By David Alessandrini, Pasek Corporation
The work from home movement continues, with much of corporate America postponing the full reopening of offices as part of efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result, office occupancy numbers remain low compared to pre-pandemic rates.
This scenario – with many offices remaining virtually empty – provides an ideal opportunity for corporations to make improvements within their facilities, such as security and HVAC upgrades or workspace and traffic pattern reconfigurations.
For near empty facilities, one of the greatest advantages of tackling a security project now – whether to install new surveillance cameras or touchless door openers – is that noise and infringing on working employees is less of an issue.
Security integrators often work closely with customers to map out an installation timeline to ensure as little impact as possible on employees or customers inside a building. An occupied building can limit when, where and how an integrator can install or repair systems, with work often getting pushed to the evening or weekend to minimize disruption. This can turn a project into a more expensive job because it now requires overtime pay for the security technician.
With fewer people in offices these days, contractors gain more access to the building since their movement and work is less likely to disrupt business operations. Employees working at their desk are not impacted when a technician runs wire through ceiling tiles, for example. Entrances that would need to remain open to accommodate employees coming and going to work can now be taken offline during regular business hours to install hands-free entrance solutions.
As a result, end users are finding that projects are being completed within a shorter period of time. This, in turn, can result in an overall cost savings for the project.
Reduced occupancy numbers also create a safer environment for everyone, limiting contact and interaction with others as people continue to follow social distancing guidelines. While many businesses have adopted procedures to screen visitors, such as temperature checks when someone enters a facility, lower occupancy numbers support a safer environment for contractors as well.
As companies postpone reopening offices, now is the time to plan for the future. Nearly empty workspaces enable contractors of all types to complete projects in a timely, and less disruptive fashion, enabling corporate America to lay the groundwork to welcome back employees in what many hope will be the not too distant future.