Over the last few months, companies and employees have been challenged to perform the largest global work-from-home exercise to date. Now, however, companies — including SAP — are looking into ways of repopulating their offices to assist employees in mission-critical roles and those who lack infrastructure at home as well as to address potential productivity challenges.
For many, there is no feasible way to return to the pre-pandemic status quo with open office layouts, high space utilization, and highly frequented coffee corners in the foreseeable future. We will find ways to revive offices regardless because they are not only workplaces that facilitate productivity. They bring people together and connect them in unique ways that can spark innovation and new ideas.
Keeping Employees Safe Is a Top Priority
Before gradually moving workforces back into offices, it is important to understand how they themselves feel and how comfortable they are with the possibility of returning to their workspaces. A recent Qualtrics study finds that two-thirds of the American workforce is currently not confident about returning to the workplace. They are strongly concerned with health and safety regulations and physical distancing measures. They want to have as little exposure to other people in the office as possible.
In order to address these very real reservations, SAP strives to help customers navigate these times of uncertainty. Jan Gilg, head of SAP S/4HANA, sees SAP’s mission in dedicated customer support. “This unprecedented crisis calls for a response that puts people first,” Gilg says. “We are providing customers with our technology to enable them to resume office operations in a secure and controlled way. But the prime focus lies on making employees feel safe through transparent communications.”
Managing Office Re-Opening in a Controlled Way
To support companies as they manage their office re-openings and gradually bring employees back to the office in a safe and controlled manner, SAP introduced the Workspace Booking app for SAP Cloud for Real Estate. It enables corporate real estate professionals and facility managers to communicate and apply guidelines regarding physical distancing while they are in the process of re-opening facilities.
This way, companies have more control over the management of office capacities. For example, they can define thresholds for space occupancy globally, per location or even per space, and see the impact on critical key performance indicators (KPIs). Based on the utilization, companies can then make data-driven decisions for processes and connecting services, like cleaning or operating the canteen.
At the same time, the Workspace Booking app helps companies communicate guidelines and measures that they apply to their workforce in a transparent way. In practice, employees can book a workspace upfront within their preferred location to adhere to capacity restrictions set by location managers. They can indicate when they want to work from the office in the coming week. As the solution complies with statutory regulations, it helps keep employees safe and productive.
Navigating the New Normal
For as long as the pandemic remains a threat to humans and the global economy alike, the action of bringing employees back into office spaces will need to be strongly regulated and controlled to ensure a safe re-entry phase. The use of data helps facilitate a controlled re-opening and benefits both employees and companies.
This remote work exercise has proven that the future of work evolves faster than ever, moving toward a greater acceptance of flexible working models. SAP solutions for real estate management support a data-driven approach and help equip companies for the real estate management of the future.
Learn more about a discounted subscription offer of the Workspace Booking app for SAP Cloud for Real Estate that is valid for six months at SAP Store.