Updated: Jul 24
It doesn't matter what your job role is be it facilities, Human Resources, IT , Corporate Real Estate, workplace operations, maintenance, architect, front of house, security, planning, administration assistant where are all trying to figure out how to get to back work safely.
This blog will answer those questions that have been asked or should of been asked to help everyone avoid turning the workplace into "a crime scene" with hazard tape everywhere.
Why that important?
Frankly we don't want to risk getting the virus travelling to work when there's no vaccine when we can work from home.
So let's deal with that one straight away, will real estate change forever, my belief is yes, it just will not be a light switch.
The biggest issue in virus terms is densely crowded cities and public transport - Issue 1
Who needs the commute and now the health risk?
We have all endured working from home - once considered a privilege - Issue 2
Is it a privilege?
No it's an invasion of our home life to some
Partners just don't get you cant jump up in the middle of a call or focus time and answer that oh so important question.
The kids definitely don't.
However, it just isn't the same without actually those key moments when you meet someone face to face and you form the bond, the understanding of where your both coming from.
As a former smoker it was once that outside space where you solved a few issues or debated them.
Or that fun night when you actually got to see the inside character divulged.
That social and collaboration need, almost tribal at the extreme is still there
The consequence over time, quickly for those with lease ends we will decentralise the office.
Office operators are already reporting "booming suburb requirements"
Flex space, satellite office are highly desirable now, why?
Simple, they are cheaper than HQ, there's minimal commute, no family intrusion and you get to
However, the workplace of tomorrow still after AI has experience at its core. However AI does deliver a hint, technology now needs to move the workplace to something "better than home" a place where collaboration, teamwork are key.
However, whilst we are in Covid and the Recovery and Readiness (should it happen again) phase, let's stick to those stakeholders we mentioned in the intro and their needs to manage "The return to work".
A quick Glimpse at the guidelines the government have delivered give you the answer, NO
Q2. What do we HAVE to do?
2 meter distancing
Sanitising post use
Back to back or alternate seating preferred ie not opposite each other
Q3. How do we manage that?
Short answer a desk management system that has the answer to these questions.
Q4. Is it a Software solution so we can implement it easily without hardware that requires an office visit.
Q5. Is it hosted on a reputable hosting solution? Preferably Azure as we are a Microsoft Office house that has already approved Azure hosting.
Q6. Can I have single sign on so my security and Active directory concerns are addressed? Yes
Q7. Is their Exchange synch or and Add-in or web and APP booking all of which mean it compliments my Microsoft estate and gives my users a touchless or touch their "own device answer? Yes
Q8. Is the platform or device supported 24/7 so I don't have user concerns anywhere in the world that mean I'm the one, or my team are "taking THAT call". Yes
Q9. Is there a SaaS model that I can opex and rebill the business units based on a per head re-assigned cost? Yes
Q10. Can I implement this quickly, does it scale? Inside 4 weeks and yes it scales to 130 countries very easily so it's an answer for your whole organisation.
Q11. Where can I get more info and a demo? Here is the brochure link
Q12. How do I manage a new office density?
Answer use a desk management solution that has "designed in" spacing so that you can activate desks, close desks using your floor plan. Here
Q13. Am I going to have to pay someone every time i want to reconfigure desks?
Choose the right vendor and they give you the admin rights to manage your floor plan as you adapt.
Q14. How does a user book the desk?
On an APP on their phone or web browser.
Q15. How do they check-in in a touchless manner, the system knows their GPS position and on approaching the office GPS position they check in. Advantages touchless and intuitive.
Q16. How do we manage sanitisation?
As soon as the user has finished with their desk and checked out a work order is triggered for your cleaning vendor, they have a login and receive their work orders, cleaning lists.
Q17. How do we know if they cleaned the area?
Unless they mark the work order complete the desk is not marked available
Q18. What if they cancel the order?
All future bookings are cancelled and users notified they need to rebook.
Q19. Can I manage teams or zones?
Yes teams , zones or shift patterns.
Q20. If I want to close off an area as a result of incident or infection what happens?
You close the desk zone, it manages the bookings and notifies users.
Q21. Can I import floor plans? Yes, that's exactly how you set the system up in implementation.
Q22. Can you report on usage and utilisation?
Yes, that's a standard report.
Q23. If someone gets infected do you operate a data recovery trace scheme?
Yes as the booking history is there you can manage infected workers and trace the folk who have sat near them.
Q24. Hardware is it required?
You can add touch screens at a later date if required however, no, this is a software solution ONLY
Q25. We want to manage parking how do you do that?
Parking is a module in the enterprise software solution allowing allocation and management
Q26. Visitor management
How sophisticated is the visitor management option?
The Condeco solution suits basic requirements, however integrated partners Proxyclick & VPOD offer full COVID-19 Touchless options.
Visitor Management questions.
Q27. Can we integrate Condeco and Proxyclick so all visitors in Condeco auto populate Proxyclick?
Simple answer yes.
However, the integration gives you more than just a tick box, it gives you all visitor coverage.
Q28. How do we cover all visitors so processing time in reception is minimised?
