Keeping things “business as usual” when disaster strikes relies on having a tailor-made plan for all of a company’s teams – including those on the road.
As large corporations are increasingly innovating their global real-estate strategies, and making the move from traditional office space to flexible workspace (flexspace), the lid has been lifted on the many advantages of this new-age approach to office space.
It has been proven that flexspace and coworking hubs are not just for freelancers and startups. They offer a professional set-up for large businesses, who can hire private offices within these locations: they have access to shorter leases compared to conventional office space, and the choice to upscale or downsize the amount of space they are hiring as needed. By partnering with a flexspace provider with a sizeable network, companies can source workspace pretty much wherever they need it. This can help them to be more agile when it comes to being closer to clients, or catering to talented employees who would prefer to work closer to where they live and cut out the commute.
There is, however, another benefit of flexspace that is perhaps lesser recognized, and that’s the role it can play in business continuity. When a disruptive event occurs – be it severe weather or a burst water pipe – and a business’s main office becomes unusable, corporations need a back-up workspace where they can relocate their team and get back to work as soon as possible. Increasingly, companies all over the world are turning to flexspace to provide this back-up workspace, and incorporating it into their business continuity plan.
Thanks to its large global network of flexible-office space, IWG is able to offer business continuity-management solutions that let companies make use of their workspace locations during a crisis. “We leverage more than 3,500 sites in our network to create operational resiliency,” says Daniel Perrin, Managing Director of Workplace Recovery for IWG. “Think about this product as the ‘cloud service’ of workplace recovery. We don't rely on large generators in our facilities to be resilient. If one of our facilities is down, we simply recover our customers in an operable site nearby.”
Just as flexible workspace is about moving beyond a “one-size-fits-all” approach to office space, business-continuity management also needs to be tailored to a company’s unique situation. Under its Regus brand, IWG offers different types of workplace recovery solutions so that companies can select the best kind of cover to suit their needs.
For example, if a business has based employees at a chosen Regus location, part of its risk-management strategy may involve deciding on a specific, nearby back-up Regus location to be used if this main location becomes damaged or inaccessible due to a disaster. However, if a global corporation has a highly mobile workforce – with lots of travelling sales teams or departments that travel to meet clients, rather than working in the same place day in, day out – they may be making use of IWG’s Enterprise Plan. This gives companies on-demand access to the workspaces around IWG’s network, so employees can drop in and use facilities wherever and whenever they need them. Therefore, these employees have no fixed business address.
Businesses may want to consider making use of Regus’s Dynamic Workplace Recovery product, which guarantees a Regus location will be made available for them within 24 hours. “Our Dynamic Workplace Recovery is the first people-recovery product that doesn’t utilise a predetermined recovery site, which therefore provides ultimate flexibility,” says Perrin. “Depending on the crisis, we work together with our clients to determine the best recovery site at the time of the event. Customers can recover close to the office, close to home, or neither based on the event. This improves the probability of employees being able to get to a productive workplace during a crisis and therefore improves the ability for companies to be resilient.”
Several corporations make use of IWG’s flexible-office spaces both as permanent hubs for their teams, and also by using the Enterprise Plan to cater for employees who need to work while travelling on business. “Our clients include Marks and Spencer, a global retailer based in the UK that uses Regus to support its global sites with our Dynamic product – they were just named the winners of the 2019 BCI Global Awards for Best BC Team,” says Perrin. “And Voya Financial, based in the US, uses the programme to support their headquarters, client-service centres and branch locations.”
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