Richard Brayshaw, CAFM sales manager at Excitech, explores the ways companies can manage social distancing as staff return to work
Whilst the requirement for social distancing remains, with many of us still being required to work from home, the next challenge for those with responsibility for the safety of their workforce (including facilities management, space management and moves management) is to begin planning the safe return to work.
Organisations are having to consider a wide range of never-before-considered questions, including:
- How will we keep returning employees safe?
- Will the whole organisation or only a percentage of it be allowed to return?
- Will employees be able to work in the same way they used to?
- How long will it take before the lockdown is fully over?
- Will there be new legislation around social distancing?
- Where will liability lie for ensuring social distancing is adhered to in the workplace?
All good questions and unfortunately, we do not have all the answers, however in Excitech’s CAFM team we have made some – what I feel are basic and reasonable – assumptions for the UK and many other countries across the world:
- Employee interaction will be reduced significantly post-lockdown, at least for a reasonable period.
- Employees will have to maintain a ‘safe distance’ (definition of safe distance may vary job to job, country to country) wherever possible.
- Government advice or regulation will be provided to enforce this.
- Employees will be advised to put in practice a number of different lifestyle changes to reduce unnecessary contact/close interaction with those outside their household.
Without knowing the specifics, this has allowed us to begin working on some principals and functionality to support organisations in dealing with these challenges. The output of this thinking is the Excitech FM Return-to-Work software solution. It’s main focus, to help organisations manage allocation of space and employees more safely and efficiently.
The solution takes an organisation’s traditional floorplan distribution and highlights where this will now cause breaches of social distancing advice or regulation. The radius assigned to each location or employee can be adjusted to meet changing social distancing advice, or different regulation enforced from country to country.
Additional functionality allows users to manually (yellow highlighted) or automatically (red pen) edit this distribution to significantly decrease or completely remove any instances or overlap, ensuring the safest possible working environment. The revised employee distribution plans can be used to minimise employee risk and increase confidence that action to keep them safe is being taken.
Users can model the redistribution of employees on both live and ‘project’ floorplans (proposed floorplan change scenarios that have been modelled in AutoCAD/Revit), to see how adjusting the floorplan can create the safest and best utilised layout.
Excitech will continue to add additional functionality to this facilities management solution in order to support as many organisations in ensuring a safe return to work as possible.
In order to help organisations through this challenging time, Excitech is providing the software elements of the Return-to-Work planning solution free of charge to existing Excitech FM customers who are on the latest version of the platform.
New users will be able to deploy this element standalone and will only have to pay for the setup and hosting costs of the solution.
CAFM sales manager
LinkedIn: Excitech Ltd