Guest Post by Allison Ballard, Executive Director at Tapdn™, an IOT platform mobilized by CORT

Will your workforce trust your return to work strategy? Is your organization’s real estate plan going to help you emerge stronger for years to come? These are two questions that are continuously coming up as the workforce prepares to emerge from their homes into the new workplace.

Post-pandemic, it is widely expected that behaviors and protocols will change as more people return to the office. Many corporations are contemplating new procedures that instill a level of trust in their workforce that it is safe to return to work. But what measures can help you be “recovery ready”?

Staggering start times in shifts, restacking floor plans to accommodate physical distancing, routing one-way traffic patterns to eliminate crossing paths in hallways, closing huddle rooms, opening stairwells, and moving to exclusively dedicated desk assignments are some ways landlords and employers are looking to instill trust. Even with high-grade air filtration and purification systems, are these measures enough?

Using utilization sensor technology to govern how space is used, or not, can also contribute to employee well-being. There are tangible ways that organizations can use occupancy data to contribute to employee safety. As an example, reports can be delivered daily to inform janitorial services about which work areas were used during that day, allowing for more concentrated sanitization efforts on only those desks used. In cases where employees become symptomatic, utilization sensors can provide historical usage data for proximity tracing efforts, helping to mitigate spread within the workforce.

Utilization sensor technology will help occupiers flex more readily in the near term and play an integral role in understanding the future need for office space. This pandemic has taught us that remote work can be productive. Perhaps even those corporate cultures that were reluctant to adopt an agile remote work strategy may be more apt to do so, even if only a few days per week, post COVID-19.

Realigning the real estate portfolio and restructuring leases to address this shift are decisions best made with utilization data that show how employees use their office spaces.

Allison Ballard is Executive Director at Tapdn, an IOT platform mobilized by CORT.