Like many other companies, Siemens is currently faced with the challenge of ensuring a safe return to office workplaces under pandemic conditions. While Corona accelerated the demand for digital applications, it also showed how important office space is for collaboration.
That is why the group now wants to bring back around 100,000 employees in 30 countries at around 600 company locations. At the same time, the concept of a “new normal” working model is to be realized. The aim of the concept is that all employees worldwide can always work on average two to three days a week, whenever it is sensible and feasible. After all, the corona crisis and social distancing would have shown that working from anywhere offers many advantages and is possible on a much larger scale than originally assumed.
The group wants to master this balancing act between returning to the office and a new work model with digital support. For this purpose, the introduction of a workplace app is planned by October. You didn’t have to look for a suitable workplace experience solution at Siemens because there is the right know-how internally. In 2018, the takeover of Building Robotics was used to buy a provider of workplace apps – since then the SaaS solution Comfy has been part of the cloud portfolio.
This app is now to be introduced in two phases. The first focuses on returning to work during the COVID 19 pandemic. In phase 2, functions for the intelligent office should then be integrated in order to create the basis for future-proof digital workplaces. According to Siemens, a simplified version of the app is used in the first phase, providing employees with the most important information about their location. This includes general and location-specific updates to COVID-19 and the respective health regulations. Employees can also use Comfy to report their presence and receive local information about their location. They then decide for themselves when and under what conditions they will return safely to their workplace. In this way, it is also said that capacity limits can be defined and taken into account in order to comply with local return and clearance regulations in the office.
In the second phase of the rollout, Siemens plans to expand the range of functions of the Comfy app. Then, for example, employees should be able to reserve certain rooms and workplaces. It is also planned to be able to navigate through locations and campuses using maps. Furthermore, colleagues could be localized via app in the future. And personal well-being should not be neglected in the digital workplace either: Both the temperature and the lighting at the workplace will be adjustable via app in the future. There will also be the option of implementing a network of IoT sensors from Siemens subsidiary Enlighted Inc. Thanks to the integration in Comfy, the occupancy of workplaces, rooms and offices can be called up in real time.