Understand How Your University Can Prepare for a Safe Return to Campus for Students and Staff
Preparing and readying your campus and community for a safe return during this pandemic takes careful understanding and consideration to how your return strategy impacts the health and overall well-being of your faculty, students and staff. Here are five factors to consider while creating and maintaining your back to campus strategy:
Social Distancing on Campus
One of the largest tasks when creating and maintaining a return to campus strategy starts with the numerous hurdles our facility teams face when planning how students, faculty and staff get from one destination to another while reducing the chances for unorganized/unplanned physical interactions.
An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is ideal for your facility management teams to confidently create a campus return plan:
- Displaying building and floor plans in common areas for student and staff for what’s accessible on campus
- Create scenario plans of reduced capacity layouts with real-time data
- Provide and display ingress and egress circulation floor plan visuals for all visitors in a building
- Increase hand sanitizer stations and display locations on floor plans
- Setup cleaning and containment protocols to detail and record contamination events
- Proactively close high trafficked or contaminated spaces for cleaning and sanitization
Being able to reduce campus space capacity by any percentage is a tall order for a facility management team that typically receives countless requests for an increase of department, college or even office space. Space management technology becomes critical for universities to determine exactly how capacities can be reduced to meet social distancing guidelines.
A properly functioning space management solution allows space planners and facility teams to:
- Present multiple hypothetical scenarios with varying capacity reductions
- Create ad hoc space audit surveys that crowd source valuable information regarding space function, use, and future demand
- Reduce capacity by space type or function
- Access real-time utilization reports to identify high-trafficked or areas of concern
- Identify current and future space demands and functions
Strategies for Common Areas
Common areas like libraries, student unions, recreation centers, and study spaces must be accounted for as high traffic and priority spaces for when faculty, staff, and students get back to campus. Being able to provide flexible space strategies for these common areas greatly reduces the risk of cross contamination and increases the ability for facility management teams to prevent high traffic scenarios and capacity overload.
- Provide individual workspaces for students to locate and reserve
- Provide a conference room or study room reservation portal that allows users to request setup and services
- Use sensor technology to coordinate proper cleanup and contamination of common areas
- Update available spaces in real-time based on current supply & demand
- Display seating availability and ensure safe distancing between study space and conference rooms available for use
- Detailed reports on reserved spaces to focus clean-up efforts utilized and high-risk areas.
Campus Cleaning & Contamination Protocols
Faculty, staff, students, and even parents are taking precautions and have valid concerns about the spread and risk of this virus on university campuses and the surrounding areas. The responsible management of building sanitation with visibility and accountability will be essential to establishing trust and confidence with faculty, staff, students, and parents.
Ensure high-traffic spaces like classrooms, libraries, and study spaces are properly cleaned and managed at a more frequent rate than low utilized building spaces:
- Create a mobile workforce that can create, track, and complete cleaning schedules all through a mobile application
- Streamline communication with key facility team members, senior leaders, and outside contractors by establishing automated notifications
- Provide accurate and real-time data to enhance quality of information provided for state and federal compliance reporting
Understanding Plan Effectiveness
The biggest questions that universities will want to answer after returning to campus will be:
- How effective is our plan?
- Are we doing all that we can to prevent spread & outbreak and maintain a safe campus?
These are daunting questions for many of us in facility and campus management; however, with the right technology in place, universities can capture campus mobility, utilization, and traffic in real-time and modify their plan based on the insights they receive from the space management technologies in place.
Planning your safe return to campus? Download our guide.
As you're planning and expanding upon your campus' return plan, the strategy and plan must consider pushing past traditional building and campus risk assessments that maintain a safe campus. Our guide goes over 5 key considerations for your return plan as well as a checklist to ensure you're covering all your bases.
Ensure a Safe Return for Students, Faculty & Staff
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