FE Voices

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

@BlackBerry offer top 5 tips on returning to the office - Duty of Care in Critical Communications

As we look towards transitioning from the abrupt shift to social distancing and remote work back to the familiarity of our offices and communal spaces, it will be important to have the structures in place to successfully negotiate the complexities of diverse and evolving guidelines from hundreds of regional authorities. It will also require a high level of situational awareness to manage it effectively. 

With the responsibility of caring for their most valuable assets (employees and people) and maintaining business operations, business leaders and public officials now need to challenge their business continuity plans by revisiting their communication strategy and communication process that will enable the next phase. 

Below are five essential considerations to aid a successful transition back to work through an effective communication strategy: 

1. Have an established process and secure mechanism to communicate with your stakeholders. 

Employees are working from home. People are mobile. While this is not a new trend, the current situation has accelerated it and the nature of how people work and their day-to-day routine will take many months to return to what it was prior. Managing the different demands of individuals and a workforce who are disparate and diverse, coupled with security challenges of remote access threatening corporate assets and people, can be difficult. Can you confidently reach all your stakeholders in this environment? 

While an effective response structure includes having the ability to communicate effectively, simply communicating is not enough. Clear and timely communication is necessary in all situations and ensuring your stakeholders get the message is imperative. Consider needing to know where your people are, and which information is relevant to them, and have a mechanism to deliver facts and instruction securely based on their situation. A platform that enables communication, connectivity and collaboration, backed up by the highest level of security standards to sustain business, will enable your success. 

2. Communicate with your stakeholders through multiple channels. 

Effective communication means being able to communicate through reliable channels. People consume information in different ways. In your strategy, consider your role as the established source of truth in the process, and leverage the most popular tools and channels as part of your plan - and don’t assume that only one method is reliable. 

While email is the most common form of communication, this assumes that everyone has access to broadband or corporate email. And what if there is a network or email outage? What if mass communication systems like phone towers and electricity are down? Consider other channels in your strategy like SMS/text messaging, radio, cameras (IoT) and social media. These can be effective tools in your strategy. 

3. Account for your stakeholders during any situation. 

You know how to reach your stakeholders and provide them with accurate information in time of need as part of the communication process. Now what? Can you account for them and know they are safe? Can you coordinate a response if they need help? 

An effective communication strategy should include two-way communication channels. Informing people of a serious event and providing them with relevant information is critical to the process. Having the ability to see where people are, and if they are safe, allows you to make decisions and take action, which can mean the difference between life and death in extreme cases. 

As we return to work, consider introducing employee surveys or health checks, or send out daily safety reminders to capture employee sentiment and get staff what they need to help with the transition or manage a critical illness outbreak. 

Having an established communication process and tools to automate the tracking of replies with your stakeholders will speed up your ability to respond to those who need help, reducing your administrative efforts in the process. This will help you stay apprised of stakeholder status and allow you take necessary steps to prevent a bad situation from getting worse, such 

4. Collect information from your stakeholders. 

Situations are often managed from one centralised location. The biggest challenges are often gathering information given how dispersed workforces and communities are and validating information if a two-way communication process isn’t enabled. 

During a return to work phase, your stakeholders will expect to hear more from you and be supported as they ease back into daily work and life routine. The same can be true post any critical event. Having the ability to collaborate, answer questions and gain feedback through your communication process will be important. 

As part of your strategy, consider the effectiveness of your response to situations like managing additional outbreaks through automated contact tracing in a workplace. If you are able to collect critical information, gain real-time situational awareness from stakeholders (through reports, pictures and videos), you can make quick and effective decisions to keep people safe and business operations running. 

5. Network with trusted community organisations. 

As we navigate the different regional health guidelines and plan for back to work, establishing your network of trusted community organisations (local fire, ambulance, police and health authorities) will be strategically important to include in your communication process. This is true in managing and coordinating response to any critical event should an unexpected situation arise. 

How do you manage these external organisations’ relevant contacts? How can you be confident that your communications (and theirs) are reaching the right individuals within the network of organisations you have established? 

Leverage the same best practices you have considered for your internal communications and ensure you can communicate, connect and collaborate with these external stakeholders as well. Emergencies don’t occur in silos, and this trusted network will be a source of factual data that can influence your ability to respond to a situation, like an illness outbreak, or other threat that puts your people or other assets at risk. This real-time interoperable communication is essential for any event resolution. 

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page