                                       only outlast the pandemic but also                                                                   2021.1
                                                       complicate and slow the ongoing
                                                       pandemic response. This in turn has led
                                                       to increased mobilisations on the right
                                                       and on the left, trends which we expect
                                                       to continue well into 2021 and likely to
                                                       be played upon by politicians of various
                                                       ideological persuasions.

16                                                 1    Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021                                                                                            internationalsos.com    17
RISK OUTLOOK 2021 Five predictions - International SOS
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                      Five Predictions | International SOS

     PANDEMIC-                                                             The pandemic quickly affected every employee
                                                                                                                                 to be an individual employee-managed risk, or one
                                                                                                                                 managed by local public health. For example, this

     BORNE CRISIS                                                          in a way that no other event in modern history
                                                                           has – the heightened risk of international travel
                                                                                                                                 might have involved ensuring an employee can
                                                                                                                                 get to and from their workplace with minimal risk

     MANAGEMENT                                                            quickly paled in significance to domestic risk.
                                                                           Issues were no longer felt by those travelling,
                                                                                                                                 of infection or being stopped by local restrictions.
                                                                                                                                 Pre-pandemic, this simply was not front of mind

     TEAMS WILL                                                            they were at home and in every workplace. The
                                                                           knock-on impact in organisations is that roles
                                                                                                                                 for many people. But they are now, and for the
                                                                                                                                 foreseeable future.

     REDEFINE DUTY OF                                                      previously only concerned with workplace
                                                                           safety soon found themselves in an unfamiliar         Experts interviewed felt that organisations have

     CARE PRACTICES                                                        territory of managing employee health and safe
                                                                           logistical management – with a primary objective
                                                                           to prevent infections and reduce the risk of death.
                                                                                                                                 now recognised how vulnerable they are as a
                                                                                                                                 business if they don’t protect their employees
                                                                                                                                 from these new risks: in future there will be more
                                                                           This role was often extended to not just their own    emphasis on the health aspects of employee
                                                                           employees, but in the wider business units, or        health and safety. Health and wellbeing have now
                                                                           even in communities in which they operate.            moved to the top of the agenda: it is now for
                                                                                                                                 the first time for many companies a board-level
                                                                           Boards, HR and general management found               matter. There is an expectation not just that there
                                                                           themselves thrust into the frontline of clinical      will be an increase in preventative measures, but
                                                                           decision making, with incredibly high stakes. In      that there will be an aspect of long-term health
                                                                           most cases this ultimately led to both global and     monitoring of a company - not just ensuring the
                                                                           local crisis management teams being formed.           business is healthy, but that employees are too.
                                                                           Whether formal or informal, most of these crisis      This will in future extend beyond treating the
                                                                           management teams have shaped the future of            sick or supporting during short crises, but will
         The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wakeup call for all              Duty of Care. If we look at an HR department, they    encompass a more holistic measure of health
     employers regarding the importance of the health and wellbeing        have quickly been propelled to new roles, involved    performance.
     of their workforce. They have now realised that the health and        on topics they had no direct influence on before,
                                                                           such as vulnerable persons, mental health, home       Experts highlighted three major variables that
     viability of their business is dependent upon the health and          violence, schooling, etc.; which correspond to a      will also define how this will play out in 2021:
     vitality of their workforce. Employers will increase their emphasis   broader definition of Duty of Care.
                                                                                                                                   an organisation’s willingness to change,
     on maintaining a healthy and safe workforce as a key driver for
                                                                           Many of these teams have evolved to be more             seeing this as positive opportunity to deliver
     the sustainability of their business enterprise. The health and       nimble and agile. Those organisations fortunate         more value to their people;
     productivity and performance of their workers are inextricably        enough to already have internal and external
                                                                           health and security expert support were in general    2	its ability to afford the necessary resources
     linked to the bottom line of the company.                             quickest to respond with suitable plans. However,        in order to deliver change, in light of the
                                                                           while some of those had the foundations in place         economic downturn; and
                                                                           to manage such a brutal crisis, they too have
                        Ron Loeppke                                        had to rethink and repurpose their teams and          3	the introduction of new regulation and
                        Vice Chairman, U.S. Preventive Medicine            processes to help manage variables previously felt       legislation.

