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How Offices Can Prepare for the Return to Work

Feb 8, 2021

5 min read

By: Lucy Bragg

The workplace has drastically changed due to COVID-19. As of right now, roughly half the workforce is remote and workplace preferences are shifting alongside. This begs the question: how can offices prepare for the return to work?

Amidst this global pandemic, it is crucial for you to keep your employees and office visitors safe as they return to work. By incorporating new technology in your return-to-work plan, you can offer an adapted workspace that ensures everyone’s safety, while also improving the overall workplace experience for employees. 

Due to these shifts in the workplace, organizations must plan for flexible working models. After months of working remote, workplace preferences have changed, with employees increasingly desiring flexibility with how and where work is done. This transition from working remote to returning back to the office can seem daunting, but implementing new technology can make this process seamless.

Smart Building Technology 

Smart buildings use the Internet of Things (IoT) to bring various systems within the building together to share data, generate insights, improve office efficiency, and ultimately create a smarter building. By implementing smart building technology in your office, you will be able to gather information about various office elements; thereby optimizing operations and improving employee experiences. More so, there are different types of smart building technologies that all serve a unique purpose for your office.

Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS)

IPS provides accurate data on office traffic, occupancy, and usage which can be used to collect data on device movement throughout the office. This provides valuable insight to limit contact between occupants, and helps employees navigate the space. 

Digital Indoor Mapping

An indoor map acts as a digital asset for your office, providing helpful information and visualizations to visitors and employees. Integrating Mappedin’s office mapping software with other smart building technology allows employees to locate available meeting rooms, submit tickets for empty hand sanitizer stations, and more. Offices and indoor spaces are changing constantly, and so the ability to maintain and edit office maps ensures data integrity in real-time. 

Contact Monitoring 

With IPS and your digital indoor maps, additional services such as Contact Monitoring software can be implemented. This can be used to notify employees if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Integrated Workplace Management System

Within Smart Buildings, we see the importance of having an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) which can provide enhanced and efficient operations within the office space. An IWMS platform helps workplace teams optimize the use of resources, keeping your buildings operating and your workforce engaged.

With a smart building infrastructure, an IWMS can serve many functions for both employees and facilities teams. For example, workspace teams can improve safety with evacuation planning and contact monitoring, manage and track building assets, monitor and optimize space utilization, and more. We discuss this further in our blog Why Your Office Building Needs Indoor Mapping & An IWMS. 

Employee Experience Applications

Within IWMS, there are digital services that are important for the evolving workplace. We recently announced our partnership with ServiceNow and specifically their Workplace Service Delivery product. We’ve teamed up with ServiceNow to offer indoor mapping capabilities within their Workplace Service Delivery (WSD) product because it provides employees and managers the best digital experience from anywhere. This service allows you to keep your workplace running smoothly with a multi-channel, mobile-enabled solution. 

WSD automates workflows, making it easy for employees and employers to get what they need, when they need it, from the office or at home. When preparing to open up offices, this tool allows you to automate requests, reservations, and repairs so you can focus on what’s important.

Benefits of Workplace Service Delivery 

Digital Workplace Service Experiences

  • Enable employees to easily request workplace needs and asks such as room configurations, catering, AV support and more from a single, unified platform.

Enhance Reservation Experiences 

  • Create flexibility in the workplace with direct employee access to reserve workspaces, including desks and meeting rooms, all through connected devices.

Space Utilization and Cost Efficiencies 

  • Access better space management tools for corporate real estate teams and understand how employees work, including real-time analytics and utilization data for spend optimization.

Mappedin Features Available to ServiceNow Users

Map Editor

  • Utilize Mappedin’s simple editor tools so that property managers and tenants can keep their building floor plans up to date, in real-time.

Map Visualizations

  • Incorporate a mapping element to meeting room reservations and desk bookings, along with giving employees additional, location-based information.

Wayfinding Application

  • Allows employees to easily navigate around an office or large work campus to find services, meeting rooms, and amenities.


Together, enabling flexible working models, smart building technology and an IWMS can help offices prepare for the return to work. These technologies increase workplace team efficiency, improve employee experience, and ultimately increase productivity in the workspace.

Are you interested in learning more about Mappedin’s integration with ServiceNow’s Workplace Service Delivery and how it applies to your workspace? Contact us today for more information.