A workplace recovery plan will build resilience into your business, and prove to your staff that you’re serious about keeping their stress levels down and productivity high in the event of a disaster.
But what does a robust, dependable plan look like? Here are five important factors you may have overlooked or forgotten.
1. Round-the-clock access
A business continuity work area that isn’t accessible 24 hours a day may be something you want to avoid. While it’s easy enough to find a site that you can access during normal working hours, you should also consider the wider impact of the events that led up to your change in workplace.
You may, for example, need to use the area at odd hours during the implementation of your disaster recovery plan – and no-one wants to move servers and backup tapes from site to site in the dead of night only to find they can’t get in the front door.
When disaster strikes, it’s easy to get so caught up in the bigger picture that you forget about the day-to-day equipment your office needs to function. We’re not talking about servers and desktops here, but the smaller items that make life easier – like cables, phone chargers and even stationery – as well as a way of storing them.
The presence of local amenities and decent transport links are also easily overlooked or forgotten, but could be of great significance to you and your staff if you have to stay at the site for a while.
3. Staff support
The top disaster recovery priority for most firms is the well-being of their staff. This was confirmed in a recent survey carried out by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), which found that 91% of practitioners put staff safety before factors like security of critical data, customer support and productivity.
As such, having a team of professionals at hand who can deliver a smooth transition for your business when you most need it will be invaluable. Your workplace recovery provider should be committed to making your move into a backup office location as easy and uncomplicated as possible, especially during the initial stages following the incident.
4. Security and privacy
In an ideal world, you’d want your business continuity work area to be a replica of your day-to-day office. Of course, this generally isn't possible – which is why it’s important to concentrate on your core requirements first and foremost. One such requirement may be a reasonably high level of security and privacy.
So, if you’re working with sensitive or regulated data, you may decide that a shared space is simply out of the question for your business, and that only with your own dedicated wing in the work area will you be able to ensure your compliance needs are met.
Even in the realm of disaster recovery planning, a mistake that some firms make is not thinking far enough ahead. It’s important to consider your medium and long-term needs, and not just the must-haves in the aftermath of an unexpected event.
Depending on issues like permanent damage to your original premises, you may find that you need to stay in your backup site for longer than originally anticipated, and that your requirements change substantially over time.
Your plan should therefore include details on how much floor space your workplace recovery provider can feasibly deliver, as well as whether you can easily source extra space from elsewhere if you need to scale up.