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The office ebb and flow is more important than it’s ever been

The office ebb and flow is more important than it’s ever been

As business leaders put their plans together for a safe return to office life, at the forefront of their minds will be devising strategies that mean they can comply with the government guidance on managing the flow of people in, out, and around the building.

This is essential for controlling total occupancy levels to a point where social distancing can be maintained by both employees and visitors.  The guidance clearly states that the arrival and departure times of staff must be staggered, and that if necessary, restrictions are placed on certain areas where it is impossible to stay 2m apart.  

Thought must also be given to the guidance about controlling the number of visitors in the building and how the reception of them can be safely handled.

All these processes can be easily managed with the right tools

The GoBright space management’s desk booking solution allows you to carefully control who is in the building.  By asking employees to pre-book a space before leaving from home, via an app or desktop portal, you can control the number of employees coming to the workplace and ensure that desks are clean and spread out. 

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Decide how many desks are made ‘unbookable’ and they disappear from the booking system.  This reduces the total number of workspaces available, and ensures that staff are not seated face to face or within 2m of each other.  Limits can also be placed on how long each desk can be used, to give all employees an opportunity to attend for parts of the day.  Once a desk has been vacated, the system sends an alert to the cleaning team, meaning the space can be quickly sanitised before being made available again. 

Vary your employees’ arrival times

The desk booking functionality also supports the need to stagger arrival times.  Tweak the availability for each desk by say 10 minutes, and combined with instructions to staff not to arrive too early, it helps to ensure employees are entering the building at varied times.

The analytics within GoBright can be used to monitor both live and historical data on desk use. Facilities or premises managers can see at a glance how many staff are in the building at any time, checking that the maximum has not been reached.  Should that level be close, additional desks can be instantly closed off. Monitor the occupancy over time to see whether tweaks to availability are needed, and adapt current workplace policies such as  staff rotas.

Close off unsuitable spaces

GoBright also allows you to close off whole areas, floors or even buildings.  It means that spaces that are not suitable for social distancing, such as a small meeting area, become invisible on the  booking system.  Other closed areas such as cafes have a clear physical marker to show they are not in use.

Manage your visitors safely

The visitor management functionality means your visitors can pre-register in advance, so eliminating the need for the traditional sign in process.  Reception staff have an accurate picture of how many visitors to expect and queues to sign in are removed as staff check the guest in directly via the GoBright portal on their PC.  For unmanned receptions, QR codes can be used to sign in and out.

Once in the building, visitors can follow instruction from GoBright’s wayfinding function, a simple way of creating professional routing displays that reduces the chance of guests taking a wrong turn.  Using wayfinding, organisations can comply with the need to create one way flows around the building.  This aspect of GoBright also shows the actual occupation of all rooms in one clear overview.  Integrate wayfinding with narrow casting software and you can add health and safety advice and reminders about the need to socially distance.

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There’s no doubt that managing the levels of people coming in and out of workplaces will be one of the biggest challenges in getting people back to work.  The GoBright system is perfectly designed to remove that headache and ensure that organisations are complying with all the government guidance on keeping their employees safe.

Access the Government guidance document ‘Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres’ here.

Clauses relating to this blog can be found on pages 11, 12, 13, 18,  27,

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