The activity, preparation and thinking around the post Covid-19 return to work is quite profound. Creating the platform whereby the business can continue to function under the quite clear restrictions of social distancing is the focus, but opening buildings, or creating Covid -19 specific continuity plans may well be a total distraction. We need to stop and think!
Most sensible businesses already have viable Business Continuity Plans (BCP), which tend to cascade down to site level. Necessary business functions have emergency plans to continue, non-essential functions are turned off. Alternative disaster recovery sites to accommodate key business functions are in place, managed and administered by a skeleton crew of staff. The BCP allowed the business to continue to trade and at least manage a proportion of the business demand until normal operations can be resumed.
Right now, business flow has almost stopped. A major economic downturn is predicted and the consequential reduction in demand forecasted is eye watering. So logically the BCP should enable the business to continue functioning; certainly with the expected reduction in demand in the short term. This supports the argument that we should be focusing on the enactment of the BCP, and supporting the BCP for a longer period than was first considered necessary; rather than inventing (on the hoof) plans to cover Covid-19 specifically.
Let’s just implement our BCP well, and enhance it where necessary. This will enable you to:
- Implement an already defined procedure and process.
- Focus on what the business needs to survive and face off to demand, rather than just the reoccupation of space
- Respond quickly, using already available methods and structure
- Exercise “space segmentation” – reducing occupancy costs immediately.
In short, the stop and think! team are suggesting that Covid-19 should have triggered BCP, and therefore the BCP is the foundation of any business response to Covid-19. Coming out of lock down does not just mean a focus on finding space for the employee, it is about jump-starting, or enabling business to face uncertain economic times……