Getting ready for the world of hybrid working is no mean feat. So many businesses are still in the process of deciding how they are going to manage their return to the workplace – and understandably so.
But as we discussed in our recent feature on the future of hybrid working, there needs to be a certain level of prioritisation. It’s almost impossible to take multiple steps at once and even then, the approach needs to be executed with care, which is even more reason to take our time and keep evolving as we go.
What are the priorities for heading back to the office?
Priority number one has to be enabling a safe return to the workplace – so making sure we have everything in place to facilitate that. This means keeping aspects such as social distancing, contact tracing and capacity management in place for as long as necessary.
And now with flexible working becoming the new norm, we need a way of managing that going forwards. Hundreds of Excel spreadsheets aren’t going to cut it. Plus a manual process is too prone to human error, needs continuous management and is not feasible on a long-term basis.
That’s where Evros Office Pass comes in. It’s our unique app for managing desk booking which can be used while restrictions are in place, as well as in the future for easy hot desk booking and management, as we move towards a more flexible future.
Below we detail the processes involved in mapping your office to the app to give you an idea as to how it would work for your business.
Evros Office Pass: How to get started
We will work closely with your dedicated IT contact(s) to ensure you have everything you need to run Evros Office Pass. Built for Office 365, prerequisites include:
- Power Apps
- Azure Active Directory
- Power BI
We can help with all of these aspects. And as one of the only direct Microsoft Gold CSP Partners in Ireland, we are in a unique position to be able to ensure you are on the most cost-effective licencing model possible for your business, as well as provide any support that you need in this area.
Floorplans, indexing and images
The first step in mapping your office to the app involves reviewing and recreating your office floorplans. Once we have these, we can start to segregate the different areas and identify which desks can be booked and which need to be greyed out for social distancing measures. This process will also help prompt where temporary protective screens may need to be placed to help facilitate safety measures.
Being able to identify the different areas around your office is also very important for search and reference purposes. This means you will need a suitable naming convention if you don’t have one already.
Finally, we will upload the new floorplan maps to the app so that when your staff are searching for a particular desk, they have a visual guide that confirms they’re in the right area.
As you begin to categorise the different areas around the building, you will then need to think about who will want to sit where. This may involve assigning specific areas to specific users to allow colleagues to work together for example, as well as to make sure staff have the correct resources nearby to enable them to do their job.
Doing this also helps to maintain a level of organisation and predictability for both users and managers.
With restrictions in place, you may find that you don’t have enough desks for everyone to be in the office at the same time. With this in mind, you will need to identify the different capacities for each of the areas and then assign a level of prioritisation to different members of staff.
This might also prompt further policies that allow different users to book their desks on different days for example – whatever is best for your business. The underlying consideration being – you need to have a contingency plan in place in case too many people want to come into the office.
Your policies will also need to factor in visitors – which can include contractors. This will most likely align with your contingency plan – as mentioned above – where you consider capacities and potential backup systems that you will need to have in place.
Our Visitor 365 App supports businesses with a digital sign in process which can then feed into your capacity management and gives you a digital overview of who is in your office as well as a method of contacting those who aren’t in your Active Directory in the case of an emergency.
If you have multiple buildings then it’s best to start with a trial site and then once that’s fully operational and you’re happy, move onto the other buildings. It might be that the best starting point is the building that you and your colleagues who are facilitating your return to work are based in. That way, you can see how it is working, get feedback, make improvements, see where any issues are arising etc. before moving onto the next site.
When doing this feedback loop, you will also have the opportunity to analyse the activity within your building and identify aspects such as areas where people congregate or what additional measures you might need to put in place to ease any issues that arise during lunchbreaks for example.
There will be many considerations that need to be made along the way in your journey to safe and easy to manage hybrid working. In terms of creating a safe environment to work in however, the initial steps may include:
The self-declaration form is part of Office Pass and allows you to tell your staff what criteria they need to fulfil to ensure they are allowed to enter the workplace.
This will prompt you and your team to detail the policies and processes you are putting in place to include the specific health and safety measures you would like your staff to follow.
As we head back to the workplace, we will be looking for ways to collaborate safely. This includes making sure social distancing is maintained during meetings and that each room is cleaned before and after every meeting.
We can help you do this using our Rooms App which is also built for Office 365.
We don’t know how long contact tracing will need to be in place for. However, for the foreseeable future, many businesses need to ensure they have a system in place to fulfil the criteria of the Government Work Safely Protocol.
We have a secure, GDPR compliant app which again, can be added on to Office Pass and then removed again if and when you need. This is call Evros Safe Trace and is extremely easy to manage and allows for accurate, intelligent tracking of contacts around your business.
When the workforce is dispersed, communication is critical. And if you need to send an instant alert to your staff or update your employees on your various different policies as these grow and change, we can also help you facilitate this with our Evros Connect App.
Find out more
We can help you with all of the above – and more – to ensure your return to the workplace is safe and easy to manage. Just let us know what you need.
Read more about our desk booking app Evros Office Pass and how it works here. You can also find out more about how to get your office ready for the return to work here.
And if you would like to speak to our experts about any of our Apps for enabling a hybrid workplace, get in touch for a free demo where we’ll also be able to answer any questions you may have.