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December 30, 2020

How Digitized Workplaces Will Optimize Employee Re-entry

Corporate real estate teams have dedicated the last few weeks to answering the question “how do we bring teams back to work”? It’s no easy feat. It requires planning through multiple scenarios and making sense of complex data. Teams are responsible for quickly developing data-driven solutions for phased re-entry that align with new physical distancing requirements. Cloud-based planning technology can help…


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Working from home as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown has changed not only the employees we all serve but workplace practitioners and their teams as well.

“This is a situation where the dinosaurs have been forced to do what they said they would never do,” says Brett White, Executive Chairman and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, in a recent interview with Fifth Wall, referencing commercial brokerage.

“They’re doing things with Zoom, FaceTime, and Saltmine that they never would have tried before, because [now] they have to.” he adds.

While bringing people back to work is the immediate challenge, the long term, more impactful question is: how will changing employee DNA transform the way we work?

In response to the changing nature of enterprise, other verticals such as HR and Sales have moved their technology infrastructure to the cloud, leveraging data and artificial intelligence to revolutionize their work. Doing so has empowered their teams to respond to the impact of the pandemic and ever-changing employee behaviors. The real estate function is behind the technology-adoption curve, and must quickly adapt in order to remain relevant.

Designing social distancing into the workplace

“Robust change management and a shift of employee work patterns and behaviors will be required to keep and maintain social distance,” says Nick Holzworth, Director of Global Sales at Saltmine. “New features in our platform solve the immediate need to quickly and efficiently re-design your portfolio for re-entry.”

“Our customers are now using Saltmine’s physical distancing features to plan multiple scenarios for employee re-entry. Because Saltmine is cloud-based and native in 2D and 3D, we have become a critical component in how CRE teams educate employees about the changes to their workplace.”

Planning for re-entry to the workplace first requires the quick identification of areas that do not meet new social distancing requirements. Saltmine’s Distance Ring helps you resolve this in seconds with easy bulk-application across your floor plan, and snapping features to individual work settings. The collision detection algorithm automatically visualizes violations to social distancing requirements in both 2D and 3D.

Once collisions are detected, intelligent optimization algorithms automatically remove non-compliant work points to instantly determine your adjusted occupancy. Your maximum, social distancing compliant occupancy and floorplan are generated in minutes, and instantly shareable with your team to assist with change management and employee communications.

If your organization is planning a phased return to the workplace, Saltmine’s Phased Re-entry Planning helps you intuitively navigate through multiple scenarios based on your unique re-entry plans. Smart Analysis allows you to quickly analyze the impact of different scenarios by comparing key metrics such as head count and density.

Special product catalog items such as signage and navigational arrows, hand sanitizers and disinfectant booths have also been added to Saltmine’s platform.

In aggregate, Saltmine’s re-entry planning features uniquely empower you to optimize your organization’s return to the workplace.

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The time is now

“Though this change is difficult, it provides a unique opportunity for digital transformation,” adds Luke Rondel, Saltmine’s Director of Channel Partnerships. “Moving critical CRE operations to a cloud-based platform is more important than ever, in order to design, deliver, and manage a workplace that responds to the needs of employees, as well as new health and safety requirements.”

“With everyone working from home, a collaborative process built around a single source of truth is mission-critical for all enterprises. Without this, we miss the opportunity to leverage vast amounts of knowledge and data to positively impact employees’ experience in the workplace.”

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