The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) announced this afternoon that there is a Cloud-y forecast for its return to work, moving to a digital workspace with Microsoft technologies. 

Microsoft assisted BoM with its remote work transition under the high pressure of COVID lockdowns, initially using Microsoft Teams, and is now helping the remote workforce go back to the office with its Clearspace solution.

Microsoft Partner Barhead developed the Power Platform based solution Clearspace, which is designed to help businesses understand employees’ flexible working requirements and manage facilities accordingly.

According to Peter Fattoush, Manager Enterprise and Business Architecture at BoM, The obvious challenge was how were we going to track people coming in and out of the office for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes, and how the significantly reduced number of available desks could be managed with ease, accuracy and transparency. We didn’t have the luxury of training and rolling out over a period of time. It had to be quick, easy, and affordable.

Clearspace was deployed after a four to six week period of planning, procurement and design, and rolled out across each floor of BoMs Melbourne office before the national deployment.

One of the nice things about this is that while it is deployed on Power Platform, it can also be used across a range of platforms, such as Teams, web browser, or smartphone. So it’s very accessible,“ says Fattoush.

The other thing is that the end-user experience is very straightforward. It’s very simple to book a desk or office space. It’s very simple to check in to a booked space and to check out.

According to Alison Hackett, Manager Office 350 Digital Workplace at BoM, the platform has had a warm and sunny reception by BoM staff, providing them with the confidence to return to the office.

I think it’s really given some people who are nervous about returning to the city and into the office the confidence that it is safe to do so. And that we’re doing everything we can to make it easy and to put in any fail-safes just in case another outbreak happens,” says Hackett.

Fattoush indicated that the product has received positive feedback from approximately 95 per cent of BoM staff, so there are no worries on the ease-of-use front.

From my perspective, marketing and the sales matched the end result, and a very successful, and critical step in our transition back to the workplace.

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