How to manage social distancing at work?

social distancing at work
Social distancing & contact tracing at work

Pandemic has completely changed the way we interact with people. As offices across the globe are planning re-entry to office, the onus is on the administration to ease their staff into the ‘new normal’ of office life while remaining mindful of the important health concerns involved. What will social distancing look like in our workplaces, and how can we ensure that we keep doing our best for ourselves and our co-workers in the long run? are some of the questions to keep in mind while creating a robust social distancing rules and protocols in office.

 Along with planning a staggered approach to enter office, there are many key areas that needs to be focused on to safely return back to work:

  1. Determine the number of employees versus the amount of desk space available. Create an appropriate desk seating chart for physical separation.
  2.  Communicate physical distancing guidelines to employees through signages in common areas and entry/exit points.
  3.  Implement a contact-tracing mechanism to identify any social interaction and also to track back in case of any medical emergencies.

Hence, there is an impending need for workplaces to adopt a flexible approach towards working, by opting for an integrated workspace management tool is ideal to manage these issues.


Desk planning in office:

The initial step will be to for the Human Resources team to collaborate with business managers and team leads to determine exact headcounts, as well as which employees can be temporarily remote-based and which ones should be brought back to office on priority basis.

This can be done with the help of our planning and scheduling tools at NeOffice. In a few simple steps, you can easily convert your existing workspace to a less dense layout that allows for effective physical distancing by reducing the number of usable desks and meeting room capacity.

Space management can be done by restricting the number of days an employee can book a desk in the office and also business rules can be defined across teams to form employee groups who work alternate weeks or on different floors, thus ensuring business continuity.

In order to enhance employee experience, we also have options like “hot desking” to give them the flexibility to decide when and where they want to work. Mobile connectivity also allows for employees to stay updated about seat availabilities and enables easy navigation.

 Communicating workplace best practices:

Consistent communication with employees will be a key factor in outlining best practices and assistance as they start to return to the office. Signatures and sign-boards carefully placed at important junctures in the workplace can aid in safety reminders on social distancing, good hand hygiene, symptom checks, and desk space cleaning recommendations. Also offer employees other channels of communication, which employees can use to reach out with any concerns they may have.

Our NeOffice’s suite of workplace needs has a number of salient features to foster and manage effective communication. The built-in “wellbeing” feature in our app is multi-functional – captures daily health updates from employees and also aid in setting up notification alerts for sanitization. Employers can also make use of declaration management form that is available on our app to keep track and constantly monitor their employees’ welfare.


In-office contact tracing:

Apart from the above-mentioned methods, measures need to be taken from the employees’ end too in order to ensure workplace safety. We at NeOffice have developed a social distancing mechanism to identify who the employees are coming in contact with.

 Our mobile which uses Bluetooth to sense if anyone is coming within 6 feet of your employee’s safe distance. The employee gets to see on the mobile screen and buzzer gets initiated to alert both the employees. The admin gets to view in web application the details of who the employees have been in contact with through a dashboard from which the data can be retrieved easily.

The advantages of  using our software are:

·      The employee would be able to view the co-workers around him on his mobile app. In case anyone gets within the 6 feet of radius space he will get a warning alert, following which he can take steps to maintain distance.

·      Mobile app shows visibility of all employees around the user up to 10feet.

·      The employer will get a summary of all interactions being done along with network diagram. In case any employee gets infected with Covid 19 then a contact tracing can be done and preventive quarantine can be done for their primary /secondary contacts. This help solve business continuity of operations.

·      Dynamic dashboard which helps contact tracing easier at a glance which can also be broken down on the basis of date, location, branch or employee name.

·      Reports giving details of contacts and time spent.

·      The app helps to build culture amongst workforce towards social distancing.

These resources can be considered as a starting point to decide and formulate the necessary tools and information required to develop a healthy back-to-work plan that will keep everyone mindful as we return to work. That apprehension may subside once the novelty of the situation wears off and we become accustomed to our new normal.

 Agiledge NeOffice is complete hybrid workplace automation solutions that enables organization to manage their Seat or Desk inventory. Employees can be rostered to seat or allowed to hot desk or hotel their seats. They could also book their parking slots, cafeteria seats and meeting room booking. The solution is cloud hosted and available as a mobile app (iOS & android) and web app.

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