The integration enables you to issue invites that can be customised with any covid messaging or pre screening questions. However, because your taking visitor data from meeting requests the coverage is 100% and as a result you decongest reception areas.
Q29. How do we deliver touchless check-in
Both Proxyclick & VPOD enable QR code invitations and there scanner based express check-in.
Q30. What happens if we have a visitor arrive with no booking?
You enforce the policy book on the APP or use the VPOD condeco desk booking option
Q31. Can we identify infected personnel using these solutions?
Some countries insist on thermal cameras in reception areas, with staff trained to manage alerts. However we think this is similar to the hazard tape approach. VPOD have the FLIR core temperature scanner cameras as an option and Ricoh finance can turn a Capex for the camera into a monthly charge that reduces the safety cost of effectively screening visitors to 13p per visitor for 100 visitors. (the author lost a dear friend to Covid and would readily pay 13p to get him back)
Q32. Can we make VPOD screens touchless? Yes they have voice activation
Q33. Can we activate security barriers using Proxyclick? yes use the same QR code on your visitor invite.
Q34. Can we zone areas to allow visitor access to only those areas? yes, you can have contractors visit all areas and visitors a meeting room floor, for example.
Q35. Can we manage blacklisted visitors? yes and alert security teams
Q36. Can we track and trace visitors? Yes both systems can feed specialist Covid reporting tools like Relogix.
Q37. What are Relogix? They are a multiple datasource reporting Software solution.
Q38. Why's that good? You can use data from different sources and have it all surfaced in a specialist reporting tool.
Q39. Why do i want a specialist reporting tool?
A lot of companies do not have resources to manipulate and interpret data and that's what relogix do for you on a SaaS software as a service monthly cost.
Q40. Why does that help me as FM manager or IT?
You'll be amazed at how many different ways that the data is required to be cut, security want one view, FM 10 others, HR 4 others, IT 3 others, Corporate real estate 4 others. Before you know it you've 20 reports! Have you got the time to set these up, find the insight nuggets? Vendors like Relogix have that time, for a monthly subscription or project based price.
Q41. What do you mean insight nuggets?
Recently a large customer became know to to us, there problem they were complaining they had a great room management tool but at 92% average utilisation, not enough rooms. They had the reports and data but no one to analyse the data. When they id they found early 44% (half their bookings were for 2 people), a 121, which is fair enough, but they average room size was for 10 people.
Answer, Insight told them, create some 121 pods, you regain half your meeting rooms, wow, that's insight.
Q42. How should we manage meeting rooms?
Spacing, review the capacity limits immediately, typically even tight confined meeting rooms occupy 3m square per person. Take out half the seats.
Q43. Should we do anything else?
Yes manage them with a tool that has vendor management and sanitisation built in
Q44. Is there anything else?
Yes, use a system which integrates to a visitor management system so you decongestion reception areas, reduce staff pressure at peak times and can trace visitors or hosts and who they have come into contact with.
Q45. Should we plan a different AC (after Covid) workplace?
There's no doubt remote working or collaboration at a distance is now a new norm and we will need smaller meeting rooms where a % of the meeting will turn up remotely. So smaller meeting rooms is a definite, yes.
Q46. How do I plan that change?
It's happened but over time, get better collaboration tools, screens in the rooms, most are still woefully equipped for world where everyone turned up for the meeting.
Q47. Where do I start?
Analyse actual room usage versus size, even do a study to see how many folk turned up to the meeting.
Q48. How do I do that without seeming intrusive, use sensors?
Yes, Really simple sensors with Integration to a room booking system can deliver two big benefits, accurate usage v booked data and seamless intuitive check-in.
Q49. Who do I talk to about this?
Q49. Where can I get a demo of the desk solution?
Speak to the guys at Condeco they can help.
Q50. Do I need desk management going forward?
I think anyone whose said in September the AC world world be different in BC (Before Covid) land would be either inciteful or guessing. Gartner use the phrase 3R's React, Respond and Recover, we think that's missing a 4th R , Readiness.
We have done the maths 13p a visitor £1 a desk a week, what price is readiness and safety worth?
Q51. After Covid do we need this?
We'd argue as the new norm an employee experience return Covid measures, with technology NOT TAPE put you in pole position.
Q52. Do you really think it's worth it?
The employee of tomorrow is going to ask you these last questions and YOU need as an organisation to be ready. So yes to be Ready, yes you do, but look at the last questions and guage yourself?
Employee or New Recruit questions
Q53. The Graduate of today will ask you does our corporation ruin the planet with excessive needless business travel?
Q54. Do we have a Virtual Meetings 1st policy?
Q55. Would we not be profitable with less travel, small city centre HQ's?
Q56. Do you pay for Near Working? (a corporate desk near home) or still the fossilized car policy?
Q57. Do you measure the reduction in employee carbon miles, if so, show me the graph?
Q58. Am I expected to commute needlessly in my time for line managers who still rate presenteeism?
Q59. What have you done to change the purpose of your organisation to make the planet a healthier place?
Q60. How do you implement a safe workplace, show me the measures you take?
Are you ready?