Tag: coronavirus

Planning for the Return to the Workplace

blog1 - Planning for the Return to the Workplace

Many organizations began the work from home phase of their COVID-19 pandemic response in early to mid-March and have developed effective remote working strategies that have enabled them to continue to move their businesses forward as best they can.  No one knows exactly how our workplaces will operate as the return to the workplace begins in the coming months and quarters but it’s time to start thinking about how we will all emerge.

FM:Systems conducted a webcast last week with JLL focused on the Future Fit Office and this term might mean something completely different than it did just a few months ago. One thing for sure is that organizations are beginning to plan and think outside the box how best to lead the return to the workplace as we emerge from this pandemic. We polled our audience last week with the question “How likely is it that your business will introduce additional measures to protect and improve employee health and wellbeing”. Unsurprisingly, 94% of responders indicated that their organizations were either highly likely or very likely to institute change.


survey1 - Planning for the Return to the Workplace

survey2 - Planning for the Return to the Workplace



“We need to look at how we rebalance our workstations and the use of individual workstations vs. shared settings and amenities such as cafeterias. What do those look like? What are those optimal distances and ratios between those spaces and how can we increase the agility to respond to changing employee needs and evolving employee needs to build that trust and ensure that employees are safe and healthy in the workplace?”

– Michael Gresty, VP of Workplace Analytics, FM:Systems



From a facilities perspective there are several areas that we will be exploring over the coming months with FM:Systems solutions to specifically target these areas including:

  • Space Planning and Management – Many organizations will be exploring how they can better utilize their workplace layouts to maximize social distancing while minimizing unnecessary employee interaction.  Additional alternative ways of using workstations may be employed including the use of reservation systems that limit when and where occupants can sit as well as provides the ability to track utilization.
  • Sanitation – in order to keep the workplace safer and healthier for occupants, regular managed processes and staff will be key to ensuring that workstations are sanitized properly before and after use.
  • Contamination Mitigation – In the event that an occupant is determined to be infected with COVID-19, organizations need to be prepared to understand when and where these occupants interacted with space, assets such as computers and office equipment as well as other employees including paths traveled and adjacent spaces which may have been infected.


“Let’s focus on resilience in our business operations. Resilience is getting things back to where they were or keeping them in a steady state. We need to focus more on adaptability. How do we adapt for what’s going on now and for the road ahead of us? I think challenging ourselves that we can’t use yesterday’s logic and that we can’t use yesterday’s way of utilization in managing our workplace is an important factor.” 

-Eddy Wagoner, CIO, JLL Technologies


Leading solutions such as the FM:Systems portfolio of facilities management products can help organizations better prepare for a return to the workplace in the coming months. With these solutions, organizations can improve workplace effectiveness, and become future fit, by leveraging data analytics and IoT technologies that make the collection and tracking of space utilization data easier, more automated, and more accurate than ever before.




Watch full webcast > 

Do You Know How Coronavirus (COVID-19) Is Impacting Your Facilities Management Strategy?

headerblog - Do You Know How Coronavirus (COVID-19) Is Impacting Your Facilities Management Strategy?

Without actionable workplace analytics, this question is difficult to really answer. You may be thinking to yourself, “What in the world does workplace analytics and COVID-19 have in common?”  As of the time of this being written, the World Health Organization has officially declared a global pandemic and several significant social distancing measures have been taken around the world:  travel from Europe to the US has been temporarily banned, the NBA has suspended its season, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is canceled, Italy has shut down all non-essential commerce, major cruise lines canceled all sailings for two months, the stock market has paused trading twice due to sell offs and officially moved into bear market territory, etc.  No matter your age, it’s turning out to be one of, if not the most culturally impacting events of a lifetime.


As far as the workplace is concerned, organizations are encouraging or mandating that employees work from home and workplace utilization metrics now required reporting back to executives for tracking.  So, what does that leave us with?  The answer… a whole lot of empty office space.  I would even argue that it leaves organizations with EVEN MORE empty office space.  Most respected reporting sources state that office space is utilized around 50% on average anyways.  Working from home is not a new trend.  For the last decade or so, organizations have been supporting the agile and mobile workforce with concepts like hoteling and remote work, enabling the benefits of work-life balance and performance all while saving millions on their balance sheets with smaller and more efficient spaces redesigned to embrace these concepts.  It’s been a win-win methodology for organizations that truly embrace it.

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This all brings us to the year 2020 and COVID-19.  When business goes back to normal, executives, facilities, and real estate teams must come together and evaluate what the impact truly was of having a largely mobile workforce.  Why not take the opportunity right now to evaluate what action to take with your space that was already unused before the coronavirus?  This would mean seriously taking a look at workplace analytics technology to get empirical facts on how space is being used.  Helpful hint:  make sure you choose a solution that can give you past, present, and future data in order to look at utilization pre- and post- COVID-19.


According to the Deloitte Insights 2020 commercial real estate outlook , only 30 percent of organizations are capturing data and actually generating insights for decision making.  That means most organizations are staring down the barrel of millions and millions of wasted real estate dollars.  For most companies, the most expensive line items on the balance sheet are people and real estate.  If people can do the work that is required of them from anywhere, how many millions of dollars are potentially being wasted for business that is being performed elsewhere?


Learn more about the benefits of having a flexible workspace.