It has now been over a year since the pandemic began. But nothing lasts forever, and with vaccines now being distributed, it's only a matter of time before our lives can return to some semblance of normalcy. Or what passes for it, anyway.
Realistically, there's no going back to the way things used to be. We're returning to an unfamiliar workplace defined by the technological innovations that were forced upon us by the pandemic. Doing so successfully will require a great deal of strategizing — as an IT leader, you need to be part of the conversation.
The challenges of completely reconfiguring your company's workspace aside, you're likely ill-equipped to manage the new work environment born as a result of COVID. At least, not without winding up overworked and over budget.
The good news is that Teem by iOFFICE can help you do so.
Designed to help businesses bridge the gaps between digital and physical workplace experiences, Teem is affordable, quick to integrate, and easy to both use and manage. From workplace room displays to room and desk bookings, it offers a powerful foundation through which your business can support an intuitive, touchless, and flexible return to the workplace.
Here are just a few ways you can leverage Teem to ease the transition to "the new normal."
Keep your employees safe and healthy
To say that the pandemic has been stressful and draining is putting it lightly. Many of us are still on edge. Still concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.
While this anxiety will likely fade with time, for the immediate future this means investing in technology that helps employees feel safe. This could include everything from thermal kiosks to automated hand sanitizers to symptom monitoring and occupancy tracking software.
Traditional offices are ill-suited to deal with the health hazards of COVID-19. Most of the measures currently in place are temporary, at best. That wouldn't be much of an issue, save for the fact that the coronavirus is not likely to be the last pandemic we face.
The open-plan office is among the most notable casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. As noted by Inc Magazine, office designers and architects have known for a very long time that open-plan offices are vectors for disease. Your own workplace must be redesigned and reimagined.
As an IT professional, you'll need to work with your organization's facilities management and human resources departments. Your goal is twofold.
With Teem’s Return-to-Office kit, you'll be able to combine contact tracing and a digital wellness questionnaire with easy, touchless room reservations along with navigation and wayfinding. Better yet, by incorporating iOFFICE's other solutions, you'll be able to add both occupancy tracking and advanced analytics. Combined with proper social distancing and sanitization practices, you'll be equipped to keep employees safe not just from COVID, but from future pandemics, as well.
Adjust to a hybrid workplace
By necessity, many employers shifted away from the traditional workplace during the pandemic. Employees were forced to dial-in from home, with many shaping their working hours around personal challenges like schooling and caring for their children. You and your colleagues were likely left scrambling to deploy the necessary infrastructure to support this newly-decentralized workforce, which ultimately resulted in the birth of a more agile, cloud-based work environment.
That environment isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The majority of employees prefer working from home to working in the office. And even those that do prefer an office setting want to telecommute at least occasionally.
This is troubling if viewed purely from a technical standpoint. Most enterprise networks simply aren't designed to support that level of remote connectivity. Moreover, training, performance monitoring, data security, and collaboration tend to become logistical nightmares in a distributed work environment.
There are other challenges, as well.
At the same time, there's the potential for enormous benefits. Provided you can devise an efficient virtual onboarding process, remote work can be an excellent solution for staffing issues, even within your own department. And by eliminating redundant physical space/hardware, you can both save money and reduce your own workload.
In order to address the above challenges and reap the rewards, however, traditional in-office processes and systems must evolve. Workplace leadership should be able to remotely manage everything from your conference room scheduling and desk reservations to your visitor and employee experience. Employees, meanwhile, should have access to all the same services they would if they were physically present in the office.
This is one of the core functionalities of Teem. It's designed to allow the workplace to go truly digital. Not only can employees book space anytime and from anywhere, leadership is also able to effectively manage many facets of the office without even needing to be physically present.
Support the surge of new technology
The Internet of Things was already experiencing something of a renaissance before the pandemic. COVID-19 significantly accelerated its growth, resulting in an ultimately positive outlook across multiple sectors and industries. In your case, you can expect to see a significantly higher volume of consumer IoT devices in the hands of employees, with all the cybersecurity risks that entails.
More importantly, however, the IoT has some very real, very significant applications within the modern workplace, including:
The technologies described above promise to revolutionize not just COVID safety, but the workplace as a whole. And alongside Teem, iOFFICE's solutions are designed with support for these systems in mind, both present and future. This makes it easy for leadership to plan ahead, while also providing employees with a smarter, more streamlined workplace.
Support a better experience
Convenience has been a major driver in the IT space for some time now. You need software that's easy to deploy, manage, and maintain. That software also needs to be easy to use on the frontend.
Unfortunately, where remote work is concerned, traditional office software provides neither. It's often frustrating to use for remote staff, and extremely time-consuming for IT. And even some of the remote solutions currently on the market offer little in the way of integration and reporting — two things which are critical for IT personnel.
Again, Teem can help in this regard. Through its intuitive interface, it provides an excellent end-user experience. And on the backend, it's easy to deploy, and integrates seamlessly with the rest of your office.
It's also future-proof, designed to support emerging technology such as sensors and connected endpoints. Perhaps more importantly, Teem provides you with the insights you need to provide employees with a better, safer experience. It provides you with deep insights into usage and utilization, even providing you with suggestions for areas you might improve.
Ensure a seamless return to work
The pandemic has forever changed the workplace. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many of the innovations we were forced into through the pandemic can be leveraged to great effect.
Traditionally, implementing any of the solutions described above tends to be both costly and complicated, which effectively defeats the purpose of deploying them in the first place. And that's precisely where Teem by iOFFICE comes in.
Like it or not, the office has evolved, and it continues to do so. Teem provides you with the simple, smart technology you need to evolve in tandem, integrating seamlessly with both existing software and emerging technology. With Teem, you can keep your employees connected, optimize your work environment, and most importantly, keep everyone safe.