Smartway2’s next-generation workplace scheduling platform, that already includes social distancing and contact tracing solutions, now enables employees to self-certify that they are low risk and gain management approval before returning to work; while gathering feedback on employees’ feelings around workplace safety amidst COVID-19 LONDON, UK and MARLBOROUGH, Smartway2, a next-generation technology company specialising in workplace scheduling solutions, today announced the expansion of its COVID-Safe Workplace capabilities to include the automation of approvals and certification processes for those who want to come back to the office, as well as employee surveys to gauge how people feel about their return to work. These new capabilities reflect the rising demand for technology that can adapt to fast-changing needs as the pandemic continues. These needs are twofold:
•The ability to roll out new health and safety procedures on the fly
•The ability to forecast demand for resources - from desks and meeting rooms, to parking and other facilities Many organisations are facing uncertainty about which risk is greater: could too many people flood back to work, jeapordising physical distancing measures; or will remote working continue, prompting the need to downsize real estate amidst a challenging economic climate.
Smartway2 enables organisations to take a data-driven approach to optimising space utilisation. By using advanced workspace analytics and data visualisation to help companies understand precisely how meeting rooms, desks and other resources are being utilised, they can boost employee experience, collaboration and productivity, while right-sizing real estate. These capabilities have become increasingly important during the Coronavirus pandemic, as the role of the workplace undergoes a fundamental shift.
Part of this shift demands that organisations control and monitor access to facilities more closely than ever before, given that a free-for-all workplace in which people use any desk or meeting room they desire, without regard to social distancing and sanitation procedures, would clearly endanger health.
The way to achieve this is by ensuring employees book what they need, when they need it.
When someone books a desk in Smartway2, they can be prompted to disclose why they want to be in the office - such as not having a suitable workstation at home, loneliness or a business reason. This information helps managers gauge levels of necessity and manage risk, while generating valuable data to predict demand and provide additional support to employees.
Likewise, people can be prompted to self-certify that they are free from symptoms such as a fever and have not been in contact with anyone displaying symptoms, to avoid putting others at risk.
Another important aspect of managing a safe return to work – or indeed managing any change - is providing employees with the opportunity to give feedback throughout the transitionary period. In Smartway2, organisations can pose survey questions to people when they book resources, in order to measure sentiment, address concerns around perceptions of workplace safety, or predict demand by asking how many days per week they would like to come into the office.
“Our ethos is all about Extreme Flexibility,” says John T. Anderson, CEO of Smartway2. “This key design principle is something we’ve obsessed over since day one. It manifests in our uniquely flexible ‘rules engine’, that allows the system to be rapidly configured to support almost any workflow. We had no idea it would be so well suited to helping organisations safety return to work amidst a global pandemic. That is a scenario I fully admit we did not plan for, but we are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference during these challenging times.”
Organisations are already using Smartway2 to automate social distancing, contact tracing and sanitation procedures. When someone books a desk, the system automatically takes desks out of service within a specified radius. Once the desk is vacated, a countdown timer in the system will prevent anyone else booking it until it has been sanitised, to prevent touch contamination; and sign-off and release procedures for desks and rooms are fully automated. Usage data gathered in the system then informs contact tracing reports that identify the risk levels of employees in the event that someone falls ill.