The new world order for workspaces will be one where teams, that previously worked together, will now need to find a way to work apart. Once employers are ready to accept staff back at the office, one big concern that’ll overshadow their plans is: How do I make the office a safe yet efficient place?
In the backdrop of social distancing, it would seem as though “safe” and “efficient” might be mutually exclusive terms. But not really…at least, not if you use the appropriate social distancing tools and software to help you.
There’s a lot said about physical distancing in the street, the mall or in the park. So long as you stay within your “bubble”, you’re fine. However, when it comes to the workplace, it’s not always that cut and dry. Unlike the street, where you just wave and walk on, workspace social distancing is more challenging.
There’re meetings and scrum sessions all day. Staff must consult and communicate – sometimes intensely, and in person – to get the job done. Employees must demonstrate prototypes, and clients need the opportunity to inspected goods. And equipment taken apart and put back together by teams in the same lab or workshop.
So, how do employers build bubbles in these situations?
A great way to start creating work bubbles is by implementing feature-rich room booking software. These tools empower employees to log in remotely and book rooms (and other workspaces, like desks and cubicles) appropriate for the work they plan to do. For instance:
1) Schedule a 10-seat meeting room, for the prototype demo, where you only invite 4 participants. That’ll leave sufficient bubble room for all attended
The great thing about software-directed bubbles, is that they integrate with office communication systems, like MS Outlook, MS Exchange and Active Directory. This enables staff to seamlessly coordinate their bubble activity with other colleagues and peers – always mindful to not encroach upon bubbles created by other staff.
One cardinal rule, about building and maintaining office bubbles, is to always be aware of the potential to create safe bubble space across the office. Staff managers and facility administrators could do that by doing daily (or perhaps even hourly!) walkabouts through the floor. But that may work for a small workspace. If it’s a sprawling office layout, or a multi-floor workspace – it’s tricky.
Custom 3D Floor Maps are the answer! Use them as part of a comprehensive social distancing tools software suite to see an updated (minute-by-minute) view of your office layout. Built using your architectural office plans, these maps transform those analog maps and turn them into a vibrant and detailed organizational tool.
The maps provide color-coded cues for desks/cubicles available, or those currently in use. From the comfort of your own workspace, you’ll be able to visualize how the bubbled workspace looks for the day (or the coming week…or beyond!). If you see too many clusters of work spaces used in proximity, that might indicate a potential violation of your office social distancing policy. Administrators could potentially reassign workspace to bring each bubble back into compliance.