Get Your Facilities Ready for Work

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain how a workplace is composed of locations and child locations.
  • Define location status.
  • Explain how shift management helps you bring your employees back to work.
  • Describe how an employee informs a business about their work availability.

Open Your Doors to Employees, Safely

Before Fetch employees come back to the office or the factory floor, Ellie and her operations team must ensure that the facilities are safe. Command Center categorizes these spaces into two types: workplace locations and child locations. Fetch location workplaces include the Bellevue office and a manufacturing plant in Tacoma, WA.

Using the Command Center, Ellie defines smaller sections of the office and the plant. These smaller spaces within a workplace are called child locations. For the Bellevue building, child locations are each one of the floors. For the plant, they are the various zones in the plant. You can even have locations within child locations like the specific area of a floor or a production line in the plant. Employees are then assigned to the lowest level child location. For example, Ellie’s team is assigned to a specific area of desks, within the child location of the floor.

Change a Location’s Status to Bring Employees Back

Once she defines all the locations, Ellie takes another look at the Command Center. Currently, all of the Fetch offices are hard closed, meaning all employees are working remotely or on paid leave. Next week, Fetch is opening facilities to essential employees. That requires changing the office location’s status to soft closed and the manufacturing plant to reduced density. There are four out-of-the-box statuses that an ops manager can choose from to describe their building’s status. 

Location Workplace Status graph showing three Bellevue floors opened at reduced density


The site is under no restrictions.

Reduced Density

The site is open, with physical distancing restrictions in place. And a limited number of employees can be present at any given time.

Soft Close

The site is open. Employees are encouraged not to enter the building, but they can still get in and won’t be forced to leave.

Hard Close

Entry to the site is strictly forbidden, and no employees are working on-site.

Since Fetch offices are neither open nor soft closed, both numbers are zero. Three child locations are at a reduced density so indicates the number and the specific child locations where the employees work. 

If Fetch procedures are effective and its employees feel safe and ready to return, Fetch is on track to open at a reduced density in a few weeks.

Schedule Your Team’s Return with Shift Management

Once the statuses of all child locations are established, Ellie and team can think through strategies for bringing back workers while prioritizing social distancing and safety. 

With Shift Management, Ellie can use the city’s guideline of reducing building occupancy and apply it to each Fetch facility. 

First, she heads to the Facility Hierarchy tab to establish the maximum occupancy for each building. 

Facility Hierarchy showing three Bellevue sublocations.

Then, in the Facility Plan tab, she sets the reduced occupancy to 50%.

Add Facility Plan Modal showing the office capacity reduced to 50%

The facility plan, including occupancy levels, lasts for one week, to account for the evolving nature of the crisis and staffing needs. That means Ellie needs to refresh the Facility Plan at the beginning of each week to make adjustments. 

Since Fetch buildings have several floors, Ellie staggers the team’s arrival times to prevent overcrowding. When she saves the plan, the Planned Occupancy populates for each child location within the buildings. 

Add Facility Plan modal including Staggered Arrivals set up

Then, Ellie generates shifts for Travis, the team’s shift scheduler, to work on. Travis sees the available shifts in the Shift Schedules tab. 

Shift Schedules window with 14 employees available for scheduling

To invite employees back to the office, Travis fills out the form in the Availability Requests tab so that employees receive a mobile app notification.

Availability Requests window that a scheduler would use to send a mobile notification to employees When he sends the notification, it goes to all the available employees assigned at the office. The team then receives a mobile notification with shift options for them to choose from. Once they select their preferred days and times, Travis can see their availability and the open shifts in the Shift Schedules tab. 



To be eligible for shifts, employees must be cleared to come back to work by the Employee Wellness Survey. You learn more about the survey in the next unit.

Shift management suggests an optimized schedule that Travis reviews and refines. Then he dispatches shifts for employees to accept or decline. As employees respond to the survey, the Command Center records and reflects that data. Travis plans shifts for both buildings on a weekly basis to account for changes in city guidelines, employee health, and anything else that comes their way.