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Office social distancing

Enterprise Service Management

Office social distancing with Enterprise Service Management

By Naïma Lachhab on July, 30 2020

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Naïma Lachhab

Working from home has been – and will be – the norm for quite some time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for your return to the office in case COVID-19 measures start to ease. Let’s say your government gives organizations the go-ahead. How will you organize an environment that allows office social distancing? Three words: Enterprise Service Management. We spoke with TOPdesk’s very own Return to Work Taskforce to find out why HR, IT, and FM need each other, and which three tips will make your return to the office smooth sailing.

Service departments on the front lines of change

Managing the return to work isn’t as easy as it may sound. How do you implement new ways of working while balancing the safety of your employees with business continuity? And how do you uphold your organizational culture and boost your employees’ engagement in times of change?


Implementing an effective return to work policy starts with the people working on the office front lines: HR, IT, and Facility Management (FM). HR & Learning Analyst Josh Bersin thinks these service departments “must bond at the hip.” The issues mentioned above directly impact all service departments, so your teams need to work together closely in an Enterprise Service Management (ESM) approach. 


Why do HR, IT, and FM need each other?

In most organizations, HR, IT, and FM already interact – if not collaborate – with each other on a daily basis. Your service departments may use the same tool or you may even have a single point of contact. With COVID-19 and the constant need to update your employees, chances are your service departments are already working together more to ensure the best possible employee experience in such uncertain times.


Once returning to the office becomes an option again, collaboration between HR, IT, and FM becomes more important than ever. Each of these three disciplines has different information at their disposal and a unique perspective on what your employees and your organization need. Together, your service teams will make the best possible choices about office social distancing in the best interest of your organization and its employees.


Ultimately, any decisions about returning to work amid COVID-19 measures and restrictions will directly impact HR, IT, and FM and their day-to-day work. It only makes sense that the teams who have to do the work actually make the decisions together.


Find out how to launch Enterprise Service Management in your organization >> 


Office social distancing with ESM

So, HR, IT, and FM need to join forces to make your return to the office a success. But how do you start working together in an Enterprise Service Management approach? Prepare for office social distancing together with these three tips. 


1. Get on the same page 

It all starts with getting on the same page. If there’s no consensus between HR, IT, and FM, you can forget about working together. Your service departments need to agree on the most important issues at hand. Start thinking about your top priority when it comes to returning to the office. Is it productivity? Business continuity? Maybe you simply want the office to be a safe place for your employees, so you decide to focus on employee experience. Whatever it is, you need to find a common goal. Once your goal is clear, you can decide how to get there and which other people you may need. 


2. Take small steps towards your goal 

You have a clear goal in mind. Great! Tackle one problem at a time and don’t go making plans for months to come. In these unprecedented times, it’s wisest to take things slowly and step by step. You never know when the situation is going to change again. For all you know, your country will have another lockdown soon while you’re making plans for 2021. Just make sure to be transparent about the steps you do take. In times of crises, it’s all about expectation management.


3. Find support 

Make sure your management team fully supports your office social distancing plans. Of course, management may provide input as well, but their most important function is to lend weight to HR, IT, and FM’s decisions. It’s important to have the management team on your side, since your service departments are making decisions that will impact the office life and day-to-day work not only of themselves, but of the entire organization. 


Find out how Utrecht University implemented Enterprise Service Management >> 


Ready for the next step?

Planning your return to the office provides the perfect opportunity to take the next step towards Enterprise Service Management. Are you planning your return to the office yet?  Download our ESM e-book and discover how Enterprise Service Management can help you with your office social distancing. 

Get the ESM e-book

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