Home sweet home
Technology – in particular, mobile technology and the cloud – makes working from home more of a possibility than ever before. And that means home working as a business continuity strategy is becoming a more viable option for many of us – at least from the point of view of accessing IT systems and data (see “Do your homework“).
In many organisations, however, it’s only really the more senior people who work from home on a regular basis. Often that’s because the type of work they do – report writing, planning, strategic thinking and so forth – is suited to an environment away from the hustle and bustle of daily working life, particularly in an open-plan environment. And, perhaps, because the senior people actually have a laptop – and somewhere suitable at home to use it! Which isn’t always the case for their staff, who may need to be physically near to their colleagues, their paperwork and/or facilities and technology that are only available to them in the office.
So you may decide, as part of your business continuity strategy that, in the event of a loss of the normal working environment, the senior people will work from home and the less senior people will relocate to an alternative office or recovery site. Which all seems very logical, and might even save you some money on your workarea recovery strategy.
But think about it for a moment. Think about perception rather than logic. Particularly that of the people who may be working long hours, miles away from their normal location in less than ideal conditions – whilst their managers are at home.
Granted, your senior people may well be working long hours too. They may also be working in less than ideal conditions. They may be feeling just as stressed as their staff. But if they’re not there with them, sharing their pain, the likelihood is that they’ll be seen as having it much easier. Which probably isn’t the most motivating thing in the world.
Logic isn’t always the only consideration when deciding your business continuity strategy. As Dale Carnegie said “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion”.
With that in mind, you might just want to consider not upsetting the people who are being asked to save your business.