There's so much talk about getting IT ready for a pandemic that I wonder if someone knows more than we do. When the bird flu hits, the resulting surge in telecommuting might severely choke off bandwidth. Apparently quite a bit of research has been done on how long IT departments can hang on with high absentee rates - 25 percent out sick seems fine, 40 percent out seems like a problem. Of course, this could be yet another 'service' that consultants like Deloitte are offering to terrorize their clients into buying services. "You know, if the bird flu hits..."
Not that I don't think you should be ready with a serious telecommuting program, or have one in place right now. It is a simple money issue; for example, these guys saved $350,000 in real estate by implementing telecommuting, and there is evidence that office space rates are dropping due to rises in telecommuting. Why buy space? Or, if you really feel you have to, how about trying an IT hotel?