February 5th, 2021


How IT Leaders Can Support a Safe Return to Work

You need an IT strategy in place to support tomorrow’s hybrid workforce. If you haven’t already set a plan in motion, move that task to the top of your to-do list.

The way people work is changing, and physical office environments are now mixed with — or replaced by — remote and flexible workplace experiences. For employees, having mobile access to apps, systems, and data is essential in the new era of work.

What’s a mobile-first workplace experience?

Connection, enablement, and flexibility

The technology available today means we’re more connected, enabled, and flexible than ever before. As a result, people expect their digital tools to work from anywhere, on demand, on the go, all the time.

And many employees report to using personal devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, to access company tools and data.

It’s easier to use the same device they rely on in their personal lives — for entertainment, social networking, communication, taking pictures, getting directions, searching online, etc. — to also send and receive work emails, chat with coworkers, and schedule meetings to their calendar.

Getting ready for a mobile-first workforce

Tomorrow’s mobile-first workplace experience

Ensuring the in-person and virtual experiences are equally effective is critically important for long-term success after the pandemic. That means having a user-friendly, visual, and interactive experience that makes training, implementation, and adoption easy so you can quickly see and quantify your ROI.

You want a mobile solution that helps connect office space booking, wayfinding applications, visitor management systems, and your other workplace tools so employees can really make the most out of your IT investments.

When employees can accomplish so many things from a single app, the products are easier to use and that makes their job — and yours — easier to accomplish.

The return-to-office experience

Imagine you’re heading into the office for the first time since it reopened. You’re feeling the excitement of meeting with peers face-to-face again, and it’s a welcome break from the past year’s schedule of virtual meeting after virtual meeting after virtual meeting.

As you make it to the front door it suddenly hits you: The office has been reconfigured, so you’ll have to find your new desk assignment and check-in. Since your company opted for a hybrid approach, it could be tricky to locate your colleagues throughout the day and see who’s in the office and who decided to work from home.

On top of that, you’re starting to feel a little anxious and want reassurance that the workplace has been sanitized, distanced, and designed for safety.

How will IT teams prepare for the return?

Anyone who has ever worked in the office understands the first-day workplace experience. One of the most challenging aspects is finding what you need and feeling comfortable getting around. This time around, everyone returning will experience the back-to-work butterflies.

As you get the systems in place to support your workforce, the feeling might be fairly similar. Spaces will likely need to undergo fundamental changes to adhere to distancing and capacity restrictions.

That means you’ll also be adjusting to the transformations in the while keeping up with IT requests, daily tasks, and upcoming projects like improving access to critical systems and information for your distributed workforce. Here are three easy ways to prepare for a mobile-first workforce.

Office space booking

Coming back to the office will involve a balance between space availability, capacity restrictions, and employee demand.

One way to support a hybrid workforce is by giving them access to booking a desk or reserving meeting space quickly and easily. With office space booking tools, they’ll be able to determine which spaces are available when, what amenities are included, and then book the one that suits their needs.

Not only does that speed up efficiency, it also reassures employees that when they come in, they have a spot saved.

Wayfinding applications

Office wayfinding applications help reintroduce employees to the office, so they can navigate around and locate space and colleagues even if the layout has been adjusted in light of COVID-19.

Teem’s Finder app, for example, simplifies office navigation and provide easy-to-digest visuals that help people see what’s available. That makes the information more accessible and more readily available at a time when it matters the most.

Visitor management system

Tech leaders take security very seriously. With clients, contractors, vendors, employees, visitors, delivery personnel, and others coming in and out of the office, there’s some level of risk to company data and information.

And the post-pandemic workplace is no different.

Visitor management systems bolster the strength of your security by minimizing risks with security checklists, automatic notifications, and a visitor log that’s secure and accessible for contact tracing or other compliance-related purposes.

There’s another way to use visitor management systems for your return, too.

It makes check-in a hassle-free experience, lets you incorporate a wellness checklist or questionnaire to determine if access will be allowed, and reduces the anxiety visitors and employees may feel when they come back.

The next era of workplace experience

Before the pandemic, IT leaders were already prioritizing digital experiences, secure access, and supporting hybrid work arrangements. Once over 60% of employees became remote workers, those leaders had a huge advantage compared to their less-prepared counterparts.

Now that a hybrid workforce appears to be the future for most organizations, it’s time to prepare once again so your employees feel comfortable coming into the office. In the same way, those who start early will be positioned for success and those who don’t will face cascading delays and obstacles.

Planning your return? Make it easy with a 3-in-1 return-to-office SaaS solution. 

Teem author thumb


Teem by iOFFICE provides enterprises with space scheduling and management, workplace analytics, building, and campus wayfinding, and visitor management to help cultivate workplaces that fuel productivity, efficiency, and creativity.


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