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.
- 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.