Choosing Your Fallback: Ensuring Resilience with Work Area Recovery or Home Working

In the bustling environment of the City of London, where the financial and regulatory stakes are perpetually high, ensuring seamless business operations is paramount. As the nature of work undergoes a transformative shift, regulated businesses face a choice: should they fallback to traditional Work Area Recovery (WAR) centres or embrace the trend of home working for fallback?

Whichever direction they choose, the focus remains unchanged – resilience during a disaster.

Work Area Recovery (WAR) Centres: The Tried and Tested Approach

Traditionally, WAR centres have been the de facto fallback option. Whether dedicated or syndicated, the recovery centres are resilient. The buildings are supported by redundant power supplies, multiple internet connections and high-tech security measures. WAR centres are built to resist disruptions.

The great benefit is that a business knows ahead of a disaster what resources will be available ensuring a consistent working environment, mirroring the office setup, and reducing adaptation time during crises.

Crucially, the facility can be tested and proven to the regulators as a valid fallback provision.

Home Working: The New Frontier

Of course, the pandemic sent everyone home and proved without a doubt that we could be effective working from home. The debates about how effective and how creative continue but the benefits to organisations and staff are clear.

This led most companies, aside from traders and banks, to the conclusion that rather than WAR centres, they should fall back to staff homes.

This is very cost efficient, actually reducing operational expenses related to infrastructure and real estate.

However, home offices are not recovery centres and as such are vulnerable to inconsistent power, variable bandwidth or potential internet disruptions.

This makes the fallback solution, for critical staff and those involved in regulated work, inferior to WAR. It exposes the organisation to the risk of staff being forced to work from home due to the unavailability of the office but not having power or internet access.

One can imagine that this would cause organisational panic and confusion, be embarrassing and damaging to the brand and create a real chance that the company would be non-compliant.

It is also very difficult to effectively test it as a recovery provision and prove to the regulators that standards are met.

So, why are firms not implementing a resiliency solution for those staff deemed critical. In the past few years working with customers on this, we found that building a standardised, centrally supported level of resilience into staff homes is much more complex that at first thought.

The solution providing automated power and comms resilience must be standardised, simple to deploy (preferably one device), simple for non-technical users to install and it must be centrally managed, supported and reported on. Along with the requirements set out above, the solution must be certified for use in the home. If it is not, then the firm is introducing more risk to the staff homes and open the organization to litigation and cost if things go wrong.

There is nothing out there that meets all of these conditions, so we had to develop one.

Which is best?

The reality is that the ideal fallback solution is most likely a mix of the two options.

We have found that most companies are retaining access to a small WAR facility, normally for 20 positions. This acts as a central point for communications and HR/Staff support activity and a Crisis Management centre at time of disaster.

The rest of the staff fall back to their home offices and those that are critical or key to the smooth functioning of the firm (5-10% of staff) need resilience built into their home offices.

Reskube is a simple, cost effective and designed for purpose solution to enable this. It fully meets the requirements set out previously and is certified for use in the home in the UK, Europe, the USA and South Africa.

Whichever path businesses choose, regulatory compliance remains non-negotiable. Both WAR centres and resilient home offices must maintain Operational Continuity to ensure consistent and reliable operations, irrespective of external factors, to adhere to regulatory standards.

Conclusion: Resilience at the Forefront

As businesses navigate the evolving landscape of work, the dilemma isn’t just between WAR centres and home working but revolves around truly ensuring resilience.

By integrating tools like Reskube into their continuity strategy, they can confidently ensure that operations remain uninterrupted, no matter where their teams are based. The future of work hinges on adaptability and resilience, and businesses equipped with the right tools are set to lead the charge.