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Business Continuity Planning for Telework

When arranging for staff to work away from the office it is very important to have a contingency plan in case of failure of key components of the remote working environment. This plan is called a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

What is a 'Business Continuity Plan' (BCP)?

It is a fact of life that emergencies will happen, and computer and communications systems will fail. To minimise the problems for your business it is advisable to have a business continuity plan which:

    • Outlines what you have done in advance to prevent interruptions to vital services

    • Lists the steps you and staff will take during an interruption to continue operations

    • Lists the steps you will take to fully restore services after an interruption

    • Sets up a Post Incident Review (PIR) after an interruption has occurred

Sample BCPs are available on the internet where you will also find sites that have extensive instructions on their construction and implementation.

What should be included in your telework BCP?

When creating your telework BCP, assess all the essential computer and communications services that make your business work. What you include depends on the level of risk, and the importance of each system. Think about and record:

    • A list of crucial systems and services and what to do when they fail

    • Ways you ensure availability of computers, printers, fax machines, power, and telecommunications (internal and external). Computers will include on-site and off-site systems especially web, e-mail and file servers.

    • Site security – including setting up office at an alternative site if necessary

    • Fire prevention and response arrangements

    • Flood prevention and response arrangements

    • Data back-up and restoration (including off-site storage of backed up data)   

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