Workplace Tech & Software

How workplace management software can help maintain a safe workplace

Brina Martens
April 29th, 2021

While facility managers are experts at wearing multiple hats, sometimes the best way to work smarter is to lean on the workplace management software technology that supports your work. But what about when it comes to keeping employees safe? 

Workplace management software—like integrated facilities management (IFM) and integrated workplace management system technology (IWMS)— is a foundational tool for facility professionals to understand what’s happening within their spaces at all times, so safety is never a question. Facility professionals can use this technology to create high-performing workspaces and build a safety protocol that evolves with the changing workplace environment. 

What’s the best strategy for you to reopen your office?

Help keep employees safe with these workplace management software features

Let’s look at the features the best workplace management software should include to keep employees safe in a post-COVID-19 workplace. 

IWMS software

Interactive floor plans

Interactive floor plans give facility managers the ability to understand their workspace as it currently stands in real-time. Interactive floor plans like OfficeSpace’s Visual Directory help employees navigate the updated workspace and reduce the need to come into contact with more people than necessary. 

Plus, if employees know where important office resources are prior to an emergency, the better. 

This feature helps facility managers keep employees safe by:

  • Making it easier for facility managers to see where everyone is sitting and can easily make adjustments if needed
  • Arranging desks to appropriate physical distancing protocol
  • Helping employees see where company resources are, like medical equipment, hand sanitizing stations, etc.
  • Helping the cleaning crew know where to allocate additional cleaning time/effort based on where employees are sitting

Interactive floor plans are also an excellent tool for onboarding new employees. Starting a new job can be overwhelming, but having a real-time map of the office layout can help new employees learn the lay of the land faster. 

visual directory in workplace management software

Space management

Space management is the management of office space from top to bottom. Software that caters to space management enables facility managers to oversee their space all from one dashboard. 

With space management software, facility managers can carry out actions like: 

  • Visualize occupancy and space utilization on real-time floor plan views
  • Make informed space utilization decisions with real-time reports customized to your needs
  • Leverage “scenarios” and plan complex moves in detail
  • Maintain the quality of your seating data with editable management reports

When thinking about employee safety, space management software is a core part of any successful safety plan. This software ensures facility managers have a firm grasp on office functionality and operations from multiple perspectives. Think of it as a bird’s-eye view of the office. 

Move management

There’s no question that any kind of move—whether you’re moving up a floor or moving to a different location altogether—is tricky.

Many variables go into a move, like space optimization, floor plans, seating charts, furniture configurations, and more. Workplace management software with a move management feature streamlines this task and ensures facility managers don’t forget any crucial elements to the move.

A move management feature helps ensure the safety of your team by: 

  • Keeping employees informed with the correct details released at the right time
  • Helping facility managers visualize the new floor plan configuration so employees are appropriately and safely seated throughout the office
  • Simplifying seating requests and conflicts with a few clicks

Moves don’t have to be a headache if you have the right tools on your side working in the ways you need them most. 

desk booking

Desk booking

Desk booking is a tool that allows employees to browse available desks and spaces and book them ahead of time. No more seating conflicts or questions of, “Where should I sit?” again. 

This tool offers several benefits like:

  • Search and book desks on any device (mobile, tablet, desktop, touchscreen kiosk, and the OfficeSpace iOS app)
  • Allow employees the flexibility of booking desks days before they go into the office or the day of
  • Permit employees to book desks themselves or “by request”
  • Understand desk use adoption rates and track seating trends in the Reports and Analytics tab
  • Implement desk booking in stages and optimize as you go
  • Integrate desk booking with other workplace apps and platforms via the OfficeSpace API

So how can desk booking technology keep employees safe? 

By allowing employees to book their workspaces ahead of time, employees know where they’re working during their time in the office, which offers peace of mind. Using desk booking software is also a great way to help the cleaning team know which desks to pay special attention to for sanitizing purposes.

But one of the most important functions of desk booking technology in the hybrid workspace is that it ensures there aren’t too many employees in the office at a time. With desk booking software, you can be sure the right number of people are safely working in your space. 

Distancing planner

Figuring out just how to space your furniture and desks to create a safe work environment doesn’t have to be a headache. A distancing planner tool helps facility managers generate floor plans and layouts that comply with physical distancing practices. 

With a tool like OfficeSpace’s Distancing Planner, facility professionals can:

  • Use AI to develop a seating plan optimized for capacity while maintaining appropriate physical distancing
  • Visualize the physical distancing radius around seats and determine which desks to close off to employees
  • Track seating capacity in real-time
  • Understand the impact of different spacing configurations
  • Take action on safe selected seats, like converting them into bookable desks, for example

Distancing Planner takes the guesswork out of planning a floor plan reconfiguration to meet the right physical distancing requirements. With it, facility managers can ensure employees are safely spaced and make sure there aren’t too many people in the office at once. This feature is particularly useful if you’re adopting a 50/50 remote/in-office hybrid model to your back-to-office transition plan. 

distancing planner

Safeguard

Keeping employees safe starts before they enter the office. With OfficeSpace Safeguard, facility managers can build safety precautions and methods right into their workplace culture and processes. 

Safeguard offers several features like:

  • Prevent employees from checking into their desk bookings until they pass their Safeguard check
  • Protect employee privacy by only storing pass/fail results that select administrators can access
  • Instant notification of employees who fail their Safeguard check
  • See who has completed their Safeguard form with reports, and identify employees who don’t comply with your safety standards 

A tool like OfficeSpace Safeguard is the ultimate way to monitor employee health and prevent potential outbreaks or risk factors from permeating the office. Safeguard helps facilitate health screenings and make sure employees who have been potentially exposed do not enter the building. 

This tool is also great for monitoring your employees’ mental health in addition to their physical health, so you can work with the necessary teams to combat company-wide burnout.  

safeguard for workplace management

Reports and analytics

Having a pulse on every aspect of your building is important for optimization and proper management. That’s why comprehensive reporting and analytics functions are a critical part of facilities management and keeping your employees safe. 

Robust reports and analytics capabilities from a platform like OfficeSpace give facility professionals the ability to see how their space is being used in real-time and how they could make their space even better. 

When figuring out how best to keep employees safe, a report and analytics tool is an integral part of that planning process. This tool helps you determine how many employees you can realistically (and safely!) have in your office at a time. It can also assist in better decision-making about your space, leading to a safer, more productive work environment for all. 

Room booking

Like desk booking, room booking software enables employees to view available meeting rooms and reserve one from their phone, computer, or tablet. OfficeSpace users can book rooms from popular workplace communication tools like Slack, Google Calendar, and Office 365. 

With room booking software, employees can confidently book meeting rooms and shared spaces without worrying about double-bookings and safety concerns (assuming each shared room is cleaned after each use). 

Safety is simplified with workplace management software

Facility teams have their hands full, especially with the new challenges a post-COVID-19 workplace brings. Workplace management software streamlines many of the challenges facilities managers often face while making it easier to make the right decisions for your company. 

Curious about how OfficeSpace can become an asset to your facilities team? Contact us today for a demo

Photos:  Mimi ThianAmy Hirschi, OSS