The Current Situation
On 19th June 2020, the UK Government downgraded the COVID-19 Alert level from four to three. This means the threat of transmission is no longer high. People can now see their loved ones, and more shops and facilities can re-open with appropriate safeguarding measures.
The advice is still to socially distance from people you do not live with, or who are not in the same ‘support bubble’. In addition, if you can work from home you should continue to do so. For now, working from home may suffice, but is not a long-term solution, with evidence suggesting it can affect employee wellbeing  .
However, getting employees back into the workplace may not be as simple as other working environments, as evidence suggests that the threat of transmission of COVID-19 is 18.7 times higher in enclosed spaces than outdoor environments . This means that facility management teams will have to work doubly as hard to ensure the workplace is safe for employee returns.
Here is where The Changing Workplace can help:
Managing Space & Keeping Employees Safe during COVID-19
In WebCoRE’s Data Editor +, new features are available that enable users to quickly and easily manage group plans which comply with social distancing rules.
Utilising a floor plan view, you can assign workstations to different working groups that access the workplace on different days or weeks, and at different times. Once social distancing rules relax, groups can be combined to work at the same time, or separated if stricter measures are introduced.
With the Groups feature, you can:
- Use the floor plan view in Data Editor + to assign workspaces to groups that have safe distancing between them.
- Use highlighter to check the spacing of your groups before publishing changes
- View the group plans in Space & Space Dashboard to export and share with managers
- Download floor plans in bulk to export multiple floor plans at once
- Use report writer to export a comprehensive list of employees assigned to the working group.
Group planner is a workstation-planning tool, to help visualise social distancing between workstations. Users can manually set desired distances between workstations and thresholds of acceptable overlap, to help guide return to work planning.
Group planner uses a red-amber-green traffic light system to indicate which workstations are situated too closely together. Where workstations significantly overlap, users can change the usability of the space simply by clicking on them.
For more information, check out the video below:
Booking Solutions and Building Kiosks
It is more important than ever for companies to better manage and track space provision, especially as social distancing rules severely reduces the amount of usable space.
Booking solutions can help prioritise who can book space when less workspace is available, and restrict space availability to keep employees safe. With Room booking you can control what spaces are available to book; ensuring only spaces with safe distances can be reserved, and only allow workspaces to be booked once a day.
The Changing Workplace’s Booking Solution features include:
- Quick deployment through QR/NFC codes and app access through mobile and desktop devices
- Integration with building kiosk
- Manage space availability, bookings, and book on behalf of users through WebCoRE
- Employees and visitors can see what spaces are available on site or book in advance at home
- Can be linked to sensor data so users can view which areas are busy and should be avoided
- Link booking metrics to reporting in space to view space usage
Read our article on space booking to find out more about how our booking app and building kiosks can benefit your workplaces.
1] Tavares, A.I., 2017. Telework and health effects review. International Journal of Healthcare. Available at: https://www.semanticscholar.org/ (Accessed 02 June 2020).
 Kłopotek, M., 2017. The advantages and disadvantages of remote working from the perspective of young employees. Scientific Quarterly “Organization and Management”, Vol. 4, No. 40
 Nishiura, H., Oshitani, H., Kobayashi, T., Saito, T., Sunagawa, T., Matsui, T., Wakita, T., COVID, M. and Suzuki, M., 2020. Closed environments facilitate secondary transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). medRxiv. Available at: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.28.20029272v2 (Accessed 29 June 2020).