There have been attempts to reopen workplaces. However, due to the lack of procedures and processes for workplace safety, some offices were ordered to cease operations. Businesses need to ensure their workplace is compliant and safe. Businesses should be equipped with a business continuity plan, which allows for the managing of the workforce, workplace safety, implementing safe distancing measures, adhering to the latest government regulations, and managing space and facilities. Employees and stakeholders would only feel reassured when safety practices are implemented. Communication plays a vital role during this transition, as well. Creating an open channel of communication allows a sense of accountability to foster within the workplace community. There is also a need to maintain a ratio between employees working from home and those coming back to work. It would require making spaces flexible to ensure there is a gradual and phased approach to the workplace reopening.
Business leaders concur that the ways of working have changed, and digital transformation will lead the way to accommodate this big shift. The “new normal” can be characterized by two facets: ‘Safety and Wellness’ and ‘Flexible Working’ in offices. Only with the right technology can these be introduced while giving them the confidence to the workforce that sufficient measures have been taken for their safety. It is crucial for organizations to be transparent about safety initiatives introduced. For instance, when a table or seat was used last when it was sanitized, whether people entering the workplace are healthy and so on. It can be achieved by introducing a simple single interface for employees to access all this information at run-time. Employees should be able to access information, such as safety initiatives, announcements, seat bookings, or availability of sanitized meeting rooms and make a health declaration easily on their smartphones.
Business leaders will need to relook their operations for a scalable and reliable means to manage employees working from multiple locations and those coming to work at flexible hours. For facility managers, the information has to be available on a screen to know if people adhere to mandated building capacity, screening all employees and visitors, sanitization schedule, etc. Managing this increased communication with all stakeholders can be made simple and efficient through a single integrated technology solution used at all levels.
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