How to welcome your staff back to work safely

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Staff are understandably cautious about returning to work.

With the right measures in place, you can reassure them that they are going to be safe.

Technology can assist in several ways, to promote an organized booking of space, cleanliness, social distancing and to navigate the landscape of the modern workplace.

With an increasingly mobile workforce it is important to offer them a mobile technological solution that enables them to plan their working day ahead of time quickly and efficiently.

Safety first

We’d suggest that these are the top seven considerations from a successful return to work planning point of view:

  • Touchless access to buildings
  • Track and trace of visitors and staff
  • Physical distancing in conference rooms
  • Sanitation of desks and rooms
  • Safe delivery of catering and AV
  • Physical distancing of hot desks
  • No touch check-in to rooms and desks
  • Technology to the rescue

    Workplace technology plays a key role in managing these areas as well as maintaining safety. Our technology is built around the tenets of ease of use, adaptability, integration and maximum utility.

    Let’s see how technology can play a part in building a safe and productive environment for your staff.

    Desk booking

    If you operate a desk seating policy then a hot desk booking system is ideal for you and your staff. With ease of use for remote workers in mind, a mobile booking app is the fastest way for them to book a hot desk. Integration with Outlook ensures that all their bookings go straight into their calendar – a useful time saving feature.

    To help them visualise where they are sitting and for ease of use, the floorplan booking module is a must and now comes with physical distancing built in.

    Speaking of which, the hot desking software now comes with a useful reverse hoteling feature which enables you to release more fixed desks into the desk booking estate as required. For example, you could release an underused corner office as a hot desk to free up more space. It’s a useful and flexible feature which gives you far more control of your space and is handy when space is at a premium.

    To see how easy it is to book desks and to plan a safe trip to the office check out the video below:

    Room Booking

    The mobile app also enables staff to book meeting rooms in a quick process.

    The meeting room booking software also enables them to book catering, video conference and audio visual services – all on the fly from the mobile app. Integration with digital signage ensures that staff and visitors alike can find their way to the room easily with the minimum of fuss. Auto release built in to the software mitigates against the effects of meeting “no shows” so your space is fully utilized.

    Access

    We recommend that you consider using RFID cards for building access. They are affordable, guarantee no-touch access to the building and they can serve the dual-purpose of accessing a hot desk when integrated with desk sensors and the hot desk booking system.

    Similarly, staff can also use QR code scanning straight from the mobile app to check in and out of desks.

    Visitor management

    From a productivity point of view nothing beats a face to face meeting. Visitor management technology ensures that you have a rigorous process to ensure that your staff are safeguarded from any potential outside threat – if visitors don’t meet the criteria they cannot access the building.

    With two-factor authentication it is built-in it is impossible to “game” the system and integration with the meeting room booking software ensures that the meeting room is automatically released for someone else if staff or visitors are unwell. Of course, knowing who was in the building and where is also invaluable for track and trace if something does go wrong – this information can easily obtained from the visitor management software.

    Our short video below explains how this all works together in practice:

    Space utilization

    For the ultimate in no touch hot desk booking software then sensor technology is the way to go. In fact there is no real booking as such as staff simply walk up to a digital signage screen, select the desk they want and walk up to it and sit down – the sensor immediately detects their presence. Of course, with safety in mind – desks are now socially distanced thanks to our integration with CAD floorplans.

    Advanced data analytics ensure that you can see with 100% accuracy how the rooms are being used and how you can drive real estate reconfiguration. For example, if a conference room is only being used twice a week could it be repurposed as a bank of desks? Physically distanced of course!

    Triangulating the data from the sensors, the hot desk booking system and the meeting room software you can get a complete picture of how your space is being used.

    Finally, the sensor technology also helps to monitor room occupancy so you can easily see if there are any potential issues with physical distancing and take the appropriate corrective action.

    Sanitation

    With safety in mind – every booking now includes extra time for sanitation. Cleaning requests are immediately sent to the service team.

    For extra reassurance, thanks to the integration between the hot desk booking software with desk sensors, staff can see at a glance which desks are available and which are still in need of cleaning as well as which ones are blocked from use.

    Hybrid working

    Of course, not everyone will be able to come back to the office all at once – especially if physical distancing applies – and many companies now employ distributed workforces. A lot of meetings are taking place in both the physical and digital realm or a combination of both.

    Workplace technology has evolved to encompass this hybrid style of working with meeting rooms being increasingly enabled for Teams, Skype and Zoom calls. Integration with the room booking software ensures that it is an easy process to create video conferences which can take place across multiple time zones while still enjoying an in office experience.

    Integration with the video conferencing platform ensures that meetings begin promptly with the minimum of touching equipment and future integration with digital assistants like Cortana ensures that it will become a totally touch free experience triggered by voice– safe and convenient!

    Conclusion

    Creating a safe environment for their staff is the number one priority for organizations today.

    To prepare for the safe return to work you need to have a plan in place and to design your space with safety in mind while giving staff the ability to book their workspace efficiently and easily ahead of time and from any location.

    Check out our resources to see how we can help you make safe working a reality.