Regus Joe Sullivan


Why traditional workplace recovery strategies are falling short

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Flexible workspaces are saving companies time and money when disaster strikes, says Joe Sullivan, Head of Workplace Recovery Product at Regus


According to the 2019 WEF Global Risks Report, ‘extreme weather events’ are the biggest risk we face as an international community, with natural disasters, data fraud and cyber-attacks following close behind. Preventing the unpredictable is beyond our control. What we can manage, however, is our level of preparation when disaster strikes.

At Regus, we speak from experience. In September 2018, the effects of Hurricane Florence impacted some of our centres in North Carolina, South Caroline and Virginia. The devastation was felt by so many of our colleagues, clients and their friends and family. Thankfully, our North America teams were ready to step in and help recover these facilities while taking care of our customers.

The financial cost of disasters such as this can be difficult to absorb. Since 2000, natural disasters have cost the global economy more than $2.4trn – almost $150 billion per year. But it’s not just the headline-grabbing incidents that affect businesses. It’s the everyday ones, too.  A burst water pipe in your office may not sound like much of a threat but, if it means your premises are unusable for a month, what’s your back-up plan?

The good news is that business owners are beginning to implement workplace recovery plans. In 2018, some 2,000 companies enquired into Regus’ award-winning Workplace Recovery solutions. No longer are firms assuming that they are impervious to disasters, whether environmental, political or socioeconomic. They’re devoting considerable time and thought to limit the potential impact on their employees and bottom line.

Adding to this heightened awareness is a relatively new weapon in office managers’ arsenal – flexible workspace. According to a recent Regus study, 73% of respondents said that flexible workspace was invaluable during a business crisis. Having a separate, well-positioned office on hand is fast becoming the chosen recovery plan for many companies.

Take British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer. In 2018, when union protests in Cambodia broke out near the company’s support offices, Regus put M&S’s recovery plan in motion, relocating staff to secure Regus offices where relevant equipment was set up and waiting for them.

Or New Zealand-based company, Education Payroll, which needed a business continuity plan that could guarantee the timely payment of $4.4bn-worth of teachers’ salaries, even in the midst of a crisis. Regus made serviced offices available to them within 24 hours, at one tenth of the cost of a traditional recovery space.

As with these cases, a one-size-fits-all approach will never cut it. Instead, Regus’ solutions can facilitate a Personalised Workplace Recovery Plan, using one of the following as a foundation.

You could decide to have a permanent, separate location that’s constantly available to house the core 5% of your employees and business infrastructure in times of need. Alternatively, there’s a ‘Ready in a Day’ option, where Regus arranges for 20% of your workforce to be relocated to one of its alternative spaces within one business day. Or you can opt for Emergency Workspace For All, an on-demand choice whereby your entire workforce is given recovery space in a Regus centre within two working days.

Regus understands that, for a recovery plan to be successful, facilities need to be as close to your regular location as possible, and in line with your budget. Thanks to our global network of 3,000 flexible workspaces, chances are we’ll have the right solution ready to roll out.

World events are becoming ever more complex, and it stands to reason that businesses are looking for workspaces that can accommodate this fluctuating climate. We’re proud that our international reach and expertise guarantees that our customers and their clients can get ‘back to business’ at the very soonest.

Discover how to create your own business continuity plan