4 Key Considerations for Facility Managers Preparing Beyond the Initial Return to Campus (Part 1)

As students are returning to campus facilities managers are expected to identify, plan and deliver a safe and effective environment. There is a need to balance multiple important objectives as plans are formulated for each campus — safety first and foremost, and then supporting a productive environment. Key measurements of success will include student and employee health, real estate utilization, and workplace productivity. In part 1 of this blog, we will share four considerations for facilities management leaders creating campus return plans that accomplish the right balance between safety and efficient utilization.


5 Key Questions to Consider for Return to Campus:

  1. How many people can you have in your space while maintaining safe physical distancing?
  2. How do you manage reconfigured floor plans and a phased approach to campus re-entry?
  3. How do you deliver and maintain a safe working/learning environment?
  4. How do you respond if there is a staff/faculty/student incident or outbreak?
  5. How do you plan for the future with so many unknowns?




4 Considerations for Facilities Management Leaders Creating a Safe Return to Campus:


1). Determine Who Returns & When

So, one of the first considerations to think about is who are we bringing back, when are we bring them back, and where are we bring them back to?

Key Considerations:

  • Organizational plans
  • Staff/Faculty/Student readiness
  • Screening occupants
  • Buildings & locations
  • Pre-return planning and assessments


2).  Physical Distancing & Campus Congestion

Another key consideration are the physical distancing and campus congestion pieces.  Preparing spaces to maximize social distancing and minimize direct interaction.

Key Considerations

  • Social distancing
  • Different types of areas and spaces
  • Classrooms/Meeting spaces
    • Maximize social distancing
    • Minimize direct interaction
    • Reduced density
    • Track actual utilization
    • Ensure safe & sanitary spaces
  • Common areas



3).  Flexible Work Strategies

You will also need to consider allowing flexible work strategies during this pandemic.

Key Considerations

  • Traditional assigned seating but socially distanced
  • Hoteling with social distancing
  • Hybrid combination of assigned and hoteling with distancing


4). Sanitization & Wellness

Facility workers and maintenance crews are finding themselves on the front lines of COVID-19 prevention as they work to keep campuses clean, safe and sanitary. Sanitization efforts must be both preventative and reactive.

Key Considerations

  • Preparing for day 1 & beyond
  • When to sanitize and how?
  • Sanitizing station locations & maintenance
  • Technology including “touchless” solutions
  • Indoor air quality


FMS:Analytics Environmental Sensor Dashboard


In part 2 we will share workflows and how to leverage analytics to ensure the effectiveness of your return to campus strategies.

To learn more about how colleges, universities, and facility managers can effectively plan and manage a safe and efficient return to campus while planning for the flexibility required with the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic watch our recent webcast here.



Key takeaways from this webcast include:

  • Considerations for facilities management leaders creating campus return plans that accomplish the right balance between safety and efficient utilization
  • Highlighted areas needing modification to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines as well as safeguarding both student and employee health
  • How to prevent future outbreaks by incorporating policies and procedures to maintain a safe and healthy environment for your employees and students