                        Workforce Resilience Council

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International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                 Five Predictions | International SOS

                                              ‘EMERGING RESILIENTS’ WILL                                   ‘CHANGE RESISTERS’ WILL                                  Now if you join a company
                                              CAPITALISE ON LESSONS                                        RISK PRODUCTIVITY LOSS,
                                              LEARNT FROM THE PANDEMIC                                     ABILITY TO RETAIN TALENT,                            and they say we don’t cover
                                              – CHANGING ROLES AND                                         AND COSTLY LITIGATION                                you for hospitalisation and all
                                              RESPONSIBILITIES                                                                                                  that stuff, that will become
                                                                                                           There are many industries where working-
                                              Experts saw great opportunity for employers                  from-home just isn’t a viable option: we will see    a factor for the employee,
                                              as health and wellbeing is pushed up the                     continued innovations there, as they adapt to        whether they want to take up
                                              agenda, expecting ‘employer care’ to become                  simply survive.
                                                                                                                                                                the job or not.
         They need to reach out to            more critical in future employee attraction,
                                              engagement and retention. The primary changes                However, there are some which are not adapting
     their risk community… senior             forecasted in 2021 are:                                      or are waiting for a resolution, a return to         Jaleel Rahiman
     roles tend to be driving                                                                              normal – that may not ultimately come, or at         Secretary General,
                                              • Breaking departmental silos of boards, human               least not the ‘normal’ they are expecting. While     National Safety
     towards their objectives                   resources, health and safety, and security                 this reluctance to change is understandable          Council of Singapore
     and often blind to risks;                • Leadership in general will need to be stronger             considering the financial burden so many are         Workforce Resilience Council
     they’re very optimistic                    but also more empathetic with the workforce                under, this could ultimately result in long-term
                                              • Health and wellness roles will take greater                productivity loss, the ability to retain/attract
     people and … they need to                  prominence on senior leadership teams with                 talent, and costly litigation.
     be a bit more risk aware.                  the increasing value placed upon the role of a

                                                Chief Health Officer as a strategic advisor:               Organisations offering a new provision of
     They also need to be more
                                                » Data is increasingly noisy and its                       enhanced Duty of Care to their employees will be
     joined up too, because as                     interpretation more nuanced                             far more attractive to both talent and investors.
     I’ve mentioned, risks are                  » Strategists, like McKinsey & Company1,                   This goes beyond offering simple health
                                                   now recommend that a medical advisor is                 insurance or wellness perks, but will become          Over half of risk professionals think having
     very connected these days                     integral to crisis response leadership, as part         increasingly more proactive and outcomes-             adequate resources to deal with COVID-19
     and issues very seldom stay                   of a network of teams                                   driven.                                               is a challenge for their organisation.1
     in one department… so if                 • Crisis/risk management roles will be valued
                                                more within organisations
     HR have a problem then                   • Human resources will evolve further to                     RESOURCES WILL NOW BE
     soon operations will have a                become a more strategic function within the                PRIORITISED BY ORDER OF                              A risk review for an organisation will help decide

     problem and so might sales                 organisation                                               RISK LEVEL, WITH GREATER                             the priorities: is mental health becoming a
                                              • Security roles will become more holistic,                  IMPORTANCE PLACED                                    growing reason for employee sick-leave? Are
     and marketing. So businesses               repurposing intelligence and analysis skills to            ON HEALTH & SECURITY                                 travellers being sufficiently screened? How is
     need to de-silo and join up                support health and wellbeing too.                          ADVISORS                                             ergonomic risk being proactively managed? If
                                              • Health, safety and security will become                                                                         so, have we put in place both preventative and
     and that can only be done if               more material to organisations, leading to                 Following the pandemic, experts expect               reactive support to help those people?
     the C-Suite leads the team.                transformation and innovation in business                  willingness to engage and invest in employee
                                                practices, which will in due course be reflected           health and wellbeing to only increase.               As the complexity has grown, independent
                                                in future sustainability reports and investor              Employers traditionally focused on safety will see   unbiased health and security advisors will
                                                expectations.                                              emphasis shifting towards the health aspect of       play an increasingly important role – helping
                                                                                                           HSE (health, safety and environment).                organisations to make decisions based on their
                                                                                                                                                                profile and needs, while not spending above
                                                                                                           But there are concerns about resourcing: over        their means and avoiding being seen as taking a
                                                                                                           half of risk professionals (54%) think having        political stand on COVID-19 measures. Ultimately,
     John Ludlow                                                                                           adequate resources to deal with COVID-19 is a        their role will be to help organisations anticipate
                                                                                                           challenge for their organisation in ensuring the     the next health challenges, beyond the current
     CEO, Airmic
                                                                                                           health and security of employees.1                   pandemic, they need to start addressing now.
     Workforce Resilience Council             1   ‘Leadership in a crisis: Responding to the coronavirus
                                              outbreak and future challenges’ – McKinsey & Company
                                              2   Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021
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International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                                                               Five Predictions | International SOS

