Three things you need for successful hybrid working at board level
During 2020, one of our customers, DNV, made a huge success of enforced remote working at management and board level, saving significant costs and creating a new 2025 strategy that was fully approved by the end of the year.
Using our secure board portal technology, DNV is also now in a great position to build on these successes, adapt to a mix of remote and office-based working, and achieve even more with productivity and efficiency gains in the future.
Hybrid working, which allows people to split their time between the workplace and working remotely, is certainly going to be the future for most organisations.
Prefer a more flexible working model
In April 2021, McKinsey published a survey revealing that 52% of workers would now prefer a more flexible working model. Other experts, including Gartner, have urged organisations to tap into this sentiment and get ready for managing hybrid workforces.
So what happens next for your organisation and board? Like many businesses right now, you’re probably looking to build on what you’ve learned in recent times, move forward, and combine the best of both physical and remote working.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide to reviewing your technology investments that will help you assess your options.
Here are the three key areas that you need to consider at board level for a successful hybrid future:
1. Review your productivity and efficiency
Remote access to technology and apps, the cornerstone of hybrid working, should save your organisation time and make it more productive. According to a report by Deloitte, 55% of employees say their colleagues are just as if more productive when working from home. But what about your board? Is the way they are currently working helping you make the most out of the potential?
Now is a good time to review whether the technology your board is using is helping it to work as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. For example, have you been able to go completely paperless, and are you able to produce and distribute board packs digitally? Ideally, you should also have capabilities that include:
- Electronic signatures for sign-off and faster decision making and approvals
- Digital document archives that can be accessed by board members from anywhere
- Offline working that maintains continuity when board members are travelling or not able to get online
Check out how our secure board portal technology has helped DNV in the video below!
2. Running digital board meetings
Digital board meetings are becoming the norm and will be a mainstay of hybrid working. Your board and administrators have no doubt already become highly experienced at using Microsoft Teams or Zoom. But do these tools provide you with everything you need to run a successful digital board meeting? Or are there any areas where you could improve and streamline processes?
Key areas to check include your ability to:
- Assemble the right documents from digital archives and prepare digital agendas
- Share confidential documents and slides during meetings
- Or take notes digitally during meetings and quickly produce minutes
To benchmark yourself against what’s possible, complete our short interactive checklist.
3. Management of security and data protection
A big challenge with remote and hybrid working is that it can lead to security vulnerabilities. Earlier this year, we got another reminder of how real the danger is when a major cyberattack that exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange. The attack affected many different enterprises, including Norway’s Parliament and 30,000 organisations in the US. Cyberattacks target all levels of organisations, so it is vital that you review security measures within your board processes to ensure you are keeping your organisation safe and compliant – especially if your board is still using email or other messaging apps for remote collaboration.
We recommend you review whether you can:
- Keep confidential board communications ringfenced and secure (ideally, all written communication and working should remain within a single secure platform)
- Guarantee that your technology providers follow strict industry security standards
- Be sure your providers have taken the steps required to comply with GDPR
If you would like to find out more about how you can use our board technology to adapt to new ways of working, and read a Q&A with our customer DNV, we recommend this guide to reviewing your board technology investments.
You might also want to try our board technology assessment tool – a quick online test that will help you identify where your board technology gaps are. You’ll also get instant recommendations for better ways of working.
Why boards now need to put long-term focus on employee welfare
The role of the board has changed a lot in recent times. After years of bad publicity over corporate governance, traditional supervisory boards with little external accountability have given way to new entities that set values, create standards, and are more responsible for strategic direction than they used to be.