The pressure to re-open workplaces has never been as intense as it is today. But it’s for good reason workplace leaders haven’t jumped to opening the doors everywhere yet: doing it safely given the conditions will be difficult. The risks are high.
Our mission here at Envoy is to challenge the status quo of the workplace. This mission is now more important than ever because in this new world, one where safety and security are also front and center, it’s easy to fall into old practices. Tedious security procedures, privacy-insensitive screenings, generally clunky and manual ways of doing all of these, and paper… paper everywhere (and where’s that paper being kept anyways?). If we want safety in an environment where there’s still an ongoing pandemic, we’ll need everybody in the workplace to be involved and bought-in. This will only happen through thoughtfulness around experience and making everything easy for everyone involved.
Today I’d like to announce our Envoy Protect product initiative. We’re leveraging the Envoy workplace platform (that we announced three months ago) and building new functionality on top of it with the primary purpose of enabling safe workplace re-openings. This will be achieved through extensive customer iteration with a delicate focus on end-user experiences that work. And the good news is we’ve already been working with many customers on some initial functionality that I’d love to preview for you today.
Keep your office, and your team, healthy and germ-free
If there’s a theme we’ve heard from customers it’s that employees want to know that if they show up to the workplace, they won’t be surrounded by a bunch of sick people. Our employee registration functionality is designed to let you ask a short questionnaire to everyone before the workday to confirm they’re in tip-top shape for being in public today. Since this information can contain sensitive data, privacy is built in and only the pass / fail is recorded. Though we feel people will answer whatever they want here, the strongest impact will come as a deterrent from even applying. Employee registration is just one piece in keeping the workplace healthy and safe.
Another risk factor for everyone in the workplace is someone getting sick from common surfaces that are used by many people. To help with your part in stopping the spread, we’re introducing fully touchless sign-in via Envoy Mobile for both employees and visitors. With it, there’ll also be a visual indication of the person’s registration status, useful to quickly get through additional layers of security or when re-entering the building. This is all important so you have an accurate list of everyone in and out of your facilities at all times. Over the medium term we imagine using Bluetooth or QR codes for automation to facilitate things even more.
Social distancing will be key too for keeping things from spreading. Almost all our customers we spoke with mentioned some sort of ramped return-to-work plan where they want to intentionally space people apart from each other. And in some cases, local laws and regulations are leaning in mandating certain square footage allocations. Envoy Protect’s capacity management functionality will ensure you have the expected maximum amount of people in your office. And if too many people register wanting to come in, it will encourage them not to (or even prevent them). It’s inclusive of employees, vendors and visitors. And gives you a live view at any point in the day.
The whole workplace
This is only the beginning of what Protect will do. The return and ramp-up of more people in the workplace can’t happen without being holistic about everything going on inside it. We expect the breadth of functionality to expand to areas like systematizing cleaning, easy reporting of safety issues, and automation around space allocation. These and many other safety-focused solutions are what we’re thinking about now and looking to build in the coming months. Though it’s a pandemic today, it can be a natural disaster tomorrow, or something worse the next day, what’s important is that workplaces have the tooling and data they need to protect their personnel.
The workplace is about to evolve a lot, and everyone can be excited about that. We’d love to work with you closer through this beta period, and invite you to sign up here. We’re expecting to open the functionality above to folks throughout May and June. All of this will be available for free to all Envoy customers, including those on our free plans. Safety and facilitating safe processes is for everyone.
—Larry. CEO, Envoy. 5.14.20
As a quick plug, if you’re an engineer or product manager, we’re hiring in San Francisco. Please come join us and help us build the workplace of the future. Knowing what we know now, there are some incredibly tough problems that require creative and thoughtful solutions. We’d love to work with you to best figure them out.