     WILL CONTINUE TO BE COMPLEX BUT ESSENTIAL                                                                    COVID-19 and the changing                                           Instead, the two are seen as increasingly
                                                                                                                  responsibilities of the C-Suite                                     interconnected, with employees being recognised
     Nearly a third of organisations         Most likely evacuation causes in 20213:                                                                                                  as organisations’ most valuable assets.
     (28%) cite the ability to evacuate                                                                                              Dr Philippe Guibert
     employees as a challenge in                                                                                                     Regional Medical Director, Europe                Given these trends and awareness of employee
     ensuring their health and security.                                                                                             Health Consulting, International SOS             safety, C-Suite executives will need to continue
     This is felt most acutely by                                                                                                                                                     to drive decision-making on how their facilities
     respondents supporting assignees                                                                                             Beyond the direct disruption the                    can be made COVID-19-safe, whether employees
     (39%) and those based in Africa &                                                                            pandemic has caused, there have been major                          are office-based, mobile or working at retail or
     the Middle East (37%), and Japan                                                                             organisational shifts at the C-Suite level. Many                    manufacturing or other industry-relevant sites.
     (37%).3                                                                                                      executives have broadened their remit as the                        This focus on expanding aspects of employee
                                                                                                                  pandemic has evolved, taking a more hands-                          safety will undoubtedly stay beyond the
     Of those evacuations, risk
     professionals predict that
                                             73% 31% 26% 25% 21%                                                  on approach to mitigate the disruption caused
                                                                                                                  by the coronavirus crisis. This burden in many
                                                                                                                                                                                      pandemic, even if the C-Suite may become less
                                                                                                                                                                                      hands-on as the crisis passes.
     COVID-19 medical reasons will be        COVID-19     Border        Returning       Security      Natural     cases has been borne due to the urgency with
     the most likely cause of employee       medical      closure       employee        threats       disaster    which decisions need to be made, as the C-Suite                     In addition to the physical health and safety
     evacuations next year.3                 reasons                    to home                                   is generally best placed to quickly respond to                      of employees, organisations also appear
                                                                        country                                   issues, updating policies in an agile manner to                     to be gaining a greater level of sensitivity
                                                                                                                  cope with the dynamic situation.                                    and understanding regarding mental health
                                                                                                                                                                                      issues. The number of organisations reporting
                                                                                                                  One of the main areas where the C-Suite has                         stress-related, emotional fatigue or employee
                                                                                                                  expanded their responsibilities is with the                         disengagement leading to accidents and
                                                                                                                  health and security of employees. Recent                            absenteeism has recently increased. Chief Health
                                                                                                                  research from IBM1 highlights this, 80% of                          Officers (CHOs) in particular are invaluable
                                                            INCREASED REGULATION &                                surveyed C-Suite executives reported that they                      assets in this field, as their expertise can help
                                                            LEGISLATION                                           were now supporting the physical and mental                         businesses understand the best ways to support
                                                                                                                  health of the employees whom they oversee.                          employees’ mental health. They can support the
                                                            Experts highlighted some blind spots at present       This is underscored in our own data whereby                         HR function’s focus on a medically-informed
                                                            on regulation and legislation: how do you             International SOS has observed a tenfold                            mental health strategy, which HR professionals
                                                            evidence your workplace is ‘COVID-19 secure’?         increase in calls to our Assistance Centres from                    can implement without becoming experts in the
                                                            With the confusion on measures and the lack of        members of our clients’ management teams, and                       field. Organisations should certainly consider
                                                            consistency across national jurisdictions, how do     a doubling in the number of C-Suite level calls.                    these benefits as a matter of urgency: a recent
                                                            you navigate through the many national visions                                                                            International SOS survey2 showed that over 20%
                                                            of what constitutes ‘best practice’? Who is           It’s clear that C-Suite executives are now doing                    of organisations are expecting mental health
                                                            responsible for monitoring the appropriateness        more to ensure that decisions account for the                       issues to cause operational issues over the next
                                                            of an employees’ homeworking environment?             health and safety of employees. Specifically,                       12 months – highlighting the importance of
                                                                                                                  employees’ personal health issues are no longer                     having an expert to deal with this issue.
                                                            2021 will start to bring clarity, both through        seen as separate from business concerns.
                                                            regulation but also via costly litigation. Singular
                                                            court cases can and will define the future.

