As the ‘new normal’ is become the current normal after the first big wave of COVID-19 contaminations, offices around the world are opening up again and people are looking to work in those offices again. However, because of governmental restrictions, office capacity is greatly reduced and all the sudden people wonder how they should go about giving insights to their employees on how occupied an office is on a certain day and whether they can still come to the office.
My COVID-19 Office Bookings App aims to solve just that. The purpose of this app is to provide those insights to company employees, enabling them to view available capacity for the days ahead and book a desk at the office if they need to. On the other hand, the app provides insights for those responsible for meeting governmental regulations and implementing the necessary procedures. Using the app, they can easily define the maximum capacity per building, floor and floor zone. A dashboard provides them with near-real-time insights on how well their actions effectuate with their colleagues.
The COVID-19 Office Bookings App allows users to:
- Book a desk for a specific date, not just in their preferred building, but also allowing them to select a building floor and floor zone (if configured), enabling them to team up with team members if they need to.
- Get insights into the available capacity for a given day, building and building floor so areas never overpopulate.
- Review their existing reservations
- Confirm their reservation through checking into the building on the reserved date, but only when physically there.
The COVID-19 Bookings App allows managers to:
- Define their available capacity by configuring buildings, building floors and floor zones.
- Get extensive information on how buildings, building floors and floor zones are being used, what areas are most used and which employees are the office most often.
The app is built as a phone resolution app and is a, technologically speaking a Microsoft Power App with a dataset in Excel. It uses Office 365 and Azure Active Directory for user identification so there’s no need to login with separate credentials.
The user is identified based on Active Directory profile. Check in functionality is based on geofence conditions (are you really at the office?) and whether or not you have a reservation.
The screen that allows you to make a new reservation. The bottom right corner will only become active if a valid combination of date, building and floor is selected. In other words, if you already have a reservation, or there is no capacity available, you cannot proceed beyond this point.
The management dashboard is used to give detailed insights in how the app is used and, more importantly, how the company’s buildings are used. Using Power BI enables powerful scenario’s. For example, managers can automatically receive push notifications if 90% of tomorrow’s capacity is booked. Or that same trigger could post a message to the company’s Teams or Yammer channels informing staff that capacity is limited tomorrow. Loads of options if you ask me.