They may allow some companies to continue operating amid critical situations such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and pandemics
Some people call them “ghost offices”.
These are buildings in safe neighborhoods and towns that remain “hibernating” for years.
You may walk near these buildings without paying attention to them. They have little or no signage. Maybe a high fence and security cameras.
But inside there are rows and rows of desks waiting to be used in the event of a disaster. A place to establish if the usual office is inaccessible or destroyed, BBC Mundo said.
Terrorist attacks, natural disasters and yes, also pandemics: These events can cause a company to change offices abruptly and move to so-called “disaster recovery” or “business continuity” sites.
Now, a real crisis is looming over everyone. In response to the new and global coronavirus, companies, including large banks, have activated these contingency plans.
The idea is that if a virus affects a company’s headquarters, staff can use an alternate location to continue working.
It is an alternative to working from home, which is not possible for all workers, such as those who deal with sensitive business information, for example.
Some companies keep name cards of their employees and place them on desks so that everyone knows where to sit immediately.
Computers, telephones, and business software are listed in these locations as well.
The buildings are lined with high walls and extreme security. They are also built to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.
Not all businesses can afford these facilities, but alternative offices offer crucial security for certain companies when crises hit.
These situations often only last a few days or weeks. But with the coronavirus as a potential threat until 2021, firms can depend on these secret offices for a longer time.
Built for disaster
“We have clients in several regions using our facilities. This has never happened, it is the first global event we are managing,” says Patrick Morley, vice president of global product management at Sungard Availability Services, a company that provides emergency offices and technologies. to the companies.
Sungard has 60 secret offices in some nine countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Many of the offices are in London.
Businesses generally rent a certain number of desks at disaster recovery centers. They sometimes share these spaces with other companies, but the more powerful companies have exclusive access.
By distributing the workforce to more sites, businesses hope to mitigate some of the risks of covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
During the coronavirus crisis, distributing employees to different sites could help decrease the risks of contagion.
But many say that working from home is better, since any shared space can become a place of transmission of the virus.
Morley confirms that his clients think about hygiene and asks him to clean the offices before starting the day.
Sungard has placed many hand sanitizers in his buildings. There are also signs reminding employees to wash their hands.
The company also has contracted cleaning staff.
Financial services agencies and banks are the type of business most likely to contract these services, but also insurance, petrochemical and real estate companies.
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