An overlooked component of a business continuity program is having a work-at-home option as part of an alternate worksite strategy. With the cost of alternate recovery sites from third party vendors increasing, having the ability for your staff to continue critical business functions from home during a disruption is key. The right solution needs to be in place to ensure this strategy can work.
Here are five tips for a work at home program:
#1 Make work at home part of your BCP culture
Staff need to have the right tools to succeed. This includes company issued (quickship provider) laptops or the ability to access company systems from a personal computer.
#2 Define critical work
Critical work needs to be defined in advance so that during an interruption staff can focus on the priority activities and not the activities that can be addressed after the disruption.
#3 Can the network handle the traffic load?
Can your network handle increased traffic load? Is there the potential to work in shifts? By having staff access network systems during different times, you will reduce the demand on the network. Consider clearly communicating times to work/access systems.
#4 Keep the lines of communication open
Communication is essential when working from home. Staff should be able to troubleshoot problems and minimize downtime. Make sure staff know who to contact, whether it is problems accessing a system, network connectivity, or questions about a business function.
#5 Practice makes perfect
Make sure that when you need to implement your work-at-home program for a disruption, it is not the first-time staff will be doing so. Allow staff to work from home occasionally to ensure they know how to connect to the corporate network remotely and how to communicate with the helpdesk.