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Navigating the new normal

Geosmart Workplace Assessment enables the right business location decisions

By Corne Van Rooyen, Head: Residential, Commercial, Education, Hospitality and Mixed-use at Fernridge

A lot has been written about navigating the “new normal” as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on business operations around the world. However, whether people are offering advice on how companies can improve supply chains, or how to help staff better manage their stress, or even how to ensure data security now that information is distributed across multiple locations, they haven’t actually touched on a vital consideration: What navigating the new way of working means literally.

The past few months have seen the rapid enablement of remote working as the lockdown forced people to work from home. Now that the lockdown has been eased, businesses are changing the way they operate to incorporate remote work more, but many have reopened their premises or invested in shared office spaces. Most, however, have not done a geospatial analysis to establish the best way to manage the different locations.

Some employees working from home may choose to remain remote workers permanently, but others may have to return to the office. Some may prefer to return to a traditional office environment because they find they have too many distractions, or enjoy team environments. Another category of people to take into consideration are those that would like the freedom to work from home when they want to, but who also want to have an office they can visit a few days a week.

In all of these cases, location is an important consideration. If people live in remote areas, it will be harder for them to access an office in the middle of a city – especially when traffic levels return to their pre-lockdown volumes. Similarly, if a company is using a number of different spaces for meetings, each location will be more convenient for some people than others.

In the past, the location of a company’s office was determined by factors such as rental costs, or proximity to warehouses or factories, or even by customer demands. [For more information about how geointelligence is helping companies evolve their businesses with these considerations in mind, read Building a Geosmart Business] These factors are still important, but must now be married with the requirements and demands of a distributed workforce.

Understanding the needs of your people is key to creating a sustainable, future-proof business, and this now involves location as much as remuneration, commendation, company culture, and all of the other dynamics that have informed company policy in the past. A Geosmart Workspace Assessment uses location-optimisation techniques to assist businesses to better adapt to the future way of working, helping ensure that they invest in office locations that are best suited to their workforce and clients.

The Geosmart Workspace Assessment differentiates the needs of work-from-home, remote workers and office workers, marrying their requirements with those of the business in locations that offer convenience, cost-effectiveness, and practicality. Allowing companies to select the best premises for permanent, temporary and transient workspaces, the Geosmart Workspace Assessment ensures that the needs of workers and the business meet in the right locations to ensure minimal disruption and improved productivity.

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