Work Area Recovery post Pandemic

It is clear that the vast majority of us can work productively from home. As a result, most organisations are looking at how this will change the workplace in the future and Activity Based Working (ABW) is the buzzword.

The past year has also proven that there are some things that are not well done remotely – such as onboarding new staff, on the job training, being creative as a team and building a unique company culture.

So, in the future, the office will still have a place but will be changed. It will be where we come together to be creative and collaborate while the home will be where work takes place. Central functions and facilities such as HR and IT will be delivered from such hubs.

So, as everyone can work at home now that means that nobody needs fallback offices (Work Area Recovery) now right? Everyone just goes home and works from there.

Well, not quite.

One of the things that cannot be achieved quite as well from home is fast communication between large groups, such as a Crisis Management Team. Of course, we have remote collaboration tools and we can all work remotely, but it is clear from the conversations I have had with Crisis Management is that when effective and fast communication is needed Zoom and Teams do not cut it.

I have had hundreds of conversations with firms in recent weeks assessing the picture, understanding what Financial Services and Law firms in particular are planning.

It is understood that the current situation is unique in that it has affected everyone equally. This means that customers, and regulators, are patient with suppliers and partners and giving them more leeway.

However, the pandemic will pass at some point and when the disaster happens to one firm specifically then they are at a significant competitive disadvantage if they are unable to trade for some time, even hours. Customers are fickle and markets move fast.

Home working does not provide for three critical components of Business Continuity:

  1. Intraday activity – continuing to deliver critical services to clients in a timely manner. Work Area Recovery is seen as filling the gap between the incident and home workers being fully up and running and able to continue the firm’s business. This can be 2-6 hours, and may be the next working day.
  2. Crisis Management – getting key people (CMT and relevant Management) together to manage an event.
  3. IT and Corporate Services Hub – a location and facilities for teams to work on recovery. E.g. if the firm is hit by ransomware, a location and infrastructure for IT to reimage 100s of PCs. This is one of many tasks that cannot be effectively achieved from someone’s home.

If your business can stop for a day without anyone noticing, or it not impacting your customer service then you can probably skip having a Crisis Management Facility.

Having facilities, infrastructure and support that can be accessed within minutes is critical to ensuring firms remain competitive and “open for business” when hit by a disaster.

Regulated firms, those in fast moving markets or those with time critical services will continue to have a need for work area recovery and other fallback infrastructure in place.

Recent research carried out by the BCI also shows that only a very small number of organisations will not be renewing their contract with their Work Area Recovery provider post-pandemic.

The majority will still be looking for some kind of solution to a loss of workspace: some will be scaling back the number of fallback positions to focus on providing facilities for the Crisis Management Team and Critical Business Services, whereas others will be reviewing contracts to ensure they can be used for split team working.

This research clearly demonstrates that despite the fact that many have enjoyed their homeworking and that firms have been enjoying the volatile markets in recent months, offices will remain an important part of our infrastructure.

The office will change, and the need for fallback offices will change as outlined, but this need will not go away.

The BCI research also revealed that users of work area recovery solutions are asking for the industry to become more innovative. That’s why we at FortressAS have been and will continue to be an industry pioneer in the way that we deliver our resiliency services. For example, we are excited to announce that we have relevant patent pending technology that will be released later in the year.

Please get in touch if you are reviewing Work Area Recovery and would like to discuss flexible and innovative approaches to support your business through a crisis.

Schedule a call to see how our modern and flexible services can meet your Crisis Management and Recovery needs in the changed world.

Schedule a call.

Call Me

Take a 3D Tour of one of our Recovery Centres.

3D Tour