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A Business Continuity Guide to Disaster Recovery in the Workplace

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5/18/2020

Over the last few months, the landscape of the working world has drastically changed in the US, with the Covid-19 pandemic putting the economy on hold in many states, as well as transforming our personal lives. With such little warning of events unfolding at this pace and scale, it’s worth asking if, and how, you can prepare your business for circumstances such as these.

While the term “disaster” might usually bring to mind extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods, there are other incidents to consider under this umbrella too – including terrorist activity, cyber-attacks and, as 2020 has shown us, global pandemics.

As the American economy slowly recuperates, implementing workplace disaster recovery is a crucial step towards resuming business as usual, but what’s the best way to go about it?

Disaster Recovery Explained

Broadly defined as the process of ensuring business continuity after a major incident, disaster recovery generally revolves around gaining access to resources, data, equipment and anything else required to successfully restart operations, with minimal disruption.

A large proportion of a company’s disaster recovery plan therefore generally involves IT, but workplace recovery is equally important to consider. If travelling becomes unsafe, where will your staff be located? Are they equipped to work remotely? And how can you guarantee that your clients won’t be affected?

Workplace Recovery: Why Is It Important?

A workplace recovery plan is crucial to business continuity, and thankfully there’s a wide selection of providers, who are able to offer you various options when it comes to a temporary, transitional or flexible workspace. 

These workspaces are usually available in different packages, depending on the capacity of the space you need, how long you need it for and how quickly you need to access it. For example, you could opt for a back-up space, which would be available immediately upon request, or alternatively a workspace that could be prepared for your company to use within 24 hours’ notice.

How big should your disaster recovery space be?

This is a common question among businesses who are mulling over a disaster recovery workspace. With such a variety of tech and tools available to make working remotely more efficient and collaborative, it’s likely that a substantial proportion of your workforce could work from home for a prolonged period of time, if the situation requires it.

Companies that can operate like this, with a percentage of their employees being setup to log in from anywhere, could choose a small disaster recovery space, which could house up to 10% of your workforce. Opting for a smaller space will allow businesses to be more flexible in the space they choose – but the requirements of this space depend on the priorities of the business in question, as well as its infrastructure. Larger companies which require the majority of staff to be present are likely to have less choice when it comes to arranging a workplace recovery space.

How to Build a Workplace Recovery Plan

While there’s no foolproof set of guidelines which can guarantee business continuity in a time of crisis, the majority of workplace recovery plans take the form of leases or contracts with third party providers such as Regus or Galvanize.

Of course, it’s difficult to be prepared for unexpected circumstances, but disaster-proofing your company with a recovery workspace is an essential step towards ensuring your business can resume operations as usual, with minimal turnaround time. You might also consider having clear protocols in place for local, national and even global disasters, to minimize upheaval for employees and clients alike.

Workthere’s worldwide network of local experts is ideally situated to help you to build a comprehensive workplace recovery plan. From space to location and technological requirements, we’ll focus specifically on the needs of your company, and tailor our suggestions to them directly.