The Space Management Challenges Your Return To Office Plan Must Solve

How do your people feel about returning to the office? How do you? Putting together a return to the office plan that delivers a safe, efficient, and agile space management process is an immensely complex task.

Health and safety measures at your workplace

People worry about their health and wellbeing. Close to a half (39%) of American and British workers say they’ll no longer use shared kitchen areas, cups, and utensils or make coffee and tea rounds in the office. A quarter (24%) won’t even use shared elevators.

You need to make sure workspaces are cleaned and sanitized properly, ideally, as soon as they’ve been released back to the pool. That would help you optimize the workplace experience for the employee as well as maximize the use of company real estate.

What’s more, the global health situation and government regulations will likely continue to change. There may be potential outbreaks in the office requiring you to adjust its layout and restrict employee access at a moment’s notice. You need to be prepared to act swiftly in all of these scenarios.

Desk and room booking process for your hybrid workplace

Just walking into the office and grabbing a desk for the day is no longer acceptable. Nor is a manually updated excel sheet of desk bookings and the employees working in the office a long-term solution.

Yet both you and your people need visibility over who’s coming in and when. A quarter (25%) of US and UK workers worry about finding the right kind of workspaces once the office doors open. It’s not just a question of choosing between a silent zone and a collaboration hub.

Can your plan for returning to the office solve these three challenges?

People want to:

  • book a desk that’s close to the amenities they’ll need that day;
  • have it available at different times to optimize their productivity cadence and maintain a healthy work-life balance;
  • be sure the colleagues they’re looking forward to meeting will be in the office.

Your team managers will also appreciate a more efficient way of organizing hybrid team meetings than a half hour back and forth via Slack or email to pick the right time, book a room, and check the tech they need will be there. Combine that with health and safety concerns, and there’s little wonder many suffer from anxiety about returning to the office.

Can your return-to-office plan solve these challenges? Yes, it can. In fact, it’s crucial that it does if you want to nurture collaboration and motivate your people to come to the office for that face-to-face time that’s so crucial for productivity and mental wellbeing.

Three questions to answer in your plan for welcoming people back to the workplace

1. Will you choose a phased approach or open up to everyone at the same time?

There are various internal and external factors that may impact this decision or be affected by it, including government-imposed restrictions, company budget, internal approval processes, and the building’s cleaning protocols.

2. What’s the main role of the office in a hybrid work context?

Survey your employees to understand what they value most in a workplace and what they need to perform at their best. That will likely include different activity-based office neighborhoods, such as social and collaboration hubs and silent zones. Space usage insights will help you to further optimize the office layout.

3. What do you need to look for in a space management app?

The success of any space management system starts and ends with user adoption. So choose a workplace app that’s a fit for the company as well as the people.

Look for:

  • Ease of use with excellent UX and UI across devices
  • Useful features like smart suggestions, single sign-on, and integrations with your existing tech tools, apps and software
  • Support for coordinating individual and team cadences for easy collaboration.
  • Well-rounded safety measures covering self-certification, automated cleaning updates, and touchless mobile check-in.
  • Agile space management features such as customizable layouts and flexible policy settings that allow you to instantly block desks, office neighborhoods, or an entire building.

To uncover the exact steps to implementing a safe and efficient desk booking process in a hybrid workplace, download our Complete Guide to Building a Return to the Office Plan.

New rooms features for hybrid working

The beginning of the ‘Return to the office’ is already happening as floods of working professional go-getters are eager to rekindle ‘colleague community’ and participate in a new era of hybrid working. Understanding that digitizing real-life connection does work for a portioned percentage of our professional roles but it doesn’t support the same stimulative collaboration you get when you’re in the same room together. 

Tipping the balancing scales in favour of fully remote is never a good idea but finding an efficient balance between remote working and returning to the office is vital for successful hybrid working. The key is finding the right easy-to-use tools to help integrate this new working eco-system into organisations. Tools to enable this balance by managing office spaces in a way that empowers your people and makes them more productive. This is why easy desk and room management software is more important now than ever.

Kadence Rooms is just the tool to help give your employees the greatest experience at work, together with their team. Today, we’re thrilled to release our hot new Rooms feature to successfully enable colleague collaboration, focused idea sessions or even pitches and presentations.

Here are some of the features we’re most excited about:

Your entire booking schedule in one place

For employees, the ability to see everything in one place is a huge driving factor for being more productive. Having a single go-to place that shows you all of your upcoming meetings and room bookings makes organisation and time management easier for your entire squad. With the Kadence mobile app you can be kept in the loop and know exactly where to be and at what time which means your team can spend less time organising and more time collaborating.

Calendar syncs for easy room booking

Part of making your day to day seamlessly simple and organised is having a useful tool that integrates with all of the other important tools you have to use. Having your schedule synced across all of your devices makes your Kadence mobile app productivity tool even more powerful. Now when you make a booking, accept invites and organise your day, it shows on your calendar.

Dynamic and smart meeting room management

With hybrid working it’s more important than ever to manage the spaces you have. With Rooms you get a clear view of who is in or out of the office with a real-time booking system. You can also see your occupied spaces and know what’s available enabling you to optimize your spaces further for your team. With a single dashboard housing customizable features for room access, administrators and workplace leaders can get a complete view of all meetings and space availability.

Safe, seamless room check-in experience

As more employees return to the office it’s critical that workplace environments are safe environments to work in. Currently reducing touchpoints is one easy solution to ensure your space is safe. It also shows your team you care for their health which will give them peace of mind in the office and allow them to work without worry. With touchless mobile check-in employees can simply tap on their own device, self certify before booking and locate their reserved meeting spaces with a color-coded floorplan.

Book a demo with one of our team today to see how Kadence could help you create an effective hybrid workplace.