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return to the office

Plan your return to the office

Do you feel like it's time to reopen the office? Good! We're happy to tell you that you've come to the right place.

A smart, simple and reliable return to the office

Bringing employees back to the office is the goal. Making it stick – no disastrous virus outbreaks, no reversals in course, a smoothly functioning workplace – is the end game.

With employees getting used to working from home and not coming into office everyday – the workplace will change. Today, work is not something you go to but something you do and flexible working has gone from dream to reality.

Before you open the doors for your employees, there are some things you need to have in place. Safety precautions is one piece, an updated, flexible workplace with the right digital solutions is another. Let’s start planning!

Employee Density

Getting people back to office is the goal but making it safe is key. You can’t open the doors to all your employees at the same time. This means that you need to rethink your office capacity. Meaning, how many people can you fit while still keeping up with social distancing and safety?

How much you need to decrease by depends on the design of your workplace, your spaces and above all how many people can spread out safely. A good way to start out is to measure out each floor and then make a calculation of how many seats are okay to use given social distancing policies.

employee density

Social Distancing

Social distancing remains the most important factor in making sure to keep the virus down. As an employer, your role is to make sure it’s easy for your employees to keep up with social distancing guidelines. For example, all desks should be placed as far from each other as necessary, lunchrooms and cafeterias need to be modified to ensure safe,ty and the maximum amount of people in meeting rooms needs to be decreased. An easy way to mark out where people can sit or not is to use a hot-desking solution.

If you want to get more tips, read our post on how you can adapt your workplace after social distancing policies.


return to the office social distancing


Office cleanliness has of course always been a priority for serious businesses – you don’t want to do your job in an untidy setting. But even so, the cleaning schedule has never been a strategic question, mostly just an on-going, on-time-setup process. Now, cleaning is not just a subject for the workplace operations-team, but an organization wide responsibility. Check out our cleaning guide to know more!

return to the office cleaning

Welcome the flexible workplace

The easiest way to handle your return to office is to first make changes in your workplace design. As mentioned, if you want a safe workplace you need to structure it after social distancing guidelines. With our new way of working, these guidelines will actually be easier to follow than it would have been before. A majority of workers don’t want to work from the office full time. Instead, they want the flexibility to work both from home and from the office. Voilà! The flexible workplace is here!

As your employees will spend some days at home and some days at the office – your workplace rarely will be full. The occupancy will decrease, and seats will be left empty. But do not despair, this doesn’t mean that the purpose of the workplace is lost. It just means that its character has changed.

Find more information on how to re-design your workplace in the boxes below!

space for collaboration

Space for collaboration

The main functions of the workplace are to meet colleagues and customers, exchange ideas, and socialize.

Learn more →
desk space

Desk space

There’s still a need for workstations where your employees can sit down and do their work. Find out which spaces you need below.

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individual space

Individual space

Even if you don’t feel the need to sit quiet and prefer the open, buzzing space – sometimes you need to sit somewhere else in respect of your colleagues.

Learn more →
social space

Social space

Make room for the social hangouts, the lunches and the Christmas parties. Soon they will be back on schedule.

Learn more →

What will the future workplace be like?

Read our thoughts on the workplace post 2020.
Read more

Manage space and capacity with a desk booking solution

Minimizing workplace density is key when you reopen your workplace. For this you will need a solution that both lets you decide which parts of the office are okay to use and ensure desks are appropriately spaced. A desk booking solution is ideal for this task.

With a hot-desking solution such as Meetio Desk, you easily indicate which desks are bookable for your employees. This allows you to control the capacity of people in your office on any given day. Visualize bookable desks either with desk pucks or QR-codes. The QR-codes makes the process entirely touch-free. If you need help to find the right solution for your needs, read our guide on how to choose a desk booking system.

Book in advance and ad-hoc

Your employees should book a desk each time they visit the office. If they don’t have a seat booked for the day, they have to work from home.

Visualize occupancy

One of the major advantages with a desk management tool in these times is its ability to show occupancy.

Contact tracing for extra safety 

Our administration tool allows you to see which desks were booked on that day and by who.

Smart workplace analytics

Get insights about how your workplace is utilized with smart workplace analytics.

Contact tracing for extra safety

If someone who recently has been in the office becomes ill, it’s very easy to trace who that person has been close to, or who has used the desk since. Our remote management tool allows you to see which desks were booked on that day and by who. You can then inform those who might have been in contact with the sick coworker and they can make the necessary precautions to not spread the virus.

Visualize occupancy with one glance

One of the major advantages with a desk management tool in these times is its ability to show occupancy. A desk management tool does this in several ways:

  • With desk pucks: The green or red color easily reflects the availability.

  • Through the Meetio app: You can add an interactive map in your app where you easily can view both free desks, meeting rooms, and other spaces.

  • Through wayfinding screens: You can also use visitor wayfinding screens to help navigate your office. Meetio View with maps lets you visualize your entire office on one screen. Find free desks and book meeting rooms directly on the screen.

Check out the video below to see how it works!

Book in advance and ad-hoc

Your employees should book a desk each time they visit the office. If they don’t have a seat booked for the day, they have to work from home. This is to make sure you never exceed your maximum capacity.

In order to do this you need to have a great desk booking system. Meetio Desk integrates with Meetio’s phone app, where your employees can easily book the desk they want. The app connects to whatever calendar system you use and your employees can also book meeting rooms through their app if they wish to hold meetings at the office.

Smart workplace analytics

A desk management solution should also provide you with insights about your workplace. The smart workplace analytics give you a clear indication of what spaces are used and what spaces are not. Remember, space that is left unused means money lost.

Let's start your journey

Getting back to the office is about structure, patience, and flexible solutions. The structure refers to the need of safety during these challenging times. Patience in letting the process take the time it needs without rushing. Flexible solutions are key to bridge the gap between the old normal and new normal.

If you're ready to get started with your transition we're happy to help. Whether you need assistance with new technology or just need a nod in the right direction – we're here for you.

Guide: Plan your return to the office

Download our free guide on how to return to the office – checklist included!
Download now

You're in good company


Additional resources for your back to office journey

Our blog is packed with useful information about different workplace related topics that will help you in your transition back to office. 



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