Updated: Jul 24, 2020
To do justice to this topic we need to cover three dimensions of Workplace:
Hot Desk and Meeting Rooms or On Demand Workplaces
Visitors to the workplace
These also need three considerations, which are the types of occupier and whether they are:
Free from Covid-19
Recovered from Covid-19
Currently suffering from Covid-19
Data, Data, Data is the answer to all three types of workplace occupant and all three dimensions of virus, the pandemic, just makes the focus on the workplace, right now very relevant.
So let us tackle how to get that data in a way that some may not have considered using new integrations released at the ISE show in February 2020, the first is :
Assigned Seating can have desk sensors to determine levels of occupancy, which can if fed into a dashboard deliver extremely powerful insights.
Effectively covering the assigned workplace.
Re- assigning seats 2m apart, then measuring who sat in them when, are the right agreed safety levels being complied with?
Making sure employees comply with "Social Distancing" and do not cluster or over occupy a floor is all achievable when you combine sensors and a decent reporting dashboard, with built in alerts.
So Assigned seating with safe distancing, an effective cleaning regime, coupled with insight reporting tools, can be managed into place, very quickly
Assigned Seats by definition, know the occupier, however moving onto the other three types of workplace groups this is not so easy, without help.
Meeting Rooms On Demand and Hot Desks
Microsoft with Office 365, have a very effective scheduling tool Outlook that enhances productivity in the workplace, however it is fed by several different data sources:
Active directory the database of workplace occupiers does contain who is "in" the organisation.
However, Exchange has very poor functionality, when it comes to the workplace, let me explain:
Exchange knows they exist, which is a start, however it has no "context of the room , services, and occupants requirements" .
Just the descriptions of the room, normally leave something to be desired, when recognising where the room is. However it falls short in these 9 areas:
AV Services in the room that may affect room choice, ie is a room ideal for video or collaboration.
Catering Services that may be required for the room.
Refresh times and turnaround times between meetings.
Room layouts and configurations.
Vendors who need to supply services to the room, can they be configured.
Messaging to those vendors around services that change or are cancelled.
Hardware like screens to manage availability and auto bump "no shows".
Mobile booking through APP.
APi's to extend room details to other applications, do not exist.
So to send visitor details to a visitor management system
allow sensors to start extend or cancel a room
The concept of a Hot Desk or flexible working desk, doesn't exist as a resource in exchange, therefore nor does:
The availability of a desk
Its status, free or busy
Its context, ie is it near a colleague I want to meet with
Hardware on desks that displays its status, free, busy, or requiring cleaning.
These are 13 very good reasons and there are many more, why Exchange needs to be enhanced by a Room and Desk booking resource, however now there is a far more practical Facilities and Security set of reasons.
During these challenging times of Covid-19 you really want to have systems to manage the on demand workplace, so that:
You know which Meeting Rooms were occupied and required cleaning, sterilising.
You know which meeting room had which occupants in should you need to trace a Covid-19 carrier.
You know which meeting room had which visitors seeing which host, again for tracing and taking positive action.
You can reset meeting room occupancies for social distancing.
You can equip more rooms with AV equipment to bring in virtual guests and highlight the equipment in these rooms.
You can designate rooms, virtual meeting room centres, where the host goes, however a mixed attendance of guests can still attend virtually, irrespective of virus status.
For these 6 Reasons adding the ability to safely manage agile and on demand resources, has never been more important or relevant. Now over to the third workplace occupant:
Here we have another opportunity to:
Close the loop on tracking in a pandemic, by tracking visitors.
Enhance the visitor management experience.
Extend Microsoft visitor data through Condeco to a visitor management system.
Decongest reception areas to maintain social distancing.
Cut or review receptionist staff numbers.
Upgrade the entire visitor management experience.
So higher safety monitoring, better experience, lower costs and greater tracking. How do we get there?
You can Integrate a Visitor Management Tool to Condeco, pulling data from Microsoft, for every workplace visitor, in every meeting.
Let see how that works in a short video.
This approach now gives you the 6 visitor management desirables, in one integrated solution however, you can amplify that further, for those that want the optimum reception and Visitor Management with Vgreet from the folk at VPOD.
Let us get Sam Farrant Managing Director to explain, just one facet of Vgreet.
Vgreet simply takes Visitor Management to the next level, with a customised Visitor Service without the reception staff cost and management burden.
However, how do we surface this integrated experience and the data gathered into one control dashboard with different views for:
Corporate Real Estate
The folk at Relogix are the first to deliver a Corporate Real Estate or Workplace Dashboard for managing:
The current workplace business continuity
The future back to work strategy
Very relevant considering we are "in" one time window and about to enter the next, country by country.
What do they do?
They aggregate data, from different sources, into one dashboard, with different views for different insight and for different workplace personas.
For the author this means that a Covid-19 Workplace Review becomes urgent, now!
Workplace Experience and Efficiency upgrades are achieved at the same time.
Your three different workplace populations of fixed, agile and visitors to the workplace can be managed in their extremely relevance status, infected, recovered and not infected.
Every step of the workplace, every dashboard view and every policy can be implemented in the three extensions of Microsoft.