Publication

Working safely in times of COVID-19

07.05.2020

Ensuring hygiene measures and distance rules in the office with CS smartWorkspace.

To ensure that employees can work in the office again after the home office phase, companies must ensure that colleagues reliably maintain safety distances and hygiene measures. CS smartWorkspace provides comprehensive support in planning and control. 

The movement restrictions designed to protect against COVID-19 have been eased recently. While many stores are re-opening, employees, or at least some employees or defined teams, are also returning to their office workstations. This requires good space planning to ensure that employees are protected. New functions in the intelligent Smart Workplace solution from Campana & Schott can help with this process. Based on O365, it is fully integrated into the digital workplace, which means that it can be used immediately without having to implement new tools. 

The COVID-19 protection functions include

1. Adjusting the use of workstations in open space environments and offices
Minimum distance requirements

In order to comply with the minimum distance requirements for open space environments, many companies have decided to block off individual workstations. In this way, minimum distances can be adhered to by e.g. leaving every second workstation empty.

The CS Smart Workspace solution, which is already being used for finding available workstations, displays these blocked stations - either on the cellular phone, in Microsoft Teams or on large screens in the entrance areas. In addition, the system registers (anonymously) which stations were in use. They will marked as occupied until the next cleaning or disinfection.

Hygiene requirements

The increased hygiene requirements also mean that each workstation must be thoroughly disinfected after each use. CS Smart Workspace ensures efficient cleaning by recording which workstations were occupied, so that only workstations that were actually used must be cleaned. This automatically provides cleaning staff with the required information for the nightly cleaning of workstations. 

Trace infection chains

In addition to the anonymous recording of workstation use, the system can also store the MAC addresses of the connected computers at the workstations (this storage is optional and the duration can be selected based on requirements). The recorded MAC addresses can be used to retrieve user assignments for a defined period. This information can be used to trace infection chains and to quickly identify and inform affected colleagues. 

Scale capacity

Space reservations are useful when the availability of workstations is limited. They increase employee safety by ensuring that they do not enter a building that is occupied beyond capacity. Speaking with a bot, users can easily request a space reservation and the system looks after assigning availabilities. The system provides everyone with transparent information about whether it makes sense to come to the office, or whether it is even allowed.

2. Safe use of meeting and project rooms
Meeting room usage

Within CS smartWorkspace, sensors from Steinel (person counter HPD2) record whether people were in a meeting room over the course of the day (even without a booking). If so (and only then), the rooms are added to the cleaning routine. Here too, the system ensures that cleaning staff must only focus on the required areas, whereas unused premises must not be cleaned every day.  

Meetingroom capacity

Companies can also adjust the capacities of meeting rooms to comply with the minimum distance requirements. For example, the number of persons permitted in the room may be limited to half of the original configuration. Using the existing chatbot function in CS Smart Workspace, companies can react when employees overbook rooms, for example if they are basing their numbers on the previous room capacities without minimum distances. If there are too many people in the room, a message is sent to the meeting organizer (or a person on the company's corona crisis committee). This support helps employees comply with the current requirements.

3. Data-driven approval/adjustment of capacities
Analysis

Many companies are left with the question of how many employees will be able to return to the office. They also need information about how the required space capacities can be created or dismantled. The CS smartWorkspace solution uses sensors or network link activity to determine which workstations are in use. Based on an analysis of the usage information, rules for use can then be adjusted and communicated in a targeted fashion.

CS smartWorkspace

Conclusion

Companies need a comprehensive hygiene concept to ensure that collaboration in the office is safe and the risk of infection is minimized. CS Smart Workspace supports this process with a multitude of functions. Companies can implement the entire system, or they can use individual functions in the short term, separate from the solution. This digitally-controlled planning of workstations and rooms plays a major role in protecting employees and enabling healthy collaboration.