Step by step countries are removing restrictions on non-essential office work. And while many employees have discovered the benefits of homework, many of them also long to return to the office, albeit not entirely in the same way as before. The task to coordinate this in a safe and forward looking way is not an easy one for employers. On the one hand there is a need for an evolving set of top-down ground rules, matching the situation as it changes over time at the regional level. On the other hand, teams need to be able to coordinate the detailed planning from the bottom up. Some tools (e.g. spreadsheets, calendars, Doodles) may be bent to offer some support, but the result seldomly communicates the reassuring “we are in control” employees are looking for in uncertain times like these.
A helping hand
The VAIGO team decided to lend a helping hand with an extension to the mobility platform itself. Conceptually it was already part of the roadmap to add homeworking and working in satellite offices. After all, not commuting or working closer to home are mobility choices too and many of the processes around them (e.g. approval and reporting flows) are a perfect fit for the engine powering VAIGO. On top of that, we now added a post-lockdown planning module.
Essentially the new module allows HR, safety, or facility management to define workspaces and to attach rule sets to them. These include maximum safe capacity and business continuity segregation rules. Rules can be relaxed over time, or more restricted in case the situation requires it. Teams and individuals have access to a simple calendar interface to plan where they will be working in the next few weeks, within the defined rules. If they were already using VAIGO before, they will recognise the interface, e.g. from bike and carpool registration in the platform.
Anticipating the post-corona era
Of course, we hope that we can phase out the COVID-19 specific parts of the module as soon as possible. But even in a post-corona era, many expect home and remote working to increase in importance, especially given the recent, often positive, experience of all workers. Many employers will recognise the opportunity to reduce the pressure on overcrowded open offices. Once 20 to 40 percent or more of working hours will take place outside of the office, a stricter coordination becomes a necessity. And of course, the impact on mobility should not be neglected. Switching from a fulltime train subscription to a flexible formula is something that was already just a few clicks away in VAIGO.
Existing customers can activate the new module right away. For all others, we made sure that it can be launched within 48 hours after a demo.