Navigating a safe return to the office for 2 and 4-legged colleagues
Since March 2020 when Covid-19 hit, the UK’s leading specialist retailer of pet food, accessories and services, has been able to operate its stores as normal, with social distancing measures in place to keep both colleagues and customers safe.
Meanwhile colleagues that would normally have an office-based role have been able to successfully work from home, thanks to the Microsoft 365 platform that was rolled out as part of a modern workplace initiative.
In readiness for when Covid-19 restrictions allow staff to return to the office, the company’s modern workplace team has implemented a Microsoft 365-integrated workspace booking system.
Available from Microsoft Outlook, any web browser and mobile devices, the booking system will enable staff to pre-book safely distanced desks with ease using interactive floor plans.
It will also enable contactless check-in to booked workspaces on arrival to the office. Being able to capture exactly how workspaces are being used will allow the company’s facilities team to maintain vital tracking information and know which workspaces need cleaning.
Safety for its workforce is a number one priority, as is enabling teams to work effectively as and when they do come into the office. Using this system, the company will be able to let people pre-book a safely-spaced desk that’s in the same location as other colleagues from the same department.
All bookings can be made in advance from home, and when they arrive at the office, people can check into their chosen desk using their mobile device or a link in an email – there’s no touch screens involved.
The check-in process will enable the company to keep a log of exactly who was in the office when, and, in the unfortunate event that a colleague reports sick, they will be able to pinpoint and advise everyone that was in the office on the same day.
Simplify desk bookings, boost social distancing confidence & optimise productivity
As part of the preparations for provisioning safely-spaced desks, the usual desk occupants have had to relinquish their space, and a desk numbering scheme was rolled out.
Losing dedicated desks meant that their return to work considerations should include important details to help make the experience as comfortable as possible for all concerned.
The booking system makes it easy to book a safely-spaced desk near to colleagues in the same department. It also enables the selection of the ideal workspace according to attributes such as a riser desk.
Other key landmarks such as hand sanitisers and printers have been added to interactive maps in order to make the office visit as comfortable and reassuring as possible.
A safe return to the office for pets
It’s widely acknowledged that pets have been a vital support network during this pandemic and colleagues at the company will still able to bring them into the office but with precautions.
For example, it is planned that dogs will no longer have free roam of the office space and are instead secured to their owner’s desk – ideally out of the line of sight of their four-legged mates so they don’t get upset when they can’t play with their friends!