Covid-19 back to the safe workplace enhance your Microsoft based solution - 20 tips

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

1. Scale

What ever solution you go for, make sure they can scale across your organisation, in weeks.

Microsoft based customers do not want security teams vetting vendors security for weeks.

- Global Cloud based offerings are preferred and Azure now leads the way.

- Its global span and architecture deliver a number of key benefits, not just reach.

- For those that want to build track and trace into the solution and intend holding personal data to give health authorities if they request it your CTO will be comfortable with Azure pedigree, as its designed round finance and legal sectors, strict security and compliance regulations.

Other benefits are 2. Flexibility,3.Agility, 4.Compliance, 5.Storage and 6.Security

For the customer Azure based solutions can normally scale very quickly in a compliant manner.

If you're looking for peace of mind and to deliver psychological safety to employees, this is key.

7.Microsoft Gold Partner

This is also important and needs to be explored as to how close the suppliers relationship is with Microsoft, ideally the product team in Redmond have a close dialogue with the engineering team in the selected vendor. Why does this matter? Microsoft are moving at pace now, in a number of areas Azure and Teams are evidence of that, therefore having a vendor who enjoys advanced knowledge of their developments and gives/shares feedback from their development team, is key.

8.Software Only

A Software only solution removes hardware from the equation, why is this important?

Hardware requires installation and management, not least it requires access to your buildings and Facilities teams. We recommend therefore any hardware based solutions should be avoided as you require a nimble, fast delivery across numerous site(s) and you are not the only one requiring the solution, desk booking solutions will be in high demand.


10. Key to delivering a solution with 100% visitor or contractor coverage and therefore peace of mind is:

- selecting a company that integrates well with Microsoft and the outlook calendar.

- both visitors and hosts can be captured by some vendors (Condeco is one) so you can compliment a "touchless" visitor management system.

What does that mean?

- You want your visitor and host data to come from Microsoft thru Condeco straight into the visitor management system populating "all visitor details”, so you know exactly who met who.

Why is that important?

- firstly that gives you 100% coverage of visitors and contractors to decongest reception with a touchless express check-in

- secondly, you have all the data you need to contact trace, should anyone become infected.

11. Visitor Management becomes important particularly if you select VPOD as they have the new FLIR core temperature detection cameras, that identify anyone whose infected to within 0.2 of a degree.

12. Touchless The image above shows the flow of data from Microsoft through Condeco to Proxyclick (both software only) through to VPod, whose kiosk is voice activated, again touchless. - the Proxyclick invite and QR code work seamlessly with the VPod scanner.

- the scanner is activated by the voice prompt, “yes” to the question, do you want to check in?

- notifying the host you have arrived, by SMS and or email.

- QR code access through security barriers can be enabled with the Proxyclick access control integration to 14 different access control companies(Grows continually).

13.Desk booking

Distancing and “no opposite seating” will cut available office space levels by 50-60%, with numerous consequences :

- people to desk ratios will rocket from 1.2 - 1.6:1 to 2.4 - 3.2:1 ,which delivers an immediate challenge.

- thankfully virtual meeting tools have reduced the stress on those numbers, in the near term however, tests for antibodies and vaccine timelines are 12 months out and those that have had the virus and those that haven’t, need to return to work.

However, we now need to prepare for desk booking and simultaneously manage deep sanitization of every occupied seat, prior to it being re-occupied.Securing a desk booking vendor that manages cleaning effectively is vital. Posting cleaning lists to cleaning companies, allowing desk to be re-enabled, are must have features.

13. Easy Booking Enter Condeco’s software only Desk Managment system that:

- enables mobile and web based desk booking.

- the ability to have desks placed in “need cleaning mode” which takes them out of being able to be booked.

- a message is sent to the cleaning vendor using Condeco‘s vendor management module.

-the desk is then cleaned and re-enabled.

14. Helpful with peer connectivity and psychological safety

- other features like book near a colleague make the management system less obtrusive.

- whilst the app also delivers what the employee needs most, which is psychological safety.

- the transparency of being able to see safe seat spacing and seats you cannot book is a key feature,reinforcing you will be seated at a safe distance at work.

15. Fast Implementation - the implementation is quick, with floor plans being loaded in the Condeco system and 1000’s of desks being implemented in 4 -6 weeks. For those looking for how do we manage the workplace by your Ceo, HR lead or legal team this ensure you can move quickly.

16. Reporting

We believe to have a control on your workplace data is no longer a matter of "good practice" and healthy sweating of assets, planning and control.

You now have new entrants to the reporting personas that Corporate Real Estate and FM used to dominate.

Human Resources now want to demonstrate that they have delivered a safe workplace to the employees.

Legal wants to demonstrate they have "covered and complied" with ever evolving guidelines.

When selecting a vendor we advise you look for three or four core attributes:

17. Stakeholder Input

1. What data views does each of your stakeholder customers require?

- Invariably they all want different slices of the data with different additional attributes.

- This will naturally lead you to the next requirement.

18. Multiple views of Data

2. How many data sources do we need to present the data required?

- Typically 4 are the minimum.

- hr data , IT data , Badging or booking data and sensor data.

- however, whilst some start here, with 4 sources, others have reached 50 different data sources.

19. Multiple Data Source Tool

3. Here's the crux, a tool to absorb multiple data sources and the present views securely to different stakeholders.

20.Experience and insight

4. However, when your getting into multiple data sources then you need the ability to:

- manipulate the data in tool that enables it, these are specialist resources and skill sets.

- then you need the "onion master" the one that has enough insight to construct the views.

- And to keep peeling back the data to get to the insight that delivers recommendations. - Most reporting suites we have seen, multiple unused reports exist as they were used to get to yet another level of data/answer, only to reveal another question requiring another view.

- Again, specialist knowledge, a blend of skills and the knowledge to interpret and delve into the data.

Reporting tip - track and trace

When you consider the above challenge, to deliver a safe workplace, and transparent evidence of its safety, to at least two new stakeholders HR and Legal the need for a specialist Software as A Service (SaaS) company, that delivers all four Requirements from a pre-constructed, however flexible set of tools and skills sets, becomes apparent.

It would be worth adding the "track and trace" requirements of local and central health authorities so that you are ahead of the need, should an employee or visitor/contractor become infected.

Questions to check your solution

  1. You have thought about the four phases of a pandemic the 4R's. Reaction, Respond, Renew and Readiness (avoid getting caught again)

  2. Make sure you have not used thermal cameras, not core temperature ones.

  3. You did use a strong visitor management solution and touchless processes.

  4. You did place employee physiological safety and the heart of your plan.

  5. You did not scrimp on £1 a week per desk booking solution, to get peace of mind and sanity.

  6. You did not take the risk on multiple vendors that didn't integrate and deliver on time.

  7. You did check the chosen vendors could scale. (like Teams and Zoom have, they could be popular).

  8. You can deliver on time, within 4-8 weeks and have not delayed the companies recovery phase.

  9. You secured a first class reporting solution with the skill sets and insight required to extract the value it can deliver.

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