sherman2307 A Covid Safe Workplace - How are Corporate Real Estate to respond?

A Covid Safe Workplace - How are Corporate Real Estate to respond?

Updated: 7 days ago

Whether you cut the crisis into four or seven stages is very much personal taste, we are definitely in the management and resolution stages of the current crisis, or if you prefer other crises language, the prevention and resilience phase.

So as a Corporate real estate person, what does that mean to me?

Fig 1 Pandemic or Crisis Stages


How are we going to going to manage a world where every Corporate workplace will have a mixed community of folk who fall into the three categories below.

Fig 2 The Three workplace population types - In Virus recovery mode

What are the three communities or styles of traditionally handling or accommodating them in the workplace?

Fig 3 Three types of workplace inhabitant

Assigned Seating

1st question are we going to safe social distance the entire floor(s) or building - thats a resounding yes, for the foreseeable till we have either or both:

- 100% certainty on whose in each of the three communities of worker, survived infection, not infected or isolating / in treatment.

- Developed a vaccine and treated everyone who has not been infected.

Consequences for Corporate Real Estate

Re-stack every floor or eliminate one in every two desks, making them unavailable, which has a knock on impact:

- 50% of the seating means that you will have to Roster people in and out of the building if, helped by two factors can they work effectively at home and what proportion of people have we then got who will need to be "rostered".

- That means effectively planning people in and out of the building or on and off site?

- If that's the case , it's simple enough to roster 1 week on and 1 week off OR make the assigned seats bookable.

- If you do that you then need a booking system for desks and those that use one for 'on demand hot desks" can simply extend their licenses.

Room and Desk Booking System basic requirements - enhancing Microsoft to deliver a safe workplace - 8 requirements

- Those that haven't looked for a Room and Desk booking system recently make sure that has at least the following features, above those requirements, in your normal shopping list:

1. For those on Microsoft, using Outlook and Exchange you want a system that's easy to use for the advanced user and simple "i want a room user, fast, bookable on web and mobile, so I can be productive".

We'd recommend as they are A Microsoft Gold Partner, so your CTO will relax a little, they host their cloud service on Azure servers (Microsoft) which have great security, resilience and scalability, so your risk and security community will be more relaxed.

2. Crucial: make sure that irrespective of what you key into "Outlook or the Booking system keep the Exchange (room database) accurate and up to date , to prevent double bookings.

3. No 2 That synchronised database, needs something called Exchange Synch, which does what it says on the can, it keeps the booking system database and Exchange/Outlook in synch.(preventing double booking of seats, safety protocol breaches, it's a small requirement but crucial to a safe workplace)

4. We need a system that protects us from the now huge burden, of a virus free workplace, or one that is just safe.

Fig 4 What do you need to add to Office 365? It cannot handle these areas below without help!

5. We need a new level of "cleaning" such that every occupied seat is sanitised prior to next occupation.

A Visual Dashboard for your cleaning staff or a list of "clean these desks" from your desk booking system.

Fig 5 Visual Cleaning and Sterilising guide

6. Stating the obvious, but those who have been able to adapt to working remotely or who thrive in it, it will clearly increase.

A word of warning as the author has extensive experience here, many new entrants to this work-style will NOT, plan breaks in video based meetings or plan video session follow up time, ie they will just have back to back meetings, but get no follow up work done.

Plan your time: Allow follow up Time, Plan a break from the screen!

7. Social Spaces are going have to be re-thought, repurposed or shut.

8. Less private offices, as a shortage of space could see walls come down.

For those that haven't seen it 70 Corporates asking "how were asking how do we manage a safe workplace" on this webinar

Fig 6 Safe Workplace Webinar, The questions are interesting!

There are some simple Landlord Recommendations

1. Maintain humidity levels between 40-60% to reduce Virus spread and infection chances.

2. Increase fresh air intake to maintain positive air pressure

3. Open building dampers to push inside air out of the building

Facilities Recommendations

1. Clean Desk encouragement - less areas for viruses to lodge

2. Change cleaning to enable "during the day" cleaning to increase availability

3. Plan a staged re-call of team members, those who cant work at home, critical to functions 1st.

4. Seat pre planning based on a 6ft radius minimum, or every 3 seats to be safe, avoiding back to back or opposite seating.

5. Slowly increase occupancy from 20-30% 1st whilst increasing support for the work from home team members.

6. With Shared seating tackle buffer periods to allow cleaning and ensure desks are cleaned before they are flagged available.

These recommendations came from the webinar and the question and answers session

Q: How are we going to deliver that?

A: Use the tools we have, and add to them.

Fig 7 How does the Data flow from Microsoft Office 365 through the integrated partners?

Here's the key bit, how are we going to get visibility of:

- Is whatever policy we stipulate being adhered to

- Where are the breaches?

- Who met who who is now infected - traceability?

- What needs cleaning?

- Where's safe to book?

A: You pull the data out of three different systems and aggregate it into your "Safe Workplace Dashboard"

Why is this important?

Forget the safety for a second, the predictions vary, but somewhere between a 25% and 32% slump in GDP is being forecasted, every CEO needs his/her team, back at work!

Fig 8 Visibility and Data Sources you need to provide and monitor a safe workplace

A word to the wise, slideware, be very wary of the snake oil sales folk who are selling something we are still building!

Make sure the Integrations required are delivered!

Below are the folk at Condeco, Vpod and Proxyclick who demonstrated the integrations you need back in february at ISE 2020!

