To combat COVID-19, you’ve made some changes around the office.
You’ve distanced desks, updated office seating strategies, set up sanitization protocols, reduced conference room capacity, and added directional signage. You’re prepared and your office is ready for reentry.
But for employees, who’ve been away for an extended period of time, the workplace looks and feels unfamiliar.
When you start reopening your office doors, there’s an important factor you need to consider — the impact of COVID-19 safety measures on the workplace experience.
Imagine the first day back. People are jumping at the opportunity to trade in their Zoom fatigue for a chance to meet with their coworkers in person.
There’s something unmistakable surrounding the return to the office: Optimism.
At the same time, some employees are nervous. You understand; everyone has dealt with the uncertainty that’s lingered over the year-long course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There’s a lot that could go wrong — hot desking debacles, office seating stress, foot traffic fiascos, capacity crises, underutilization, and more.
On top of the jitters you might expect one to have on the first day back, an uncomfortable experience on day one of your return could ultimately be a major setback to your company's reopening plan.
Here’s how a modern desk booking solution helps avoid these issues and makes returning easier on your employees.
Once again, picture your own return. It’s day one and your first few employees are starting to arrive.
As employees walk through the front door, it dawns on them they’re not quite sure where to go, how to get there, or what they need to do before entering the workplace.
The issue: If your employees are confused by, or feel uncomfortable with, new seating arrangements, you've got a major problem.
The solution: To help employees get a sense of how their workday will look, an employee experience app makes it easy to find and reserve spaces based on availability, amenities, and location.
With a mobile desk booking solution, employees can save their seats in advance, before leaving home or even on their commute into the office. Knowing there’s a desk waiting for them once they arrive gives employees some peace of mind.
Now, it’s nearly noon. As you’re walking around to welcome returning employees back — from a 6’ distance, of course — you notice there are more people here than you expected. A quick headcount confirms your suspicions.
Even with vaccine distribution efforts ramping up, viral mutations continue to make de-densification a critical part of mitigating the risk of transmission. That being said, how can you adhere to recommended capacity restrictions that have been set forth by public health authorities unless you can plan beforehand and track desk utilization in real-time?
The issue: Overcrowding in the workplace from high desk demand and low availability.
The solution: Use space reservation software to track and monitor space utilization and limit the number of employees allowed to come into the office.
You need to know immediately when too many people have entered your office, that way you take quick action to avoid crowding.
Along with desk booking software that you can use for an employee headcount, a visitor management system helps account for any guests present in your workplace. And with sensor integrations you can also get live data on desk utilization and space occupancy at any given time.
Consider how office seating after COVID-19 will affect your workforce. When employees come back, they might not all be on board with hot desking. That's because traditional hot desking is a seating system that works on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hot desking helps cut the high cost of wasted space by eliminating seat assignments and letting employees work from any space they want — as long as it's available.
In theory, hot desking results in greater flexibility and innovation. In practice, the results are often a disgruntled workforce.
The issue: Hot desking anxiety is real. Without a dedicated seat, employees can spend up to 18 minutes a day searching for an available desk. That's not only frustrating, it's not very productive, either.
The solution: New ways of flexible seating address those shortcomings by giving employees a greater say in how and where they work for the day.
Desk hoteling, for example, is one way to share desks without the headaches caused by hot desking. Employees can book desks from their own mobile device via a desk booking app, so they can reserve their spot in advance and know exactly where they will be seating the next day.
Plus, with desk booking software, sanitization schedules are easier to manage and you can instantly adjust them based on your actual needs.
A mobile desk booking app has benefits for you, your employees, and your company.
You need a straightforward way to understand how many employees plan to return, how they intend to use your space, and what they need to be productive in the office. By analyzing your data, you can spot patterns and easily identify adjustments that are needed to accommodate your team.
After an entire year of living under lockdown, people are ready to come back to the office. But that doesn't mean they're willing to give up the freedom they've gained, either. Your employees can use an employee experience app to check on the desks that are in high-demand, explore which seats are available, see the included amenities, and reserve their favorite place to work.
Teem's mobile desk booking app streamlines your workday, provides the flexibility employees expect, and cuts your company's real estate costs by reducing wasted space.
When you return to the office, Teem's employee experience app can simplify your seating strategy and help make life easier for your employees. Learn more or try it for free.