Overcoming Back to Work Challenges

Guest: Shelly Fuller, Lead Facility Information Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

When planning for employees to begin returning to work following max-telework efforts due to COVID, Shelly Fuller and her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) team faced a seemingly impossible challenge. They set out to establish a process for assigning and tracking remote work and staggered schedules for FAA offices at the FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, Headquarters, and nine Regional Office locations. The goal: ensure the health and safety of all staff while maximizing productivity across 8 million square feet of space.

The team encountered several barriers as process development began. Only a few FAA personnel had access to AutoCAD floor plans and system permissions to edit room data. Existing reporting prohibited changing room types and ideally the solution needed to be based on employee data. Also, most employees had already been assigned a specific workspace and would not be changing spaces. Lastly, the information needed to be time-based to show changes over time as more of the workforce returns to the office in later phases and allow for reporting by date—stats by month, floor plan reviews for social distancing, and identify specific days employees are planned to be in the office.

Shelly and team used Archibus Health & Safety, Spaces and Maintenance (Building Operations) to develop needed processes. Working with the Archibus Solutions Center – Research Triangle, the FAA team leveraged existing tables and fields, along with a few customizations, to define work categories and planned schedules under a COVID hierarchy. They were then able to assign and track those categories, as well as view them on floorplans, using the Archibus Spaces application. The team also repurposed a view from the Maintenance application to identify the locations with employees assigned to COVID work categories and customized an Archibus view based on a SQL query to summarize the data by building for a specified date.

As a result, the FAA team can report on the number of teleworking employees, employees working onsite, and those on staggered shifts—a Department of Transportation requirement. They also plan to use these processes in the future to determine trends, review unoccupied spaces for adjustments such as HVAC, and analyze unique employee situations (i.e., temporary promotions, routine telework, and union affiliation).