Now everyone knows they can work from home, some companies may never return to having a central office space where employees are expected to be full time. In the same way people have had to adapt to this new way of work, corporate real estate will need to make a shift in order to lure office tenants back too.
Tenants will need to be happy and see the value in the office space they are investing in beyond having a place to sit. Companies and their employees also have to feel confident that they can work safely in an office, in relatively close contact with other employees during the pandemic.
There are a number of technology solutions emerging to help enable this, form workforce planning tools to creative wearables. Here we take a look at some of the tech that will help companies transition back to the office smartly and safely.
spaceOS is designed to create digitally native workplaces that connect and communicate with their tenants. The company’s tenant-facing mobile and web app combines features like community, booking, support, payments, food and beverage orders and a variety of services, compiled into one holistic SaaS product. It’s essentially an assistant for its members and tenants.
Meanwhile, landlords can communicate and connect with previously unattainable occupants, sharing news and events, enabling keyless office access control, and unlocking new revenue streams through food and beverage ordering. Most importantly during the pandemic, landlords have the data to understand how tenants use the office space, and can use this information to improve their experience and retain them as happy tenants. This will be critical as companies do (or don’t) return to their office spaces.
VergeSense’s wireless sensor helps companies get more out of their existing real estate assets, giving crystal clear visibility into the workspace and how it’s working for employees through behaviour patterns. It can enable people counting across any space, detect movement of workplace assets and supplies, track people’s movements versus items left behind, and visualise this information through computer vision and deep learning.
The benefits of this are fairly obvious during the pandemic, helping to measure the distances people keep from each other and being able to track interaction frequency among employees too. The company has launched a Coronavirus toolkit too, showing how companies can leverage social distancing insights, monitor occupancy rates, remain compliant with government guidelines, and track cleaning schedules.
Estimote is another company making social distancing easier for employees returning to work. The company provides a wearable device that reminds users to keep a safe distance through vibrations and registers direct contact exposure. If an employee becomes exposed to the Coronavirus, they can submit this information through the wearable, allowing their company to generate a contact tracing report to protect team members. Those team members exposed are immediately notified about it, all the while protecting individuals’ data which is only shared with authorised HR team members. The HR team gains access to a contact tracing analytics dashboard summarising the exposed team members and helping them put plans into action.
Appian provides an intuitive way to manage workforce readiness during the pandemic. Its Workforce Safety solution helps deliver a safe and smooth transition back to onsite work by giving HR and crisis management teams a unified command centre to manage the health and work status of all employees in real time, through one single interface.
Company’s provide employees access through a simple web or mobile interface so that they can submit and update their personal health and risk data. Meanwhile, the company can define its internal policy rules regarding return to onsite work, with Appian’s pre-built rules available as a template based on health organisation guidelines and government regulations. These data sources are then combined to automatically authorise and employee to return to the office. Once employees are back in the office, companies can also easily track and respond to incidents too.
Companies face a huge challenge in getting their workers back to in-office or on-site working safely in the coming months, and technology will be key in automating and tracking difficult administrative tasks related to it. If you’re providing a solution to help companies return to the office too and need to raise its awareness, get in touch via email@example.com.