desk booking covid-19
3 min read

How to enable social distancing in the workplace via desk booking & office floor plans

Cross-functional teams are assembling across the world to develop workplace strategies for a safe return to work amidst COVID-19. These teams include Facilities/CRE, HR, IT, Communications and other operational roles. The big question on everyone’s lips is this:

What is the easiest, most effective way to enable social distancing in the workplace?

Physical distancing in the office for a safe return to work

The first priority for every organization is protecting their people, through stringent physical distancing policies and practices.

Yet this is easier said than done.

If your office took a traditional approach to space utilization before the Coronavirus pandemic – with a 1:1 ratio of employees to desks – chances are you are facing a challenging transition to flexible seating arrangements.

Implementing hot-desking and office hoteling amidst COVID-19

Yet implementing desk booking and meeting room booking systems is only part of the challenge. To create a COVID-safe workplace, you need a new layer of capabilities in your workplace scheduling software that specifically caters for physical distancing.

That’s why we’re fortunate that Smartway2 was built with this flexibility in mind from day one. Without any expensive custom coding or long implementation processes, you can be up and running with COVID-safe desk booking and meeting room booking features in hours or days, not weeks or months.

How to protect your people from Coronavirus using Smartway2 office floor plans

In Smartway2, in seconds, you can specify the radius you want around desks to ensure social distancing.

From a user’s perspective, they can only book desks that are COVID-safe. And when they make a booking, Smartway2 automatically takes all the desks around them out of service. That way you don’t have to worry about physical distancing in the workplace. It’s all fully automated.

Cleaning and sanitation for desks and rooms in your office

Organizations are also under pressure to maintain high standards of sanitation and cleaning in the office. This means desks and meeting rooms must be cleaned after every use, to prevent touch contamination.

This is easy to manage in Smartway2. You can simply prevent people from booking desks that have been used in the past 48 hours.

Each desk has a countdown timer, so you can see at-a-glance how long it’ll be before a desk becomes available again. This gives you plenty of time to make sure work areas are properly sanitized and safe to use.

Physical distancing does not require fancy office floor plans

If you’re worried that implementing social distancing systems can only be done if you have CAD floor plans with measurements on them, please rest assured this isn’t the case. All the physical distancing features in Smartway2 work with whatever you’ve got – from CAD to simple images of your office layout. You can just draw a safe radius and seating arrangements take care of themselves.

Using digital signage on desks to protect your people against Coronavirus

Using desk booking software, configured for social distancing, doesn’t solve the whole problem. You’ll also need some kind of signage or barrier to prevent people sitting in desks that are out of service.

Using Smartway2’s desk display panels, you can clearly indicate which desks are out of service or awaiting cleaning, so nobody will sit at a workstation until a cleaner has put it back in service after sanitation.

Resource booking systems are essential to combat COVID-19

There’s no doubt that desk booking apps are a vital part for the toolkit for enabling a safe return to the office amidst COVID-19.

Simply by using the desk booking tool, people will behave in a way that protects their health and the health of their colleagues and families – by only booking desks that are safe to use.

There are other ways in which Smartway2 can help you implement social distancing and keep your people safe in the workplace. If you have any specific requirements, chances are we can cater for them already, so please get in touch.

If you’d like to know more, check out this video of our recent webinar on Planning a Safe Return to Work.

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Jane Young

Jane Young

Last updated June 1, 2020