                                                            We explore the complete working-from-home
                                                            picture later. in our fifth prediction.

                                                                                                                  1   https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/ibm-study-majority-of-global-c-suite-executives-are-rapidly-accelerating-digital-
                                                                                                                  2   https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200610005323/en/New-International-SOS-Survey-Reveals-Second-Wave-of-
                                                                                                                  3   Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021

22                                                                                                                                                                                                                          internationalsos.com     23
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                           Five Predictions | International SOS

         COVID-19 and the changing                           management and communication in support of
         responsibilities of the C-Suite (cont.)             a greater number of domestic issues: navigating
                                                             return to work, volatile logistical restrictions
                         Erika Weisbrod                      and compound crises – as seen borne from civil
                         Director of Security Operations,    unrest and extreme weather events – such as
                         Europe, International SOS           hurricanes/typhoons, flooding and wildfires.

                         Beyond the direct health            Moving forward, we can expect the C-Suite to
         implications of COVID-19, the C-Suite is            maintain a continued interest in and oversight of
         increasingly needing to take additional             the issues sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
         issues, such as the broader security role, into     While executives may take a less involved
         account as the pandemic has affected various        approach as we exit the crisis, it is likely that the
         geopolitical and economic tensions. It has          mindset of caring for employee safety and overall
         brought to the forefront the impact and far-        workforce resilience will remain. Additionally,
         reaching repercussions that both health and         the C-Suite will be looking for more incisive
         security issues can have for both employees         and accurate data to inform and prevent being
         and society generally. For instance, earlier this   caught off guard by the next major disruptive
         year around 75% of the security-related requests    event – something with which
         that International SOS received were related to     International SOS strives to support its clients.
         COVID-19, as the crisis has exacerbated existing    For example, security and HSE professionals
         security risks due to growing anti-government       are increasingly being tasked to provide
         sentiment, xenophobia and general social unrest.    sustainability reporting, a trend that will
                                                             likely continue in coming months and years.
         The Security function has increasingly been         Coupling this data-driven approach with agile
         asked to narrow its focus to more national,         decision-making based on robust and up-to-
         local and virtual threats and mitigations. Roles    date actionable insight, will be key for the most
         and responsibilities have also shifted to take      effective organisations going forward.
         on more aspects of business continuity, crisis

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International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                            Five Predictions | International SOS

     THE GROWING                             It has been estimated that
                                             the amount of academic
                                                                                          mask-wearing have caused
                                                                                          division and confusion. This

     INFODEMIC                               information published on
                                             COVID-19 in the last nine
                                                                                          involvement of political
                                                                                          language (‘speaking in the

     WILL INCREASE                           months is about 50% of that
                                             published on HIV-AIDS in the
                                                                                          name of science/facts’)
                                                                                          into health matters is new

     DEMAND FOR                              last 39 years2. Advice from the
                                             most trusted of national and
                                                                                          territory for many nations.
                                                                                          Organisations now also need

     TRUSTED SOURCES                         international authorities about
                                             transmission and prevention of
                                                                                          to consider if their decisions
                                                                                          on health and safety are

     OF HEALTH                               COVID-19 has been conflicting
                                             and changing.
                                                                                          going to be seen as political
                                                                                          support or lack thereof. It

     AND SECURITY                                                                         is becoming increasingly
                                                                                          difficult to navigate, especially

     INFORMATION &                           Trust in local governments
                                             and health bodies is seen as
                                                                                          if companies are unable to
                                                                                          source opinion from (and

     ADVICE                                  a key challenge for a third
                                             of risk professionals – most
                                             acutely felt in the Americas
                                                                                          share responsibility with) an
                                                                                          apolitical independent.

