Guy Windsor-Lewis, CEO and Founder of digital property management firm Locale, shares his top three priorities for how building managers can begin to reoccupy their commercial estates, and what occupiers should expect when they arrive.

While it feels we are back at square one in terms of the building reoccupation conversation, unfortunately, it’s as relevant now as it was 10 months ago. COVID continues to be a thorn in the globe’s side, pushing the UK workforce back to their makeshift ‘home office’. However with a vaccine being rolled out as we speak, a return to the outside is imminent, and building and estate managers must make sure they are prepared. These preparations include ensuring a safe environment by utilising the digital tools and solutions available to them. To implement a successful building reoccupation strategy, I have named the top three priorities for building managers to focus on…


  • Communication


It has become painfully obvious that communication can easily become mixed up and confused, misleading, or just non-existent due to a lack of strategy and guidance. For the property industry not to become a casualty of poor communication, building managers must use a single centralised channel to communicate…

  • A clear and consistent return to work strategy.
  • Ongoing engagement with key stakeholders of the estate, including occupiers, building staff, and upper management. 
  • Information such as social distancing protocols, visitor management rules, and hygiene procedures.

Without consistent communication on all of the above, no one will feel confident returning to their place of work. 


  • Contactless Interactions


Using technology, you can enable safe contactless interactions for your building’s occupiers and staff, reducing risk and offering a seamless service. This includes…

  • Digitising content, documents and policies for instant online access
  • Contactless delivery collection with email notifications and scan-to-collect
  • Contactless visitor management
  • A portal and app-based helpdesk

By transferring elements of your staff’s workflow online, you can create a more convenient experience for your occupiers and remove needless face-to-face contact. Furthermore, it provides the capability for your staff to conveniently track and log all issues, questions, visitors and deliveries through a single online portal.

  1. Technology-facilitated Social Distancing 

Despite hope in the vaccine, social distancing will remain a critical element of returning to work. To maintain safe building density levels, measures must be taken to ensure steady occupier population, and a managed flow of visitors. This can be done with the right technology solution in place. You can… 

  • Send a digital return to work risk assessment for staff to complete, and prioritise and group occupiers based on the results.
  • Stagger occupiers with bookable return to work slots to spread the flow and reduce the risk of crowds. 
  • Bookable amenities and facilities, limiting the amount of people who can use them at once.

You can find out more on how to create a successful return-to-work strategy in our white paper here.

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