Post COVID Smart Workspaces

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Introduction

Smart workplaces are being digitally transformed in post COVID world. These views are based on our interactions with wide profile of clients, PMC’s and consultants.

Employee Personas

Across Asia Pacific, businesses have had to adapt to the pandemic, driven by the compulsion to work from home. At the peak of the pandemic, an average of 69% of employees in Asia Pacific and 85% in Americas worked remotely from home (JLL survey).

As a result, smart workspace have transformed, as businesses have to incorporate safe distancing norms, flexible workplace hours and rotational team arrangements, to minimize interaction between people and adjusting to a new culture of hybrid work.

Recent survey across organizations have showed the following four employee personas in a post-COVID world:

  • Always Work From Office – Teams that need static IP due to regulations, teams that need paperwork to be done, handles confidential data, client compliance need, teams that need to respond in real-time to market conditions.
  • Fluid / On Rotation – Teams that will rotate their Staff In office, rest working remotely. Meetings on specific days for teaming / socializing. Some teams may have members decide their weekly presence in office.
  • Always Remote – Teams that can work entirely remotely and only visit office for teaming.
  • Remote by Exception  – Members who are provided exception from their team Persona for remote working (e.g. Pregnant women, recent mothers)

The personas are defined primarily based on team work profile while allowing managers to make any exceptions within the prescribed organisational policy framework.

Companies have realized that they need to find an alternate model for traditional matrix structure (where fixed seating and working from office was a norm) and move towards flexibility, nimbleness and agility.

The new model clients are evaluating includes flexible seating arrangements, addressing all of the above personas, rotational scheduling for social distancing, flexible working hours, and increase in collaborative spaces within the office.

The biggest change will be the shift from fixed to flexible workspaces (combination of fixed and hot desks), without compromising employee experience that will be enabled by disruptive technologies.

Organisations would like an ability to make configuration/layout changes on the go as per the business and employee needs. The change management is crucial and organizations are discussing well formulated process and  clear communication and team-wise training as critical steps.

How to manage your workplace during Covid -19 ?

Smart Workplace Technology Trends :

For the post pandemic hybrid workplaces, following technologies are currently evaluated and adopted by enterprises.

  • Touch Free services – Avoid shared touch interfaces in office and use Mobile as the platform for all services including employee health declaration. We can also enable Digital Surveys and on-going feedback.
  • Space Control –  Safe seating ensuring spacing between seats, flexi seating for the floating persona, flexi – rooms for managers, space sensors for occupancy tracking & room density control. Team based seating options, enforcing release of seats based on geo fencing, enforcing sanitization before re-assigning seats and meeting rooms etc.
  • Office Hygiene – Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring, Rest room hygiene compliance, Monitoring space density in cafeteria/meeting rooms / rest rooms to avoid overcrowding, compliance to post COVID ISHRAE / ASHRAE / WELL standards, thermal scanning with record for people entry and social distance tracking.
  • Follow-My Extension – Telephony integration with space control (subject to telephony capability) to ensure that based upon booking and occupancy, calls to be auto-diverted to the person’s current desk.
  • Lockers – Integration of lockers to space booking, allowing people using flexi space to also book lockers.
  • Parking – Make parking booking option available when employee books the space
  • Energy Optimization – Integration of space usage to energy control (HVAC / Lighting) ensure optimum use of resources.
  • UV Light – UV Lights integrated with occupancy sensors and door sensors to ensure UV Sanitization during the nights and also ensuring highest levels of safety.

Flamenco Tech Solution Innovation

Flamenco Tech has introduced several technology advancements to fulfil the need of an hybrid and adaptive workplace. These advancements include:

  • End-to end Secure Digital Blanket Enterprise platform – Mobile App to Backend application, Vulnerability Tested and approved.
  • New improvements in Digital Blanket SPAZIO (Space Management Solution) for geo fencing, safe seating, locker integration, telephony integration, lighting integration, thermal camera integration etc.
  • New improvements in Employee One mobile app for tracking employee wellness, health declaration and more.
  • Pixel based desk and meeting room occupancy sensors, providing a cost effective way of detecting occupancy without any PII violation.
  • Lidar based people count sensors for detecting and alerting room densities – meeting rooms, rest rooms and cafeteria.
  • Indoor Air Quality Sensors – including temperature, humidity, CO2, tVOC, PM (2.5/5/10) that can connect wirelessly and easily retrofitted in offices.
  • New templates in Digital Blanket for ISHRAE / ASHRAE / WELL enforcing compliances in air flow, air quality etc.
  • Enforcing Social distancing with Tags or Pixel camera without PII violation.
  • Rest room hygiene solutions including odour, wet-floor and occupancy density.

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