As workers return, we answer the hottest questions FMs are asking

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Everyone’s talking about the philosophy of getting back to the workplace – but for FMs and office managers, the hottest topics are all practical ones.

They’re asking questions including:

  • How do we manage the number of people coming into the office?
  • How do we manage density of people in the space?
  • How do we manage meetings efficiently now they are a mixture of live and virtual?
  • How do we get visitors and contractors in and out securely?
  • What about track and trace?

The list of questions just goes on…so we asked our Rendezvous Head of Sales Steve Corkin to highlight some questions he’s been asked recently – and what he replied.

Check out our special guide to getting back to the workplace safely.

Q. “How do we manage the number of people coming into the office? I run an allocated desk policy. How would a booking system improve or secure my use?”

A. The agile workplace software keeps a valuable track record of usage and frequency as well as offering you the option to release previously allocated desks in a ‘Reverse Hoteling’ approach if they are unused – this can be set automatically for any period of time.
It means the maximum space utilization is achieved while safe social distancing is maintained as part of getting back to the workplace.

Q. “How do we manage density of people in our space? I suspect our space capacity and ratio of use will fluctuate drastically, and we may even consider sub-leasing or rethinking our leasing requirements. What kind of system or data analytics would be an easy, accurate means of measuring usage?”

A. Desk and space occupancy sensors are the state-of-the art way to see exactly how space is being utilized. Integrated with Rendezvous agile workplace software, they provide comprehensive reports to support your space decisions going forward.

On a day-to-day basis, sensors help workers locate their desk or meeting space without risky wandering around – available space is displayed graphically by the agile workplace software in real time.

The sensors can also provide critical and instantaneous “alert” messages to FM, should any seated areas become over-populated or exceed the parameters that have been set to cope with safe social distancing.

Another important feature to ensure safe and comfortable office surroundings is the sensor’s ability to record and report on air quality and temperature, environmental (such as carbons), poor lighting and noise pollution.

Q. “How do we support our shared desking policy with additional stringent processes in place to remove any health risk?”

A. People often want the social vibe from the office, but they can be apprehensive about getting back to the workplace when there is a shared desking policy.

Our Rendezvous hot desk booking system provides reassurance by incorporating social distancing, alerts for sanitization (prior to recommissioning), and easy navigation from any mobile device.

Users can also be limited to the number of times they can use a space within a given location over a certain period.

Q. “If we’re using a hot desk booking system app, how do we help colleagues who want to sit in the same area to work on a project?”

A. Using the hot desk booking system, employees can browse from a floor plan either via their mobile, browser or a kiosk interface to find a suitable bookable space that is available (occupied or booked spaces will indicate “taken”). They can also search for a colleague or team.

Q. “How do we manage meetings efficiently now they are a mixture of live and virtual because our meeting room capacity is less?”

A. Workers around the world have become highly proficient in the use of virtual collaboration tools, but they need management support from agile workplace software to ensure a comfortable and efficient interface with ‘live’ and virtual attendees.

The NFS approach is to provide integration of the meeting room booking system with Exchange/365, as well as collaboration with AV and video conferencing providers including Crestron and Cisco, Zoom, Skype for Business and Teams. It means meeting attendees can initiate meetings easily using these various “bridges” into the session.

Q. “How do we get visitors and contractors in and out of our offices securely, to carry out maintenance work and take part in meetings?”

A. It’s crucial to maintain proper control of visitors to the office, and to gather important information about them.

Rendezvous’ visitor management module allows for contactless check-in and check-out of all visitors, and includes creating badging, and digital forms and documents for acceptance and signing. The meeting room booking system also allows tight tracking of your visitors within the building and provides wayfinding via digital signage.

Q. “What about track and trace?”

A. It’s unfortunately true that some people may still contract the virus. If they’ve used the agile workplace software to book desks or meeting rooms you have access to reporting data that will help you track and trace where they have been.

Bookings made for rooms and desks can be optioned to carry a “Host” name so that tracking on reports will show WHO booked WHAT and WHEN.

This can be used to verify movement between various desks over a particular period.

Conclusion

We still don’t know where the corona crisis is taking us, and what long-term social impact it will have – but workplaces are getting to grips with it and putting in measures that work.

There’s going to be a lot of refining, rethinking and sharing of best practice before things start to feel like business as usual (even if it’s a new usual).

The agile workplace software that’s supporting organizations in these strenuous efforts will continue to evolve as demands change – Rendezvous has already undergone a host of enhancements.

Whatever your technology strategy going forward, be sure to work with a provider that – like NFS – has a fully consultative approach.

Every organization has pandemic-generated needs, but every organization is unique – and your agile workplace software needs to be just as unique if it’s to help you succeed and thrive.

* Got further practical questions about organising your workplace operations around the current health requirements? Ask Steve – stevec@nfstechgroup.com