I’m excited to announce that Retransform—a global leader in real estate business management services with over two decades of specialized expertise— has partnered with Trimble Real Estate to initiate technology solutions designed to help businesses through the challenging transition to the post-Covid workplace.

Retransform is one of many leading organizations to join our growing Global Alliance Program—a community of industry experts who have joined forces with us to provide implementation services and business strategy to customers around the world.

“We are happy to be one of Trimble’s partners to offer implementation services for their real estate suite of products,” said Pinkesh Shroff, Retransform’s Vice President, Digital Transformation and Technology. “We continuously learn and innovate to improve our customers’ businesses. We never stop looking for solutions to optimize real estate portfolios and enable digital workspaces, as well as options for customers’ return-to-the-office business plans.”

As a result of their desire to innovate, Retransform will now be an implementation partner for ManhattanONE – our next generation, flexible IWMS solution for centralizing key real estate functions and data analyses essential for optimizing real estate performance, improving decision-making, and enhancing employee experience.

“The ManhattanONE product is a platform which truly provides customers with the required flexibility to automate their business processes using the powerful workflow engine and also secure the application by defining hierarchies and role-based security,” said Retransform’s Pinkesh Shroff. “It also provides an inbuilt reporting tool—with pre-built reports—and an ability to connect with other applications using their open APIs.”

He added: “Trimble’s room booking and ‘business continuity’ modules provide features such as automated physical distancing, workspace management and staggered scheduling to help organizations to reconfigure and manage their workplace to help return employees to the office and safeguard their well-being.”

“With the suggestion of more hybrid workplace strategy models on the horizon, the need to enhance flexibility into leasing contracts as well as staying on top of breaks and options has never been more important.” said Simon Blenkiron, Trimble Real Estate. “By building on our relationship with Retransform we can deliver joint initiatives that help customers adopt best practises with technology as the enabler; where data robustness, process adoption and analytics will help business leaders innovate more freely and define new ways to work.”

For more information about Retransform, visit: www.retransform.com

For more information about our  Global Alliance Program, visit: realestate.trimble.com/partners

What does the office of the future look like?

How should you strategically align your workspace to the new reality?

Do you have the right tools and resources to address the needs of your workforce in a post-Covid-19 environment?

These were just some of the important questions addressed in a recent webinar hosted by Trimble Real Estate and leading professional services network, PwC.

With companies around the world urgently seeking solutions to the challenges now facing their business’s needs, real estate footprint and workforce strategy, we teamed up with PwC to deliver a live webinar on the topic of return to the office.

In the webinar, workplace experts Katherine Huh, who leads PwC’s occupier services team within the real estate practice, and Simon Blenkiron—our global partner director, products and technology—provided analyses on how the pandemic has added a new impetus to real estate decision-making.

Watch the webinar recording here

Katherine revealed that, for some organizations, the pandemic had created “a unique opportunity to reframe the way that they think about real estate, the workplace, how people work, and how technology is able to support that effort”.

Office of the future space management

Katherine said that many of PwC’s clients had found that productivity actually increased during lockdown because employees were able to get “a bit more into a day” with the reduction of commuting times. As a result, more organizations were now asking themselves: “How do we pivot our business to being a bit more virtual?”.

The webinar identified four main types of workers:

  • Full-time office workers
  • Team workers (who can do much of their work remotely)
  • Wanderers (in the office between 30% – 60% of the time)
  • Rovers (rarely in the office).

The webinar then addressed the question: What technology is actually needed for each of these types of worker to do their job efficiently and productively?

Trimble’s Simon Blenkiron said organizations should be looking into the next-generation technology that is now available to track both occupancy and utilization of their buildings. 3D modelling can help them design their way back to a Covid-secure workplace, he said. And sensors will play an important role in creating ‘well’ spaces in the new workplace.

On rethinking office portfolios in the post-Covid world, Simon explained he had drawn on 20 years of challenging organizations to transform the way they optimize their real estate. He said: “Organizations now need to look at the new target density for different types of personnel, apply cost numbers and determine whether it is possible to bring down real estate costs.”

He added: “Space planners and strategists must remain agile and above all responsive. We’ve got to help migrate the office from what it was, to what it needs to be.”

To watch the full webinar recording, please visit: go.trimble.com/pwc-office-of-the-future-webinar

For years, space management software has been helping organizations streamline processes and maximize workspace utilization. But in the Covid-threatened workplace, the same technology is now being used to return employees to the workplace and safeguard their well-being.

