The way we manage workspaces has been evolving and the rate of this change has intensified during the last five years. From the increasing adoption of agile processes and the flexible use of space, to home and remote working, many companies have made shifts not only in their physical environments but in the whole culture of their work practices.
A central element of the agile environment is hot desking, linked to a drive towards activity based working. Many organisations have adopted the practice, realising that they could operate more effectively with less real estate by maximising the areas left empty by sick days, holidays and business travel, and by creating different workspaces designed for the job in hand.
Why pay for space that isn’t used, when numerous studies exist on the cost savings and operational efficiencies that can be achieved. It’s no wonder that those early adopters of the approach felt confident they were future proofing their organisations for effective working in the 21st century.
That all changed at the beginning of 2020. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the knowledge that the virus can survive on hard surfaces, the thought of hot desking has become a total anathema to many. Government guidance clearly states that hot desking should be avoided, unless thorough cleaning can take place after every use. It’s a discipline that can be hard to manage accurately, and the cost of getting it wrong could be high. There’s good news though.
Technology systems exist that allow you to manage every aspect of your hot desks
You can adhere to government guidance and meet your corporate responsibilities to keep your employees safe by using GoBright’s innovative space management system. It not only allows resources to be booked remotely, and instantly communicates availability, but helps organisations maintain strict hygiene protocols.
Through the system each desk can be assigned a status – bookable, closed, or awaiting cleaning. By limiting the allowable booking to pre-determined time slots, cleaning can be conducted throughout the day, so keeping the maximum number of desks in use at any one time. If the desk layouts mean social distancing conventions can’t be met, then designated desks can be closed and made unbookable to increase the space between employees.
Workers check desk availability before leaving home, via an app or desktop, with the system only allowing bookable desks to be chosen. The status of every desk is clearly visible in the physical location, through a light system, and the criteria for each status is easily changed as government guidance evolves.
Optional functionality includes the use of maintenance free sensors to register movement. When movement has not been detected for a designated period of time, the status will change automatically change to ‘requires cleaning’. The result is a system that allows for the safe and effective use of hot desk resources whilst complying entirely with the government advice.
With its multiple benefits, the use of GoBright means workers can ensure a desk will be available before leaving home, that safe distancing is maintained and that cleaning can be tackled in a timely way to maximise capacity.
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 10, 13, 20, 27