Dealing with the Aftermath of Office Fire Damage
Building a company is difficult and time-consuming. Those of us who have built companies, managed offices, and created a culture know how long and difficult the journey to success is. These efforts take time but also real work. The design of your office also has a direct impact on productivity. Achieving the right office balance of comfort, camaraderie, and hard work can take years to build and even longer to replicate.
The design of an office extends beyond simple comfort. It also needs to focus on efficiency and security. For example, consider data storage. Where does that fit into your design? Are you still storing actual servers in your facility? Are they backed up off-site? Will your data survive an office fire? Much of the world has migrated data storage and enterprise software to the cloud, and for this very reason. The cloud can easily replicate your data storage and software online, and off-site while also passing along cost savings to its customers. In addition, there are time and space savings with having to no longer worry about maintaining bulky in-person servers. While things such as enterprise software and data storage are easy to replicate off-site, some other office elements are difficult or even impossible to do so.
There is no shortage of examples of items that cannot be easily replicated. For example, real estate companies need large property plans with original architectural stamps reviewed regularly in internal meetings. Attorneys keep confidential files throughout their offices, with liability at stake if they do not store these files on site. Medical professionals have stringent oversight of how they store, handle, and transport patient files – forcing them to store files on-site in large quantities. In addition to these needs, the internal office structure and setup can take years to perfect.
Imagine you go through all that work of setting up an office, building it, establishing an environment, and meeting all the storage compliance requirements – all to show up one day with it gone, burned to the ground, with nothing left but ashes and memories. This would not only be heartbreaking but potentially wallet breaking. Even worse, it could ruin your company morale and your workplace environment. With your office shut down, it will be difficult or impossible to replicate your office environment while temporarily located in another location or working from home. Office camaraderie will drop or be disappear completely. Management momentum will disappear and be challenging to enforce virtually. Team members may find a way to work effectively, but there’s no doubt there will be a productivity loss. Production across the board will drop, followed by revenue and company value.
Even if your insurance reimburses you for the costs, it will likely be months later by the time you obtain the funds. During that time, you will have personal out of pocket costs along with a massive inconvenience tied to relocating and rebuilding your operations. Instead of focusing on building your company, you will be focusing on not losing your company and holding onto whatever business you can. Other challenging to quantify items will not be covered by insurance – employee retention will drop, employee morale, and company momentum.
Business as Usual Interrupted
The same issue occurs for those who own and rent properties as landlords. Commercial real estate can be an immensely profitable business, but your income is lost and interrupted as soon as fire damage occurs. Your reputation will also be hurt as tenants will be hesitant to move into your next building as they will be scared of potential fire damage. For those who do choose to move in, they will undoubtedly pay lower rent. The longer the fire damage is in place and the repair process lasts, the longer-lasting the adverse effects will be.
Prevention is the best way to avoid this prolonged process. Our team can help you with the entire process of fire assessment. We provide a complete fire-prevention planning service, which will allow your property to meet code compliance while also achieving a higher standard for fire safety. Your property’s structure and interior need to be designed with prevention in mind to prevent these worst case scenarios. We know how to do this at a cost-effective rate. In addition, our clients often see savings through reduced insurance rates due to our high standard of planning.
In the event of a worst-case scenario – call us. We’re here to help. We will help you rebuild faster than your other options while also planning how to continue your operations and manage those affected by the damage, whether it be tenants, co-workers, co-residents, or employees.