As the government has gradually lifted travel restrictions, people are cautiously venturing back to their offices with a tone of optimism and an aim to rebuild business operations. Problem-solving is quickest when everyone in the team put their heads together—ditto for creative brainstorming. Over the past few months, employees were trained to use digital tools for enhanced collaborations and regular operations with the help of effective videoconferencing and other forms of technology. In WFH mode, employees are sorely missing their workspaces, a place they look up to for their needs of socializing, mentorship, camaraderie, up-skilling and so much more.
As per a recent JLL Work from Home Experience Survey, almost 82 percent of employees in India have shown their eagerness to go back to their offices and work — the way it was before the COVID-19 outbreak. As employees look forward to returning to their workplace, they also anticipate arrangements in work premises done in order to ensure their health, well-being and safety. Managements are faced with the challenge of reimaging the office space for providing hygienic, socially distant environment, through appropriate space planning & flexible business policies. Many companies will require employees to wear masks at all times, redesign spaces to ensure physical distancing, and restrict movement in congested areas (for instance, elevator banks and pantries). As a result, even after the reopening, attitudes toward offices will probably continue to evolve. Many companies around the world have risen to the occasion, acting swiftly to safeguard employees and migrate to a new way of working that even the most extreme business-continuity plans hadn’t envisioned. De-densification is going to be the need of the hour.
In a year when the travel & tourism industry faced unprecedented challenges, hoteliers are optimistic about recovery as they reopen fully for business and welcome guests back with strict measures and globally approved safety protocols. Hotel establishments are now prepared to once again host their guests by transforming the hospitality landscape to meet with the ever-changing consumer trends and expectations. In the new world order, consciousness about health, safety, and well-being will continue to remain high and for us, this means acclimatizing to changes on multiple fronts. It is imperative for the industry to incorporate immaculate hygiene standards to reassure their guests as well as employees.
As significant steps towards revitalization of the sector, hotels are heavily investing in enhancing their preparedness through advanced technological solutions, refined skill-set, and a safety focused approach for meeting with the current needs of consumers. For instance, hoteliers are investing in PPE kits and sanitization tools to ensure complete safety of both the visitors as well as the employees. As a precautionary protocol, companies are holding training to educate staff about the new normal, safety guidelines and how critical it is to maintain workplace health and safety. Implementing workplace protocols to enhance hotel hygiene will play a crucial role in the new normal. Multiple hotel chains have significantly invested in collaterals to communicate with their guests at every touch point right from arrival, to dining, to even the rooms.
Hotel companies today are turning to advanced mobility tools, adapting to application of smart software, mobile devices and replacing traditional methods of operational services with AI based applications. App based services are not only helping guests and employees to comply with the social distancing, zero human contact norms but also enhance the efficiency of business and operations teams through real-time data analysis and solutions. To illustrate, hotel brands are replacing traditional human interactions to eliminate some of the potential touchpoints between hotel staff and guests right from the beginning of their stay i.e the arrival stage to the time of checking out of the hotel by contactless travel tech. To ensure a safe accommodation and an overall exceptional hospitality experience, businesses are rapidly evolving and adapting to keyless hotel rooms technology which enables guests to open their room doors via their smartphone, as a measure to avoid unnecessary touchpoints.
Embracing digitisation and leveraging new technologies is not just benefitting for the guests but also for the staff to enhance productivity. Deploying integrated services through mobile devices enable employees to understand guest sentiment and respond to their needs accordingly. It also boosts time management through data storage & predicting the operational requirements across various segments of the hotel. This data also gives access to management teams of the organizations to build reports on operational expenses as well as mapping employee performance and efficiency.
As the industry marches on the hope of horizon, the newly implemented safety procedures and technologies are supporting companies to make their employees feel secured as they return to work. In a post-COVID world, it will become crucial to address the safety needs of employees and establish a business trust climate to achieve the desired outcomes of the overall organization.