With offices reopening, facility managers across the globe are busy getting the workplaces ready. All this to ensure employees have a safe return to the office. Given the never-ending to-do list, you need to prioritize the tools.
The number one priority of all business leaders and employees is health safety. At the same time, with the hybrid work model becoming the norm, facility managers must ensure that the return-to-office yields tangible results. So, if you are a facility manager, your two broad focus areas would be health and productivity.
In this article, we list the top five return-to-office tools that facility managers would find helpful.
Also Read: Top 5 Faclity Managment Tools
A Robust Visitor Management System
Given that offices have always served as a place of social interaction, maintaining social distancing would be a challenge. A visitor management tool can help you keep a check on entry and exit. Also, using computer vision or IR-based sensors can help you control occupancy density in any given space.
A crucial aspect of visitor management in a post-pandemic world is contact tracing. Despite the preliminary health checks during entry, an asymptomatic infected person can enter your facility. A visitor management system equipped with contact tracing abilities can help trace and seclude potentially infected employees to prevent further spread.
Bonus Read: Top 9 Features of a Visitor Management System
A Contactless Access Management Tool
As offices reopen, you will have visitors, other than your employees, coming to your place. These could be clients, vendors, service providers, or others. Given that the virus can survive for 72 hours, a contactless access management system reduces the risk of surface transmission.
Moreover, as a more visible measure, it helps boost employee confidence. It assures them of health safety as they return to the office months after being cooped up at home.
A Seamless Team Scheduling Return to Office Software
The biggest challenge of a hybrid workplace model is the workflow management of employees who work remotely and on-premise. The problem is two-fold.
You could potentially end up with people from all teams showing up on a single day. This will throw your social distancing plans into a tizzy.
To ensure that attendance is accurately registered, you will need a system that merges physical and virtual logins. This will make the necessary exceptions for each environment.
An access management system can check the number of people on the floor. Nevertheless, you need a system that averts a situation where a high number of people turn up at the gates. Enabling teams/employees to schedule their visits could help you avoid such problems. It could work in two ways – the team leaders can request a slot, or the employees could provide their work preference.
A Reliable Return to Office Desk Booking System
A desk booking system allows your employees to book their seats in advance. It also tells them where their other team members are seated. Based on their requirement, they can book a desk anywhere – in a peaceful corner or amidst the bustling team.
While desk booking systems have been around for quite some time, in a post-pandemic world, they serve more purposes. For one, it allows employees to be more productive on the days they visit the office.
Imagine if you plan to visit the office for productive work. However, the only seats available are in the middle of the noisiest part. Wouldn’t you prefer working from home, even with your kids demanding constant attention?
Also Read: How to Choose a Desk Booking Software
A desk-booking system helps facility managers by taking away the stress of finding a suitable desk for employees. It enables the employee to choose and makes the process transparent. Managing real estate becomes easier. Real-time utilization data helps keep the infection rates under control.
Therefore, a hoteling or desk reservation system should be one of the top tools on your return-to-office requirements list.
A Dedicated Return to Office Communication Tool
What good would it be to have taken all precautionary measures if you do not communicate it with the employees? It isn’t just about the precautions; the success of your return to work exercise depends on regular communication and transparency.
Communication holds the key to inspiring confidence among employees who would be apprehensive about returning to the office. A central notification console can help you publish important updates regarding occupancy, desk availability, sanitization efforts, and so on. It could also help put out information related to infections, if any.
With a dedicated workplace app, you can address employees’ questions, address individual-specific concerns. Also, by allowing employees to take control, you can reduce the time invested in administrative tasks. It will let employees schedule visits, book desks, find parking spaces, and time their cafeteria breaks without your help.
If possible, add examples for the tools you mentioned.
So, Are You All Prepared to Return to Office?
The rules of the game have changed. For starters, you need to reset your vision and look at new contours of facility management differently.
As a facility manager, you aren’t just responsible for workplace maintenance and employee convenience anymore. The scope of facility management has now increased. They have to ensure health safety and productivity in an entirely new setup – a hybrid workplace.
These five tools are common to most businesses and will help you get started. However, depending on the needs of your business, office space, and employees, you might require more tools. You might also have to spend time training and familiarizing the workforce with all new systems in place.
One way to cut down on training time is partnering with a solutions provider who can handhold you through the transition. WorkinSync offers easy-to-implement solutions along with required post-sale support. All of this to ensure your return to office program is successful.
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