The Importance of Controlling Building Occupancy in the Wake of COVID-19
May 22, 2020
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people, communities, and businesses all around the world. The UK has been in lockdown for several weeks, with strict social distancing measures brought in to help fight the spread of the disease. This has forced many businesses to run their operations remotely, with the majority of employees working from home to comply with social distancing rules. The UK government has recently released an update advising that the COVID-19 regulations will begin to be eased over the coming weeks. Companies have been encouraged to stay alert and take steps to minimise the risk of infection once they are able to return to work. Controlling building occupancy is a key way for employers to protect their workforce and adhere to social distancing measures in the workplace. With this in mind, here are some simple strategies to help businesses control occupancy levels in the wake of COVID-19:

Maintain remote working

Allowing some of your employees to continue working remotely is a simple way to reduce the volume of employees entering your business premises. COVID-19 has highlighted the fact that many employees can complete their work tasks efficiently from home and remote working offers several proven benefits to companies. This includes improved office morale, reduced business expenses, and increased productivity levels. If you choose to continue remote working, then you must offer support to home-based workers and maintain regular communication using technology such as Skype and instant messaging apps.

Invest in a desk management system

Investing in a desk management system like SEDES is another effective strategy to help you control building occupancy levels. With this platform, your employees can reserve a workstation of their choice in advance using a secure online booking system. You will be able to monitor who is coming into your buildings, without having to spend large amounts of time creating seating arrangements. Overall, investing in this software will help you remain compliant with government guidelines on COVID-19, streamline business processes, and boost efficiency levels in the workplace.

Stagger employee shifts

Staggering employee shifts will allow you to maintain optimal occupancy levels and minimise the volume of staff in your buildings at one time. This will help you adhere to social distancing recommendations and safeguard your employees against the risk of infection. You must take the time to create an effective shift schedule, especially if you are staggering shifts for the first time. Make sure you consider your labour demand and supply and re-plan your working shift pattern to ensure optimal coverage in the workplace. There are various shift patterns to choose from, so be sure to explore the options and pick a work schedule that will best suit your business needs and requirements. You must maintain open communication with your staff and make them aware of any changes to their shifts as early as possible to minimise potential disruption and conflict.

Final thoughts

Many businesses are welcoming a return to normal working life following the disruption caused by COVID-19. However, a return to work must be well-planned by managers to create a safe working environment and protect employees. Controlling building occupancy levels is key, as it will enable employers to follow the recommended social distancing measures and reduce the risk of infection. Implement the above strategies to help you maintain optimal building occupancy and manage a safe and efficient return to work in the wake of COVID-19.