No one likes to see a natural disaster, but everyone seems to love the productivity and connectivity options alternative office space offers in the wake of storms, floods, earthquakes, fires and the like.
Indeed, during and after natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, headlines about coworking, executive office suites, virtual offices and virtual receptionists dominated media headlines.
But after Superstorm Sandy, talk of alternative workspace after a natural disaster may be more than a passing fad. And, according to the results of a survey of corporate real estate managers and workplace professionals, this new awareness of alternative office space’s benefits could be a boon for your business center.
Why Business Centers Are Mission Critical
A CoreNet Global survey of professionals in the northeast corridor has found that as a result of the widespread damage from Hurricane Sandy, companies are updating their workplace strategies as part of their overall risk management.
“Companies need to address work place design and strategy as a part of their overall risk management plans,” says Richard Kadzis, vice president of Strategic Communications at CoreNet Global. “The lesson of Hurricane Sandy and other tragic events is that technology-enhanced work including off-site locations is not just a matter of being flexible, it is mission-critical.”
Nearly all survey respondents reported that Hurricane Sandy had affected their operations. Ninety percent reported that they instructed employees to work from home. And 21 percent told employees to work in third places such as hotels or coffee shops.
Updating Disaster Response Policies
According to the survey, more than two-thirds of the respondents reported that the storm is influencing their companies to revisit or update their disaster response and business continuity risk management plans.
That’s because the storm affected a variety of functions, including the operation of mission-critical facilities, data storage, back up energy sources, access to transportation infrastructure and even water supply infrastructure.
As a result of the storm, nearly half the respondents said they will focus on telework and other forms of mobile work. Another 16 percent said that they will rely on technology and resources provided by third parties. More than a third would be willing to pay between 10 and 20 percent higher prices for buildings that are equipped to withstand a hurricane.
Time to Get Proactive
What does this mean for your business center? It’s time to get proactive. Your sales and marketing team should be collaborating on materials to present to companies that showcase the benefits of your products and services as part of the business interruption or disaster recovery program.
And it’s not just business centers in the northeast that can execute this strategy. Businesses in any place where natural disasters strike seasonally, such as earthquakes in California and hurricanes along the Southeast, need the types of back up services your business center provides.
As you are putting together your materials, though, be sure to outline what differentiates you from the competition – and not just business centers but all forms of alternative workplaces, like the home front, coffee shops and hotels. Then also show how your services can enhance productivity and connectedness for employees who do work in those settings after a natural disaster strikes.