Preparing for a Hybrid Workplace

What You Will Learn

With at least 60% of American Adults having received one or more COVID-19 vaccinations, a return to the workplace is imminent.

But the specifics of a post-shutdown, “return to normal” work environment remain murky. Though many companies anticipate employees returning to the office, others have publicly stated they intend on keeping operations remote. Meanwhile, employee opinion is virtually divided. According to a survey conducted by PwC, 55% of United States employees polled want to continue working remotely at least three days per week. With the proliferation of mobile technology, the hybrid workplace may be a permanent fixture in the American work culture.

In this webinar, Yoni Ron, Genea Regional Director of Business Development, leads Senior HR director Christine Doane and Director of Access Control, Mike Maxsenti as they unpack the essential tools and share stories of how Genea’s software suite has already helped companies cut costs and stay safe in a hyrbid workplace.

The Webinar in Detail

Christine Doane and Yoni Ron began the webinar, relaying the pulse of the current work climate to audience members.

“When COVID hit, and we all had to send our employees home for safety reasons, I remember it being very jarring as a HR professional,” Doane said.

Companies worried about a decline in employee productivity. However, opinions among HR professionals and others have changed, according to a survey by PwC — a professional services network and one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. Despite this finding, many surveyed executive teams said they still believe a return to the office would be beneficial.

“One thing is clear is the office is going to look different for our employees.” Doane concluded.

The focus shifted to cost-cutting strategies for the hybrid workplace. Ron shared that one way of reducing costs in unoccupied or under-occupied buildings was by using HVAC services only when necessary. Genea had conducted a survey of building customers in the Houston, TX; Southern California; Atlanta, GA areas who augmented Overtime HVAC with on-demand service. These buildings averaged a cost savings of approximately 16%, whereas the buildings that kept their regular HVAC schedules saved an average of 7%.

Beyond minimizing expenses, companies and building teams need to prioritize safety. Mike Maxsenti demonstrated how Genea Security creates the optimal touchless environment. Tech-forward features like Visitor Management allow tenants to send QR codes to the cell phones of visitors. When guests display the code, it interacts with parking garage gates, elevators and turnstiles. Visitor Management limits the need for touching unsanitary services.

But in Maxsenti’s view, the key to welcoming people into a hybrid work environment is mobile access.

“When you have access around the globe or around the country and you need to provision access for someone quickly and easily, the the mobile credential is the best way to do that,” Maxsenti said.

With the click of a button, keys can be generated for an employee in any office worldwide.

Another addition to the hybrid experience was the Genea Security feature, Safe Workplace. Safe Workplace was built around a custom questionnaire and approval workflow.

The integration between Safe Workplace and Visitor Management creates a thorough way of contact tracing both employees and guests. If a health-related incident occurs, Safe Workplace will query every person on-site.

Doane detailed how Genea transitioned from employees self-reporting their office visits to tracking office access across Safe Workplace. For every change the CDC makes to their COVID-19 guidelines, Doane said she could easily adjust the Safe Workplace questionnaire in a “matter of seconds”. The app can filter access data by date, time, door, and personnel.

“There are a lot of changing requirements that are put on our HR teams and Office Managers. We see it daily,” Doane said. “Safe Workplace makes it easy for us to be compliant with what is going on and what is required of us as an employer.”

Stay tuned for Genea’s June webinar “Decoding Access Control and Understanding the Complex Lingo” for a breakdown of the industry lingo to help better communicate with your team and/or customers.

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