COVID-19 flipped the working world upside down. But after months of remote work from the comfort of our own homes, employees are starting to return to offices across the country. It can be a daunting task to prepare for a transition to the new office “normal.”
Thankfully, there are tools that can help ease the return and ensure everyone remains safe while sharing their work environment. But not all software is right for everyone.
The Downside to Most Desk Booking Solutions
Desk booking solutions can help with office management in these unusual times, ensuring that only a limited number of workers return to shared spaces at specific times and allowing social distancing measures to be carried out. But they can also be a complicated, jumbled mess of intricate seating plans and desk planograms that aren’t necessarily designed to meet the needs of a pandemic-stricken world. They can also take a long time to set up and integrate with existing office technology.
That’s because—until recently—desk and room booking systems were primarily used by companies with employees who frequently travelled, an abundance of part-time or contract workers, and flexible (not mandatory) work-from-home policies. But in the age of COVID-19, however, additional organization and scheduling has become imperative for all offices that want to return to work quickly and safely—and well-designed, user-friendly software can help you do just that.
Here are some of the software features and benefits you should look out for when preparing to return to work during COVID-19.
According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own smartphones. For people in the United States aged 30 to 49, that number goes up to 92%, while a whopping 96% of those aged 18 to 29 have one. Between Gen Z-ers entering the workplace and the millennials that already dominate it, mobile-first technology is a must.
Take the example of an office building that typically books out conference rooms for meetings with a pen-and-paper sign-up sheet. Over the past few months, it would seem silly to risk one’s health to show up at the office to use a pen and a clipboard (that many people may have touched) to book a meeting room, only to then email out invitations to the upcoming meeting, probably from your phone. Even going digital and using a shared spreadsheet wouldn’t solve the problem, because if everyone has editing capabilities for the document, the information is never securely locked in.
With COVID-19 workplace management software like Get Working, employees can book meeting rooms or workspaces for the appropriate number of colleagues, right from their own mobile devices through a web-based interface (apps on iOS and Android will be available this fall). That way, employees avoid being in communal office spaces unnecessarily and don’t have to come in contact with high-touch surfaces or items. Plus, admins can make sure that no one is making unauthorized changes to the booking system.