What Happened When We Were Tested by Fire

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on November 2, 2018

So a few weeks ago, things got a little crazy.

We had a fire at our Houston office building. Thankfully everyone was okay, but the building had some serious smoke damage. That means we all worked without an office for an entire week. 

But here’s the good news: If we hadn’t told you just now, you wouldn’t have noticed.

Yes, we had to find some creative work-arounds for in-person meetings, but otherwise, it was business as usual.

In other words, we were literally tested by fire and passed.

It may not seem like a big deal considering all our city has been through in the past year. We’ve come a long way since Hurricane Harvey hit a little over a year ago, although many of our neighbors are still reeling from the emotional and financial aftermath. And after you’ve had to evacuate your home in a rescue boat, smoke damage just doesn’t faze you. It’s all about perspective.

The reason we’re telling you this story is because it illustrates a larger point: With the right technology, people and processes in place, you really can work anywhere.

We’ve been saying that for years now, but after the flooding we experienced last year and the fire we had last week, we’re absolutely certain it’s true. It’s good news for us, but even better news for you. Here’s why.

Our IWMS Software Is Cloud-Based

There are many benefits to cloud-based software, but one of the biggest advantages is that it’s easy to access from anywhere. Whether you’re working out of a coffee shop, in a hotel room or on your phone, you’ll always have the most up-to-date information about all your workplaces.

You can check on the status of a printer repair at your California office while you’re in New York.

You can easily see how many employees are working at your headquarters on any given day and how many are working at your coworking space in another state.

Employees can see which desks and rooms are available and book them anytime, even when they’re away from their home office.

Other IWMS software companies claim to offer a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, but they aren’t fully cloud-based.

Our Clients’ Data Is Secure

Protecting our clients’ data has always been our highest priority. Our data is stored at a secure facility that’s not only protected from physical disaster, but also backed up to ensure a fast recovery in the unlikely event that something does happen.

More recently, we’ve made the move to Microsoft Azure, which allows us to support data encryption at rest. That means in the (also unlikely) event that someone manages to break into the data center, they won’t be able to make sense of the information because it’s all in code.

Our Workplace App Enables Agile Working

Having secure, cloud-based software is essential for facilities managers and other workplace leaders, but what about the rest of the workforce? The average employee isn’t going to be logging into your IWMS to manage space or view facility maintenance requests. But they still need to be able to find people, reserve parking spaces and rooms and request service. They need to be able to receive visitors and mail. And they need to be able to do all these things even when they’re not in the office.

Our workplace app is designed just for that purpose. The Hummingbird employee experience app connects employees and workplace leaders, making it easy for employees to get the resources they need to be productive wherever they happen to be working.

This allows them to take advantage of flexible workplace strategies like activity-based working, hoteling or hot desking, for instance.

Hummingbird also keeps employees informed about what’s going on in the workplace. Workplace leaders can give updates about what’s for lunch, what employee wellness incentives they’re offering and where to go for happy hour, among other things.

All this makes it easy for our team to continue working no matter what happens and allows our clients to do the same.

While we certainly hope we never have to deal with another flood or fire again, it’s a reminder that work really can happen anywhere. They say home is where the heart is. And these days, work is wherever your mind is (as long as you have an internet connection).


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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