Tech firm Barhead Solutions recently unveiled a workforce management application called Return to Office, which aims to help companies ensure the efficient and safe return of employees to the workplace.
In the wake of the implementation of General Community Quarantine (GCQ), which sees most companies returning to work, Barhead Solutions has launched the Return to Office app using Microsoft’s Power Platform integrating with other modern workplace solutions such as Microsoft Teams. The Return to Office app provides employees with a streamlined way to connect to the workplace, to book workspaces, meeting rooms, general office spaces or schedule work from home periods, and alert employers to their current location and future plans.
With security at its core, the app ensures employers’ complete visibility on their staff’s working location and who they have been recently in contact with. The Return to Office app is compatible with existing basic systems, which allows the platform to streamline the way in which meeting rooms and office spaces can be reserved. The app can also be used to help schedule any necessary workflows such as deep cleaning before a meeting room or desk is allowed to be occupied again, following previous use.
Barhead founder John Orrock said, “The way an organisation needs to engage with its clients, engage with its employees, industry partners, and so forth, will change, for the foreseeable future.” He added that the Return to Office app would support the wellbeing of employees as they return to the office and deliver rich real-time insights to the enterprise to help mitigate risk around issues such as insurance and workers health and safety.
“As the country gears up to adapt to our new reality, companies are finding new ways to guarantee the continuity of their business operations, while ensuring the safety of their employees,” said Fides Amo Ricasa, Commercial Partner Lead of Microsoft Philippines. “This platform allows businesses to focus on getting back on track, maximizing their digital transformation opportunities, and keeping their people safe all at the same time.”
The Return to Office app can check employees in and out of the system based on their Microsoft Teams activity or prompt them to check in manually to specify where and when they are working, including work from home arrangements. It has also been developed to incorporate solutions such as people counting, health stations to conduct temperature checks and facial recognition, access control, ID scanners, and desk check-ins.
Employees can use the app’s reservation feature to book a room or other in-office facilities. Since the app integrates with other Microsoft business systems such as Dynamics 365 and Teams, the reservation engine can show users availability and accessibility of meeting rooms, offices, as well as the availability of standing desks and double screens. The app is also automatically updated with details of any holidays that an employee might have booked.
All of the information collected using the application is provided to the companies in real-time in a secure manner– a feature brought about by the app’s track and trace functionality. If an incident occurs, the employer is notified immediately and is given functions to order concerned employees to attend to the incident.
Orrock noted that being cloud-based has allowed the Return to Office app to scale rapidly. Adding that the low-code nature of Power Platform, the app has ensured that any changes required by either government or companies could be easily accommodated making the app highly versatile and responsive to whatever the new normal looks like in the post-COVID-19 era. The app is also pre-built ready to use integrations to common IoT sensors and networks and is designed to work with other business systems like ServiceNow, IBM Maximo and SAP.
In the Philippines, outsourcing service provider Hammerjack will be using the Return to Office app to bring its operations back to normal efficiently. The company is planning to resume operations with 50% of its workforce on a daily basis.