Before the pandemic, companies were focused on driving towards greater workplace efficiency and higher space utilization—with feature-rich solutions providing innovative ways to gain tighter control over the sharing and usage of meeting rooms and flexible workspaces. 

But in the ‘new’ workplace, space planners and managers are having to rethink their approach in order to comply with safe distancing guidelines. The focus is now on limiting utilization and occupancy in order to maximize physical distancing and protect employees.

Here are three ways (of six) that space management software can help you meet the challenge of reconfiguring the utilization and management of your workspaces in a post-pandemic environment …  

Capacity planning: Scenario planning and modelling for alternative occupancy strategies

Six ways technology can help space planners floorplan

Space management software makes it easier for you to gain a clear understanding of your optimum workspace capacity in the new safety-first workplace. You can leverage planning features that enable you to model different scenarios—from setting safe physical distancing limits between desks to splitting common functions between different floors and/or buildings to reduce risk.

Our software supports algorithms that can auto-apply your physical distancing protocols to existing floor plan layouts and calculate the maximum capacity. This enables you to visualize the potential capacity on each floor and in each building by comparing scenarios for different distancing options, occupancy ratios, co-working ratios and cleaning protocols. It will also show how any increase in occupancy levels and seating density will impact on the usage of common areas and the flow of people within a building. And when the time comes to phase in more employees, you can then regenerate distance measurement scenarios that increase in density.

Managing occupancy migration: Restricting access to maintain safe distancing

To ensure safe deployment of staff as they return to the workplace, space management software can help you to initiate an occupancy migration plan through real-time floor plan management and space allocations based on distancing guidelines. 

When you specify the number of people you need to apply to a particular space on your floor plan, algorithms automatically allocate reservable desks while maintaining a safe distance between them. If the guidance on social distancing changes, built-in flexibility means the allocation of spaces can be quickly revised—and new floor plans will be auto-generated.

Adopting a rota system allows you to reduce density while still giving all members of staff an equal opportunity to come into the office and collaborate. Space management software enables you to create teams, allocate employees to those teams, and then give each team access to desks on particular days. Many of our clients are creating lists of teams that identify when they can come into the office. We can take these lists and verify whether they conform to the safe distancing policy or enforce rules that only let them book a desk when they are allowed to be in the office.

The risk of Covid-19 transmission is highest in non-assigned common areas which may have a greater density of people—such as lobbies, elevators, washrooms, kitchens and break rooms. Tracking capability and powerful analytical tools can monitor adherence to your safe distancing policy in these ‘hot spots’. For example, some clients are assigning floors different arrival times to reduce the congestion on the elevators at the start of the day. With our software you can automatically capture data through integration with sensors or other indoor location technology. If your workplace doesn’t have sensors, you can gather valuable data from other sources, such as badge swipes and IP addresses.

Booking desks and rooms: Configurable operational rules

Integrating booking capability with your space management software can enable you to automatically monitor and control access to all desks, rooms and facilities—along with centrally-managed workflows and highly configurable operational rules. 

Our space scheduling tool lets you set the occupancy level and physical distancing policy. The software’s colour-coded digital floor plans show at a glance which desks or rooms can (or can’t) be used. They also indicate spaces that are offline and waiting to be disinfected.

You can further help employees by letting them decide where they can sit. Room booking information can be swiftly communicated to teams via mobile apps or web mail, along with two-way integration with Office 365 and Outlook calendars.

Six ways technology can help space planners mobile phone

Empowering your users with mobile booking capabilities gives them access to the updated floor plan, while search functions enable them to quickly find an approved, available space. When a booking is made, our software can automatically factor in cleaning and sanitization time—and users are notified as soon as the room or desk has been disinfected.

Taking it a step further, integration with wall mounted touch panels can show employees which rooms and desks are vacant and disinfected, or unavailable for cleaning. You can even use software to help plan signage placement within your building to keep staff and visitors fully informed—including information about any one-way flow routes designed to minimize transmission.

These are just a few ways space planning and scheduling technology can make your phased return to work easier. If you have an immediate need to address the unique workplace planning and management challenges created by Covid-19, please contact the Trimble Manhattan team at realestate@trimble.com for a demo or more information.

In part 2, we will look at how space management technology can assist with cleaning schedules, control visitors and provide real-time analysis for data-driven decision making.