Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Its very clear that tomorrow's workplace will not be the same, some call it:
"the new normal"
"the future workplace
Some call it;
"a transition period" till we go back to the old normal
"I think we just have to weather the storm"
There is a clear divider between those:
planning to deal with Covid and extend to the new workplace. (be that the new norm or the future workplace)
those addressing a short term issue, believing nothing else has changed
However following on from the last blog we have to ask ourself some serious questions:
Will after 9 months of Lock Down and return to work, the workplace be the same?
During return to work, with Virtual Meetings so easy to use, what are we going to the workplace for?
Why take the travel risk, the exposure risk?
What are we going in to the office to do?
The very first answer is yes, especially after lockdown we want to socialise if there is a purpose.
However whilst we are still at risk from Covid, we will need convincing.
What will we look for?
For most we miss our like minded colleagues.
Those that help us forge frontiers of performance.
Help us shape the companies success.
Some options allow us to do that with simple touchless APP's.
However these APP's go a lot further to suppress fears we might have, like "is the workplace safe?"
The image above shows clear desk safety measures.
Seats that have been closed for social distancing
Seats closed for sanitisation.
So whilst the image underlines I can find a colleague, I'm getting a secondary message "someones taking care to reduce the risk to me and my colleagues"
That is the complete opposite from the image below
This image along with a screen in reception, extra security in reception, queuing to get in, all send the wrong message.
So let's go back to the Title "Technology Aware People Sensitive Organisations are going to win the return to work race"
Technology Aware People Sensitive
Win the return to work race
Technology in business has long lagged the technology we use socially, in most cases by 10 years.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has undoubtably accelerated some workplace trends, one being the adoption of new technologies.
The most obvious Teams and Zoom, who in 3 months have leapt from 15m to 75m a day, huge growth.
So much growth after 3-4 months most of us would be surprised if it ever went back to 5m
However, the by product is we now question the validity of why would we travel to meet?
There are other by products of this rapid adoption trend:
BP today announced a reduction in staff, due to a global collapse in demand for oil.
Airlines will take, they believe 3-4 years to get back to Pre-Covid demand.
Traffic levels have dropped substantially
However, there are other considerations:
How do you social distance on a flight?
Reduce the seating by 50% or 70%
That gives airlines a price headache, huge price increases
That will suppress volume still further
So the questions the title suggests are technology aware people sensitive companies will win the back to work race?
Let's look at how technology aware companies that are people sensitive could gain an advantage.
The number 1 concern to address is to tackle the Government Guidelines in a way that is transparently "seen as safe" to come in.
A Simple APP that costs £1 a week per desk lets users :-
Find Colleagues in the Office.
Synchronise visit times as a consequence.
However, for the organisation there a far stronger reasons to review desk technology with:
The power to communicate visually its a safe workplace.
Registered users will when using it get reassured it is a safe way and a place to work.
Safe because your spaced 2m away from colleagues.
Safe because the system automatically produces a "sanitisation ticket" for your cleaning vendor.
That vendor has to clean the desk thorough and confirm it via the APP.
If the don't future bookings are cancelled for that desk to reduce infection risk.
Should someone present symptoms, the data the app collects enables you to track and trace effectively.
So whilst the user gets a cool APP that helps them work safely and productivity.
They also get to reconnect with colleagues and renew those workplace relationships.
The organisation gets a method of working that is safe, communicates to the users its safe and complies with government guidelines.
Powerful Return on Investment
Ensuring the safety of employees and giving them powerful reason to return to the workplace are great motivators.
Occupancy based cleaning delivers powerful savings that can fund the desk management software.
Fictitious numbers used to illustrate the point
(actual ones will depend on size of the floor and the productivity of the cleaner)
You used to clean say 1,000 desks , cost £3 a desk a day 20 days a month £60,000
You now have closed 50% of desks (£30,000 saving)
You know from the desk management system which ones need cleaning.
They require cleaning when occupied and only when the user changes,
Assume 30% require cleaning , however its a higher cost clean £7
167 of them require cleaning 3 times a week 4 weeks a month cost £14,000
Saving £46,000 a month
The desk solution costs £1 a desk a week, £4,000 a month
Saving = £60,000 - £14,000 + £4,000 = £42,000
Whether you are the HR Director, CIO , Legal Counsel or Facilities Manager you can now relax and move on, you have a solution, the team are happy, you saved £42k a month, what's next?
Reception Area and Visitor Management
Safety of employees and visitors entering reception as well as the staff that man them.
Some seem to think it is acceptable to post security and have visitors queue.
Others seem to think technology can deliver a better, safer answer, here's how.
Whatever the answer one thing for sure is reception areas in the new pre-vaccine world are dangerous, if they are congested.
The second thing is that you want them to look safe, without the perspex screens that retail have adopted, with hazard tape everywhere.
The third is you want track and trace so that you know who came in when and if they present symptoms who then needs to isolate.
Let us tackle decongesting the reception area, in a way that allows track and trace, that also has a return on investment, whilst presenting the opportunity to make the reception area safer for staff.
Pre-registering visitors is the key, and of many of them as possible.
So where do we get that data? If we are canny we extract it from meeting invites in outlook.
However, some Microsoft friendly software tools like Condeco give you that data as they pull the host and visitors according to pre determined business rules.
However, that just gives you a long list for reception to manage and doesn't tackle decongestion.
However, if we have both sets of emails (host and visitor) we can send them really cool invites.
The invite tackles a number of issues, however, how do you send it?
This is where the integration between Condeco and tools like Proxyclick and VPod come in.
What's the difference? Ones a 6ft Iphone with voice activation, express check-in that offers a range of visitor services (VPod) and one just sticks to visitor management.
You can have either of both working in tandem
The Video's here show you how they work
10. However here is where the benefits arrive to decongest reception areas.
The invite has a QR code to scan for express check in
With VPod the screen has a motion sensor and voice activation to add a touchless process.
With Proxyclick you pre-register, however the key is you can populate both system with Condeco visitor data taken straight from Outlook ie get near 100% of visitor data pre-populated with Express Check-In, Touchless processes.
For the author the beauty is safe fast check-in using technology that allows you to have less staff exposed to visitors.
So there are three organisation types:
The Hyper growth Tech Companies who are seemingly waiting till January to do anything other than work from home.
The Improvisors who are using screens, tape and temporary measures, but will not convince staff or team members to return till there is a vaccine.
The there are the TAPSO's Technology Aware People Sensitive Organisations that will use technology to do a thorough job, short term and medium term be ready for whatever comes next be it a second wave, another virus or simply having an efficient place to work that is intuitive aided by integrated technologies.