Not slideware it exists!

Fig 9 Integrations that work Video - Click the picture!

To save repeating Previous blogs on how to deliver an excellent connected workplace that safe read the connected workplace short tips blogs, below:

Connected Workplace

For Microsoft customer be they CTO / CIO, here's how you enhance Microsoft 365 to deliver the safe workplace.


For Where to get it and what to measure advice read these short 3 minute tip blogs on emerging thinking.

Pandemic Workplace

For details on who to speak to at Microsoft, Condeco, Proxyclick, VPOD and Relogix we are happy to help.

Glossary of Terms and meanings

Microsoft office 365 enhanced

  • Condeco extends office 365 so that simplistic bookers can find rooms and their charecteristics easily.

The safe workplace o365 enhanced

  • Condeco delivers a safe workplace through its social distancing of meeting room seats and desk spacing and sanitisation features.

The safe workplace office 365 enhanced

  • The safe workplace with distancing and sanitisation can be added to office 365 via the add-in.

Microsoft workplaces on demand,

  • Condeco adds desk and room booking on demand to office 365.

Microsoft smart workplace

  • We believe Condeco enhances Microsoft to deliver a smart workplace through its features and their benefits and their partner integrations.

A safe Microsoft enhanced workplace

  • Condeco enable the Microsoft productivity suite to deliver a safer workplace.

Microsoft workplace experience

  • Condeco and their partners help deliver a better Microsoft powered workplace experience with more efficient processes.

Workplace experience re-engineering

  • Condeco and their partners enable a re-engineered workplace to be delivered using technology to deliver a digital workplace.

Microsoft workplace efficiency

  • Condeco and its partners enable the more efficient processes to be delivered by enhancing Microsoft's core productivity suite Outlook.

Microsoft digital transformation

  • Those looking to digitally transform the workplace can do so extending and enhancing Microsoft.

Microsoft safe check-in

  • VPOD an Proxyclick extend Condeco and Microsoft to deliver a safe check-in through faster processes and less congested reception areas.

Microsoft touchless check-in

  • Proxyclick and Condeco deliver through the Integration with Condeco the touchless check-in to Microsoft customers.

Microsoft express check-in

  • Proxyclick and Condeco deliver through the Integration with Condeco the express check-in using their invites and QR codes for Microsoft customers.

The safe workplace

  • Condeco enable the safe workplace with their core desk and room products and their integrations with partners like VPOD and Proxyclick.

The safe workplace assigned seats

  • Assigned or bookable seats ensure no one is allowed to just sit where they like and not safe distance, without the use of tape.

The safe workplace hot desk

  • This is now delivered through the Condeco desk booking, safe spacing and sanitisation feature.

The safe workplace meeting rooms

  • delivered by using Condeco to safe distance seats and sanitise the rooms with its vendor management feature queuing work orders to cleaning vendors.

The safe workplace visitor management

  • Delivered Through the Condeco VPOD and Proxyclick integrations.

Covid-19 back to the workplace,

  • Term for recovery to the workplace post lockdown but prior to vaccination.

Safe workplace distancing

  • Term used for Meeting Room and Desk seating efficient 2 metre spacing delivered using the desk and room booking Condeco APP.

Safe reception distancing

  • Delivered by decongesting the reception area with invites delivered to visitors with QR codes, enable pre registration, touchless and express check-in. This decongests reception areas using the Condeco VPOD and Proxyclick check-in.

Desk booking check-list

  • Complying with the Covid back to workplace and call centre guidelines.

Mobile and Web booking

  • delivery of safe booking through own device booking, removing surfaces that you need to touch and sanitise.

Desk status free busy

  • delivered by the Condeco APP so the desk booker knows what's free, busy and available, whilst also seeing safe distancing from the floor plan.

Desk status unavailable sanitisation required

  • delivered by the Condeco APP when the desk is finished with but suspended from use requiring sanitisation and release.

Desk vendor message cleaning list

  • Delivered through the desk booking vendor management module.

Vendor change status

  • Delivered by the Condeco APP when the cleaning or catering vendor change the status of an order.

Desk GPS check-in

  • Delivered by The Condeco desk booking APP that delivers touchless check-in to your desk through the GPS HQ association triggered by your mobile device.

Desk GPS checkout

  • Delivered when a user leaves the building for a certain time, checking them out of the desk.

Desk integration Vpod

  • New module delivered by VPOD's desk integration with Condeco. Enables Desk booking from VPOD.

Desk way-finding

  • Delivered by VPOD and its integration to Condeco

Desk booking integration

  • VPOD feature enabling desks to be booked using the VGreet kiosks, useful for Post Covid or unscheduled bookings.

Desk spacing

  • Achieved with The Condeco App deploying safe distancing of desks and room seats and blocking out other seats to demonstrate safe distancing.

Desk spacing transparency

  • Delivers safe distancing by blocking out desks in between, opposite each other and deploying that on the booking app to deliver psychological safety to the desk booker.

Desk booking day of week phasing

  • Delivered by the Condeco app allowing day of the week booking if you've a phased use desk policy.

Desk booking close area.

  • Delivered by the Condeco APP which allows areas or zones to be closed and auto-cancels forward bookings pushing notifications to those that have booked to rebook.

Simon Hunt the Author

+441604 344130

Chauffeurs Den, Maidwell Rd, Haselbech, Northampton NN6 9LG, UK

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