Transition periods are never easy. As businesses move from routine practices to uncertain situations, there’s a level of trepidation involved. Thankfully, there are ways to ease this anxiety—namely, by shedding light on the gap in old vs. new practices. At a time when many organizations are either in the middle of transition or running up against it, investment in visibility is imperative.
Nowhere is visibility more important than facility planning. Facility managers need oversight as they begin to adapt assets and workflows in the near-term and for the future.
Since early 2020, COVID-19 has forced us to work in ways we couldn’t have expected or anticipated. Some agencies are only now beginning to reopen their central workplaces. Others never will.
As we navigate the return-to-office journey, we’re only at the very beginning of what’s certain to be a monumental change in how and where people work, and how space is managed. As organizations chart a course forward, it’s important to look at what we can reasonably predict, and where we just don’t have answers yet.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been disruptive to physical workplaces for so many reasons. One of the biggest challenges for businesses has been adapting offices to new and often equally disruptive safety standards – social distancing, sanitization, contact tracing, etc. While there’s keen emphasis on these practices, indoor air quality (IAQ) in many offices is only now getting the attention it deserves.
Does your business have a single source of truth when it comes to data sharing across facilities? Ensuring data is accurate, relevant, and structured is something any business can recognize as important, yet it is more difficult to achieve than most realize. Just because you are use an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) or have relevant GIS data doesn’t mean it provides a single source of truth.
Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, according to EPA reports. Whether it is their home, workplace, or another location, people depend heavily on a controlled environment. Everything from the air we breathe to the light we bask in is artificial or at least managed. In shared spaces, it is the responsibility of building owners and managers to provide healthy and safe workplaces.
There are two distinct factions when it comes to working from home: those who relish it and those who despise it. Before COVID-19, working from home was a perk. When the pandemic hit, work-from-home (WFH) became a necessity to combat the virus’s spread. One person’s dream; the other’s nightmare.
As COVID-19 rolls on, employers are dealing with two sides of a war between those who want to return to the office and those who’d prefer working from home. Depending on who you ask, results are mixed:
The modern workplace is a far cry from spaces of the past. Banks of private offices gave way to an open concept fad that’s morphed into a hybrid of spaces, including personal desks surrounded by pony walls, hot and hotel desks, and collaboration areas.
COVID-19 threw workplace and space management into turmoil, but the return-to-work movement is underway. As employees come back to offices, stores, factories, and other businesses, the need for privacy in the workplace again takes center stage.
Mixed-use spaces – used by public sector agencies for different purposes – or even mixed-use cities present unique challenges for workplace managers under the cloud of COVID. Unlike single-use facilities, mixed-use spaces may see much larger groups of people come and go. Monitoring the health of every individual is likely impossible without strict contact tracing standards.
Historic buildings hold a special place in the hearts of architects, workplace planners, and employees. There’s something alluring about creating workspaces within the confines of century-old stone or retrofitting a Victorian Era home into offices.
For all their uniqueness, repurposing historic buildings for modern workplaces isn’t as easy as replacing a few light fixtures and brushing on a new coat of paint. Most older structures are governed by sometimes-strict regulations overseen by historic districts – the first was created in South Carolina in 1931.
One of the many challenges that organizations faced this year was the scaling of a remote work model. But with the prospect of life and work returning to normal in the coming months, those same organizations face a new challenge – scaling back up their facilities in a safe way.
To learn more about how facilities and space managers are planning for this prospect, I sat down for a Q&A with Nick Stefanidakis, Vice President of Field Sales & Enablement at SpaceIQ.