Liberty Mutual has a "Workplace Disruption Risk Matrix" with ten factors ranked according to frequency and severity. Their ranking, with some comments:
- Natural disasters - 14 events totaled $45 billion losses in 2019. Hurricanes and Midwest floods are examples.
- Pandemic - besides business closures and workers compensation claims, 94% of Fortune 1000 companies have supply chain disruptions from COVID-19.
- Workplace violence - 20 of 27 mass attacks occurred in 2017. (How return to work will affect workplace violence cannot yet be predicted.)
- Opioids increase workers compensation costs and time lost from work. (Use other methods to relieve pain, including non-medication strategies.)
- Talent gap - 69% of companies report shortages. (Workers unemployed due to pandemic-caused layoffs may need to retrain to find new opportunities.)
- Cyber attacks - average downtime from malware was 16.2 days in the 3rd quarter of 2019. (Lax security while working from home increases the risk.)
- Excessive stress - two thirds of professionals report higher levels of stress than five years ago. (This will probably be exacerbated by the pandemic and work-life conflicts.)
- Digital distractions - a survey reports employees spend 56 minutes of work time on personal cell phones every day. (Work at home causes additional distractions.)
- Travel - more time was spent commuting in 2018. (The pandemic has changed this and work from home, phone and video conferencing will permanently reduce travel disruptions.)
- Harassment claims - over 7,500 sexual harassment claims were filed in 2018, a 14% increase from 2017. (Cyber harassment will replace workplace harassment as a disruption.)
While some of these disruptions are outside of our control, most of the risks can be reduced by good management.