When a company embraces flexible working or a flexible working environment—meaning a workplace that does not have fixed seating and/or gives employees some element of choice in when and where they work—they often introduce the concepts of hot-desking or hoteling.
Hot-desking means that any employee can find and work at any open seat (desk or workstation) when they get to the office each day. With hoteling, employees can reserve a specific desk/workstation or any other type of space: meeting/conference rooms, collaborative spaces, phone banks—whatever is available in the office.
Remote work from home will be much more common post-COVID-19, some even call it “the new normal”. This will drive an even more flexible working environment. With an average cost of $10,000 per year for providing a desk, organizations will be optimizing for a mix of working from and at the office to save on resources.
Employees can, for instance, use an app or software to find a desk before they come into the office or as they arrive, so there is some comfort in knowing that they will have a place to sit. Depending on the software and technology you use, employees can even search for certain colleagues and make sure they reserve a nearby desk for easy collaboration.
Managing desk sharing post-COVID-19
Many flexible offices use occupancy sensors to optimize their desk usage. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, desk occupancy will take on another meaning altogether. Recent initiatives require companies to be able to record and maintain the cleanliness of particular working areas.
Normal desk occupancy sensors only report occupied or not occupied, two basic values to show the availability of the desk.
With Sensative Strips Presence, a unique manual sliding switch becomes available to help report when a desk has been cleaned. Ideal for busy office spaces and hot-desking environments, the Sensative desk occupancy sensor can be useful in creating a COVID-secure workspace.
The Strips Presence has a new reporting type, “pending cleaning,” which means that when a person is at a desk and then leaves, the sensor will report the desk as “pending” cleaning, instead of just “empty”.
The action that is required for the desk to be available for someone else can, for instance, be pending cleaning and disinfection. When the cleaner has disinfected the desk, they can simply slide the +Switch attachment on the sensor, and the sensor will now report that the desk is available and disinfected.
The Sensative desk occupancy sensor uses LoRaWAN technology to report data to a compatible gateway over a range of up to 10 km. Supplied with a custom built-in battery with a lifetime of up to 10 years, the sensor strip can be easily applied via an adhesive backing.