                                             (40%).1 This corroborates                    Organisations are increasingly
                                             recent findings reflecting a                 looking to engage subject
                                             gradual erosion of importance                matter experts to help them
                                             placed on the information                    sift through ever growing
                                             and advice provided by those                 amounts of information.
                                             institutions.                                Being able to discuss specific
                                                                                          concerns and scenarios
                                             Perhaps most damaging of                     allows appropriate response,
                                             all has been the politicisation              minimising the risks of over-
                                             of health topics. Politicians                and under-reaction.
                                             expressing counter-opinions
                                             to preventative measures like

                                                         Around a third of risk professionals felt that
                                                         trust in local governments & health bodies
                                                         was a top challenge when ensuring the health
                                                         and security of all employees.1

                                             1   Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021
26                                           2   International SOS analysis                            internationalsos.com   27
International SOS | Risk Outlook 2021                                                                                                                 Five Predictions | International SOS

                                                                                         EMPLOYEES WILL TURN TO
                                                                                         THEIR ORGANISATIONS FOR                               » Remote working – How to monitor
                                                                                         A SOURCE OF TRUTH                                       productive and healthy remote work
                                                                                                                                                 environments? How do we keep people
                                                                                         Where trust has eroded, employees have turned           mentally healthy, and actively manage the
                                                                                         to their organisations to bridge the gap: helping       lack of social contact?
                                                                                         them to cut through the ‘noise’ (huge volume
                                                  …information has almost                of information being shared) and provide clear        » GDPR & cybersecurity – Monitoring
                                             become ubiquitous in a way,                 advice which they can use not only to protect           cybersecurity, ensuring GDPR practises
                                                                                         themselves but also to help their loved ones.           are still being adhered to under limited
                                             and that’s got pros and cons.                                                                       supervision.
                                             On the one hand, it’s a great
                                             equaliser, you and I both having

                                                                                         EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY
                                             access to the same information,             IS NOW HINGED ON THE
                                             should give us each the same                ABILITY TO ACCESS & UTILISE
                                                                                         COVID-19 INFORMATION
                                             opportunity, I’d make that                                                                      Risk professionals identify access to accurate
                                             argument. On the other hand…                Risk professionals identify that having access      and timely information on health and security
                                             it becomes a great breeding                 to accurate and timely information on health        threats as a key challenge.1
                                                                                         and security threats as a challenge (40%),
                                             ground for misinformation to                particularly among those responsible for
                                             be put out… it’s very difficult,            assignees (45%).1
                                                                                                                                                  I think many of us
                                             I think, to parse out and tell              Key considerations highlighted by experts:          experienced the kind of
                                             what’s credibly resourced and
                                                                                                                                             avalanche of emails that started
                                             referenced and researched                   • The clarity of information provided, the
                                                                                           amount of information provided, and the lack      coming in since March, and it can
                                             data, versus what is someone’s                of consistency in the data - leads to increased
                                                                                                                                             be very overwhelming just using
                                             opinion being pulled out as                   confusion e.g. in understanding the different
                                                                                           localised rules about where you can travel to.    the sort of old fashioned kind of
                                             data. I think long term, that has
                                                                                                                                             tools for keeping in touch with
                                             a very big impact on all our                • This creates a lot of work in vetting
                                                                                                                                             people, but on the other hand
                                             futures.                                      information. The source of information has
                                                                                           grown in importance; trusted information from     there’s a great deal of really
                                                                                           credible sources have become increasingly         rapid development of just the
                                                          Peter J. O’Neil                                                                    tools that we already have, all
                                                          CEO, ASIS International        • The increased volume of information that          the kinds of video conferencing…
                                                          Workforce Resilience Council     needs to be considered by organisations has
                                                                                           led to additional resources being deployed to
                                                                                                                                             we’ll have to adapt our habits to
                                                                                           focus on:                                         use these things.
                                                                                             » Return to office - How many employees                         Judy Kuszewski
                                                                                               can be accommodated? Where have they
                                                                                                                                                             Chair, Global Sustainability
                                                                                               travelled from? How can physical distance                     Standards Board (GRI)
                                                                                               be achieved? Is the ventilation adequate?
                                                                                                                                                             Chief Executive, Sancroft
                                                                                               Are the cleaning and disinfection measures
                                                                                               sufficient?                                                   Workforce Resilience Council

28                                                                                       1   Business Resilience Trends Survey 2021                                       internationalsos.com    29
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