School is Back in Session: Solutions to Three Logistical Challenges Faced by Campus Services as Universities Reopen
Of all the ideas that people must navigate in 2021, the most prevalent is the idea of returning to normalcy. After withstanding all of the events of 2020, we are left in its aftermath. Now, our goal is to reclaim our traditions, connections to one another, and the spaces we left behind at the height of the pandemic. No facility has been untouched by the effects of quarantine and lockdowns; however, the pandemic has had a particularly devastating impact on college and university campuses across the globe.
Academic institutions are doing their best to return to normal after closing their campuses for the better part of a year. As they reopen, they may navigate the same challenges that existed before; however, the consequences of improper response to those challenges mean more now than they ever have in years prior. Fortunately, there are solutions to these challenges. Let’s explore some of the common issues that universities will face in the coming year and some helpful tips to solve them.
Challenge 1: Visitor Problems
Visitor visibility and tracking provide a significant challenge for any college or university – big or small – as it is a vital part of ensuring the safety of faculty, staff, and students. Residence halls need a concrete and easily accessible way to track both residents and visitors coming in and out of the building. Larger operations like event staff need a way to track conference attendees and event-goers alike. Some schools even need to follow entry and exit into academic buildings and the library, requiring advanced systems or tools. A straightforward solution to all of these issues is a campus-wide adaptation of a visitor tracking workflow. Using this tool, facilities staff can follow the locations visited by visitors on campus and even design specific routes or designated areas available for anyone visiting on campus.
Challenge 2: Conference Room Services and Room Reservations
Another main problem that is often faced on campuses is navigating conference room reservations across an entire campus. Room requests in singular building facilities are usually enough of a hassle on their own; now multiply that hassle by the total number of buildings on campus. Unless you have a full-time position dedicated exclusively to room reservations, facility and staff on-site will have to navigate disputes between reserving parties, overbooking specific spaces, and underutilization of others. For these reasons, a conference room workflow is a must-have for the facility and staff of any university. Using one dedicated platform where faculty and staff alike have insight into the reservation process drastically decreases the possibility of reservation mishaps and room discrepancies.
Challenge 3: Workplace Requests
The final problem is very much so interconnected with the two previous issues: workplace requests. Requests for conference room turnover, facility inspections, and potential table or AV setup for the next event all need to happen in the short amount of time between bookings. If that is left to on-site facilities staff without a management tool, those requests can fall through cracks quickly, if they are recognized at all. Enter the workplace request workflow. Using this workflow allows for uniform action to occur across all parts of the request process at any facility or building on campus.
How is your college or university facility staff preparing for the upcoming fall semester? Do you need additional help creating campus workflows? Let us know! Email us [email protected]