With 2020 already nearing its second quarter, a variety of compliance-related trends have started to rear their heads — some with the potential to further change the face of compliance as we currently know it. 

This article lists several trends to watch as the wild year of 2020 progresses. 

Impact of the Coronavirus

As I recently discussed in my recent article for Security Magazine; the coronavirus has warranted creative urgency for security leaders as the virus gains pandemic potential. On the compliance end of matters, an increasing amount of businesses are now forced to grapple with ongoing safety regulations in proactive new ways, keeping themselves flexible and adaptable as threat levels fluctuate. This “state of limbo” has, at times, moved target in terms of ethical, legal employee-related compliance (which, depending on a business’s proximity to large scale outbreaks, can boil down to choices like whether or not to shut down standard business activity in favor of fully remote work, if possible, and unexpected shifts in policy such as increased paid time off). 

In tandem with the virus’s growing impact on trade and general foreign relations, these trends could significantly alter longstanding aspects of business compliance — at least in the foreseeable future. 

Regulatory Trade and Uncertainty of Recession 

As discussed by Stephanie Quaranta in her article 5 Trends For Legal Compliance to Watch in 2020, “organizations currently face high levels of geopolitical volatility is well established, events such as Brexit, the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations and tensions in the middle east have all been contributing factors in certain uncertainties.” This is also true for economics in nature. We are currently witnessing what is said to be the longest economic expansion in U.S. history according to Quaranta’s article. If you look at Gartner survey data that has been posted across a wide range of industry segments, around 60% of respondents have said that an increase in regulatory change in the past three years. Certain hotspots have included Trade barriers, patchwork regulation, and heightened recession talk. 

Growing effects of social consciousness

Amidst a turbulent political environment, a growing list of societal issues are inevitably driving change on the business front — namely as employee and stakeholder demands evolve to reflect certain values and expectations. Specifically, workplace activism and ESG pose unique challenges for business leaders focused on keeping their workplaces stable, compliant, and in tune with broad corporate norms. With the 2020 presidential election on the horizon, it can be expected for such considerations to remain at the forefront of compliance activity.