Chances are you have a backup regime in place to ensure you don't lose crucial work information from your computer systems. But do you have a plan that includes where everyone will work in the event of a major emergency? One recent study suggests the answer is probably "no".
Picture by Brisbane City Council
A survey of 400 Australian business professionals by office space provider Regus suggests that half of Australian businesses don't include any element of workspace planning in their business continuity plans. While it's even more disturbing that 30 per cent don't have any kind of disaster recovery plan at all, it seems many companies have focused their efforts on ensuring that data and systems are backed up, rather than paying attention to where everyone needs to work.
Unsurprisingly, the numbers get even higher the smaller the business gets. Regus itself is using the survey data as a means of promoting its own temporary workspaces, but I suspect that for many businesses, regardless of size, the reality of planning for extra space is more complicated.
Widespread use of mobile phones and the rise in use of Internet-based applications means that in practical terms, ensuring data is backed up and accessible from multiple locations is the single most important element for most businesses. For many jobs, it would be entirely possible to work from home until alternative premises could be located.
Obviously, that's not the case with jobs that involve working extensively with physical goods. But by the same token, those kinds of work can't be instantly transferred into a standard serviced office either.
That doesn't mean no planning at all is required. If your business continuity plan requires you and your co-workers to work from home, you'll need to be sure everyone has suitable equipment and connections. There will also need to be a system in place for paying expenses such as phone calls and Internet connections in the event of an extended disruption.
Got your own war story of finding a new workspace after a disaster to share? Let's hear it in the comments.
Evolve is a weekly column at Lifehacker looking at trends and technologies IT workers need to know about to stay employed and improve their careers.