Business continuity planning has to use certain key strategies to ensure success. From providing a hot site for getting operations back up and running as quickly as possible to providing workers with remotely accessible tools, these strategies outline the speed and accessibility of recovery operations, and the most important one for firms to incorporate is flexibility.
According to Continuity Central, workplace flexibility plays a central role in disaster response and continuity of operations planning. Providing workers with flexible work arrangements allows them to adapt their work style to the situation, access data, apps and other important tools on a variety of devices and platforms and optimize their workflow based on how they work, not where.
"Some of the best laid emergency plans simply won't work in a real life situation, so a flexible workforce is essential," Noelle Donnelly and Sarah Proctor-Thomson, researchers at the Centre for Labour, Employment and Work at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Management in New Zealand, told the news source. "Team leaders had to find new ways of communicating with dispersed workers, and keep things running despite their own individual circumstances."
Providing workers with a more flexible work environment also allows them to be more in tune with the way they work, being adaptable and sensitive to each other and business needs and adapting as needed. Crunch time becomes less panicked and more focused, while workers are able to maintain productivity during lulls in activity. Isolation, increased data security without accessibility and poor communication all lend themselves to poor productivity both in normal operations and during disaster recovery.
Bringing on business continuity consultants to help refocus strategies on flexibility and the other essential qualities that make up successful disaster recovery is key to optimizing workflows and protecting a company from a crisis.