Return to the office – technology enablement

The Covid pandemic has brought with it many changes, amongst them the most significant change that will long impact the fabric of society is the ability to work from home. Flexible working was already making a headway in the Digital age, however with necessity being the mother of invention and Home working required following the Covid lockdown, the UK public took to it like a duck to water, recent surveys following 2 lockdowns have revealed as much as 53% (source: Boston Consulting Group) want to continue a hybrid arrangement, with 70% finding the working from home more productive.

Consequently, the Return to Office will be fraught with many challenges, employers must entice employees back with offices spaces that not only provide a sufficient degree of protection from Covid but also provide a flexible to use the space for face-to- face meetings, the primary driver for a return to office.

Technology has evolved to help solve the problems caused by Covid, new considerations following Covid are numerous, amongst them are occupancy caps, social distancing, contact tracing and testing. Occupancy caps are arguably one of the most important considerations in the Return to Office. Ventilation has been found to be a crucial factor to transmission; a well-ventilated office space is required to prevent the spreading of the virus. The HSE recommends a rate of 10l per person per sec. The latest technology seeks to address this by providing Real time Occupancy Figures which can be managed. Solutions such as the more established Condeco seek to limit floor occupancy by limiting Workspaces or Meeting Rooms available for booking, other solutions such as Serraview manage floor occupancy by applying a digital occupancy monitors by integrating with existing badge-swipes, sensors, beacons or PC presence technologies. Yet other systems employ the use of CO2 monitors which can be configurated to monitor the air quality at specific risk locations

Most systems today operate in real time and include a suite of reporting tools which enables an organisation to understand space utilisation and manage optimisation.