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    The Future of Workplace Recovery: Introducing Greater Flexibility to Sungard AS Workplace Services

    February 17, 2021

    2020 was one of the most challenging years in living memory. Despite things beginning to look brighter in 2021, many of the same challenges exist, and demands on businesses to continue operating remain high. How do you plan for a future that is fraught with such uncertainty? Will more staff work from home and will office locations have to remain closed? What are the implications for business continuity?

    During lockdown, working from home became a necessity for most people, prompting businesses to re-evaluate their working methods, policies and estate requirements, potentially permanently.

    In response to demand from customers looking to exit their production office leases and move into a more flexible ‘office as a Service’ arrangement, in July 2020 we launched Serviced Workplace. These are dedicated suites designed for full-time occupation (not just at time of test or disaster ATOT/ATOD).

    As we approach a year since offices were first forced to close, we are adding even greater flexibility to our workplace services with the aim of helping businesses react to both planned and unplanned events.

    Workplace adapts to ‘the new (for now) normal’

    We have consulted external experts about what the pandemic means for our 50 workplace recovery centres (WRCs) and have adapted them accordingly. We are fortunate in that our facilities are typically designed as self-contained suites, rather than large, open plan areas, which helps limit the spread of infection, and has allowed us to implement the following additional precautions:

    New COVID-19 safety measures include:

    • Protective Perspex / Plexiglass screens – Installed in key locations, 2ft high screens protect over 2,200 Workplace Recovery desks. Further screens have been stored centrally, ready to deploy instantly ATOT/ATOD. The screens, coupled with revised desk layouts, help occupants comply with government distancing guidelines and increase potential suite occupancy from 30% to 80%.
    • Thermal imaging cameras – These have been installed at entrances to several sites, with plans for roll out to core locations, to unobtrusively measure the temperature of everyone entering the building.
    • Fever screens – Already installed at several sites and will be rolled out to all locations these strategically placed screens can read body temperatures within seconds and alert individuals if they have a fever. The digital display panel will also remind of the need wear a facemask if one isn’t detected.
    • Track and trace system – Sungard AS is also operating its own localised track and trace system to alert any site visitors who may have come into contact with an individual who later tests positive for coronavirus.
    • Implemented one-way systems around buildings – To support government social distancing requirements, this extends to allowing visitors to enter through the lobby and leave through the fire exit.
    • Discouraging use of communal coffee points – Customers are instead encouraged to set-up refreshment areas within their own suites.
    • Enhanced cleaning procedures – We’ve introduced more regular cleaning routines, with suites and sites thoroughly cleaned throughout the day and fully sanitised after an invocation. We are also using electrostatic disinfectant to clean suites, and there is a monthly fogging programme in place as well.
    • Listening to customers about the safety measures they want – While has coronavirus has preoccupied our thoughts this year, the usual risks to business continuity have not gone away. People have likely forgotten that at the start of 2020, excessive rainfall led to the wettest February in England and Wales since records began in 1766. Companies still need contingency plans for all the other risks they face including fire, flood, denial of access to premises, cyberattacks and hardware failure.

    Dedicated Workplace becomes more flexible

    Alongside the introduction of Serviced Workplace, we have upgraded our Dedicated Workplace offering to give customers easier access and increased usability.

    The main changes are that:

    • While the suites are not designed for full-time occupancy, testing and usage constraints have been greatly relaxed.
    • There is no invocation fee and only one hour’s notice is needed during normal business hours (three hours outside business hours).
    • Customers now have unlimited access to their suite for testing, swing space when a temporary office is needed, training, split-site working and additional processing. In short, customers are free to use their suites for whatever they need.
    • The standard number of days for use of the Dedicated Workplace for “other business purposes” will be increased to ninety (90) days annually. All daily utilisation fees during this time will be waived with standard access hours applying.

    Shared Workplace improvements

    Perhaps in the most radical change, our popular Shared Workplace service is now available for planned, as well as unplanned, events.

    This means if clients expect disruption to occur due to a pandemic, extreme weather, civil disruption or maintenance works, to list just some examples, they can access the Shared Workplace facility at just one hour’s notice within business hours. Suite set-up, PC imaging and telephony typically takes a further hour.

    Other changes include:

    • All notification charges for shared Workplace Services during the declaration period of a disaster will be waived. Recovery Service usage charges will apply during any extended use of the shared Workplace Services.
    • The shared Workplace Services may also be used for two scheduled events annually equivalent to the declaration period at no additional fee.

    For all the information you need and to help you understand which of our offerings is best suited for your business, please visit: Workplace Recovery Services.

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