This is part one of a two-part series on tracking remote employees.
The facilities management field is committed to answering the specific needs of organizations, which currently is how to respond to Covid-19 (coronavirus). Social distancing has required organizations to bring their facilities to minimal capacity, if not entirely shut down. This advent has brought some great advantages to organizations and their employees, namely cost-savings due to employees working from home, and greater productivity.
RSC has helped various organizations track remote employees over the years. Users can accomplish this through either of two different domains: Archibus Space (Space Planning & Management) or Archibus Sustainability & Risk (Emergency Preparedness).
This article will only focus the methods in Archibus Space. There are four methods that RSC recommends:
- Room Standards Displayed on Space Console Floorplans
- Room Category and Type
- Customizable Fields in the Employees Table
- Floor Code and Room Code in the Employees Table
Why track remote employees?
Tracking employees who are working from home poses two major advantages to organizations:
- Future space planning – Once the effects of Covid-19 have subsided and employees may return to the office, organizations can plan how they may need to expand or decrease their space. Organizations will then already have tracked the employees who prefer to work from home even after the pandemic.
- Understanding your real estate portfolio – Keeping this up-to-date is a cornerstone of effective facilities management. Data within the IWMS will be accurate and employees at all levels will be able to make strategic decisions for the health of the organization.
One of the great advantages of Archibus is its visual tools. The Space Console within Archibus Space (Space Planning & Management) can display a floorplan that allows users to see various highlights with different meanings.
In the case of tracking remote employees, the Space Console can highlight room standards. In the demonstration in the video below, we created a room standard of “Remote” that we assigned to specific rooms, and then viewed on the Space Console floorplans. Watch the video below to see how we did this!
This is RSC’s CEO Bob Stephen’s favorite method. He highly recommends this because the data will automatically be displayed in summary reports, without having to create a new, separate report, and it can track the total number of employees without needing a headcount.
Under “Define Room Categories and Types”, we created a room category and a room type under that, both called “Remote Worker”.
Please note that we recommend users assign the “Calculation Used In” field to “No Totals” so that any existing room counts are not affected. We also recommend that users assign the “Super Category” field to “Other Area” so that any chargeback numbers are not affected. Users may wish to change the “Occupiable” field to “No” to avoid similar problems.
Setting up the category and type will allow users to go into a report under “Personnel & Occupancy” called “View Employee Average Area by Category and Type” and see how many total employees are assigned to the “Remote Worker” category.
Watch the video below to see a live demonstration of how we did this!
Under “Personnel and Occupancy”, users can view the Employees Table, which contains basic information about all employees, such as email address and location. Archibus has recently added the capability to turn on two fields called “Option 1” and “Option 2” that can be filled with any data or information desired.
We used these fields to create a label of “Remote” for any employee who is working from home, then filtered down to display all employees marked as such.
6 Free-form fields in the employees table in Archibus Space can be turned on to add any kind of information to an employee, in this case, whether he or she is working remotely.
The advantage to using this method is that no existing location data is lost, and these options require no customization; they can be turned on without modifying the code of the software.
Watch the video below to see a tutorial of how to turn these fields on.
In the “Background Data” users can click on “Define Locations” and edit the Sites, Buildings, and Floors drop-down tree.
Within this tree, we created a floor code of “Remote”. The actual code only allows for four characters, so we chose “REM” to represent this.
8 The floor code in Archibus Space only allows for four characters. To track remote employees, we used “REM” to represent a floor name of “Remote”.
Users can then go to the Employees table, just as in the previous method, and filter under the floor code for “REM” to display all employees who are assigned a floor code of remote.
9 Users can filter under floor code for “REM” in the employees table in Archibus Space to display all employees who are working from home.
This method works well for assigning an entire floor to remote work, but the disadvantage is that all previous location data will be lost. Alternatively, users could create a room code of “REM” and filter for that in the employees table, which would maintain the floor location for that employee.
Watch the video below to see a live demonstration of this method!
10 Users may also filter for “REMOTE” under the room code in the employees table in Archibus Space to display the employees who are working remotely. This method ensures that not all previous location is lost.