The Best Return-to-Work Strategy: Facilities Management Post-Pandemic

As the Covid-19 pandemic progresses and vaccines become more available, workplaces have a crucial decision to make: how to safely return to work. Many factors must be considered when making this decision: how employees have responded to working from home, what your state health and safety guidelines regarding the pandemic and business are, your budget and how the pandemic has affected it, the equipment and space you have available for a floorplan re-stack, and many, many more. Generally, return-to-work strategies are falling to three categories:

  1. A stringent approach: organizations will not be returning to physical workspaces until 2022.
  2. A return-to-normal approach: organizations are requiring their employees to return to the same operations as before the coronavirus pandemic.
  3. A hybrid approach: organizations have some employees attending the physical office and others working from home.

There is no right answer as to which approach your organization should take, excepting where state health and safety requirements may require you to implement certain health practices, such as temperature-taking, mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, social-distancing, and more. All those in consideration, the pandemic has emphasized to a greater degree that the health and happiness of employees and facilities is extremely important to the health and productivity of organizations. RSC has compiled what each approach may entail, what we recommend and why, and what your organization may want to consider when returning to work. Read the following articles to learn more and determine the best return-to-work strategy for your organization.

The Three Keys to Occupancy Accuracy Within IWMS

Providing Accurate Occupancy and Vacancy

(Utilization and Realization)

When discussing occupancy and vacancy, which is also known as utilization and realization, there are three key components to look at when looking for accuracy. Despite how overwhelming accuracy may seem, especially when looking at tech companies that have anywhere from a 50% to 300% churn rate, it is still very possible.

1) Employee synchronization within the HR system

Making sure that both the HR and the IWMS systems are synchronized is one of the most important steps. You don’t need fifteen applications open in order to find and move just one person. The HR and IWMS systems should be able to take care of these details with ease, but, first, both systems need to have the same set of information being fed to them, which is why synchronization is key.

This sync should happen daily – it can happen at night when everyone is gone. This sync looks for things like new hires, those in the HR system but not in the IWMS, terminations, those in the IWMS system but not the HR, modifications like change in manager, phone number, room, email, etc., and errors, like no first name, placed in a division that doesn’t exist, etc.

Some challenges with this are that companies have anywhere from 2 – 25%  that are contractors and don’t go through the HR system, in which case you have to look at things like the security badging system or other on-boarding systems that will allow you to track a person.

2) Move process

When a change occurs within a company, the move process within the IWMS system must be utilized. Every move must be executed within the IWMS system to reflect the changes that are happening in the physical sites. This means that it needs to be used for every single move that occurs, no matter how large or small. It all needs to be recorded and changed.
properly in order to be effective.This is the step that requires the most attention, and needs to be managed daily. A good IWMS system will be flexible enough to make this step as simple or as complicated as you need it to be. While most IWMS systems can move furniture, equipment, moving the person is the most important aspect in this article. Knowing where people sit provides the occupancy/vacancy data to make strategic decisions

3) Floorwalk

Despite the accuracy that the previous two steps will provide, it is still necessary to walk the floors from time to time. There will always be rogue moves. Maybe Alice moved her things one day and Jenny noticed that she had a window seat and moved her things since no one else was using that space. Especially with today’s world of WiFi and DHCP, this is even easier for employees to do now.Depending on how active your company is, floorwalks may be necessary every month, every quarter, or every year. We have clients that walk floors every month and some that walk them every three years.

If these three steps are being utilized, this should give you a 90% to 98% accuracy rate, which is very good. But, as a word to the wise, don’t get caught in being 100% accurate. The moment you’ve walked the floor, someone has moved, similar to when a tile floor is being mopped. The moment it is clean, someone has walked on it. This is why all three steps, HR and IWMS sync, move process, and floorwalks are so important. When being used to their full advantage, hey will keep information from slipping through the cracks so a high accuracy rate can be realized.


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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 8, Working in the Relationship Arena

This week we are excited to bring you Part 8 of our 10-Part series on successfully implementing an IWMS.  In this article we will discuss how to maintain a healthy relationship arena.

 

In any situation that requires collaboration, tense relationships may exist between any given parties involved. An IWMS system may span many, if not all, departments in a company, and those installing the IWMS must work with and get permission from many department heads. If the relationship arena between departments in a company is not healthy, the IWMS installation can be slowed down, inefficient, or stopped completely.

What is the Relationship Arena?

The relationship arena is a term we use at RSC to refer to the teamwork between departments in any given company and/or between the company and the third party installing the IWMS. Ineffectual teamwork within the relationship arena may lead to a slower IWMS installation. For an IWMS to be installed as quickly and efficiently as possible, quick and efficient communication and collaboration needs to happen. This will be hindered if the relationship arena is not healthy and functioning, or in other words, if there is a breakdown in teamwork because of strained relationships between departments.

How To Maintain a Healthy Relationship Arena

In earlier posts, we talked about the irreplaceable value of an Internal Champion. For a more defined role of an Internal Champion, please see article 1 of this series.

As discussed above, two key elements of teamwork are communication and collaboration; the Internal Champion will be able to shine, not only because of his/her ability to communicate in the vernacular of many departments, but also because of his/her ability to collaborate with different individuals. If the Internal Champion can help with effective inter-departmental teamwork, the IWMS installation process can be moved forward with minimal to no inefficiencies.

Even if a relationship arena is not functioning at its best when the third party arrives to install the IWMS, the Internal Champion should be able to help facilitate the installation because of his/her leadership skills and willingness to cooperate, creating an environment of teamwork, building a positive relationship arena.

The key role of the Internal Champion here is mediation — not only does working within a relationship arena require strong communication skills, but the ability to help others when a problem arises. This latter ability can look like helping two team members solve a disagreement, protecting a company from aggressive, third-party sales, negotiating between departments, etc.

The Result of Having a Healthy Relationship Arena

Together, with the support of the Internal Champion, as well as the roles that each team member play, the companies involved in installing the IWMS can create a synergy and unity based on compromise and understanding that will move the installation along smoothly.

Once good teamwork is established, the tasks that need to happen to install the IWMS can be completed as efficiently as possible. Consequentially, your IWMS will operate as you need it to because no important piece of information will have been lost in the process of working as a team.


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