Return to Office Planning

Tools and services to quickly understand workplace supply and demand in a de-densified environment.

Return to Office Planning Toolkit

We believe every organization should have the information needed to plan for success during these uncertain times. That's why we're developing new tools, new ways of thinking, and partnerships with our clients that are stronger than ever.

Our back-to-the-office planning toolkit answers the questions that get us back to the office and prepare us for the future of work:

How do I plan physical distancing in my office?

How do I plan physical distancing in my office?

Our capacity planning tool, ReRun, will quickly generate optimized scenarios based on your physical distancing requirements.

How do I manage and plan occupancy?

How do I manage and plan occupancy?

With Wisp, you can create unlimited departmental and/or individual planning scenarios.

Who are my essential employees?

Who are my essential employees?

Gather feedback to inform a prioritization schedule of essential employees returning to the workplace with our surveys.

What is the future of the workplace?

What is the future of the workplace?

Our global team of consultants is ready to help your organization adapt to a new normal and plan for the future. 

1. Optimize Physical Distancing with ReRun

  • Quickly generate multiple distance scenarios with existing furniture plans
  • Evaluate the impact of distancing on capacity and density
  • Gain key insights and considerations from a Gensler design professional
  • Maximize occupancy by using flex spaces
Watch the video: ReRun

2. Plan and Assign Seating Scenarios

  • Assign seats to departments or individuals
  • Create colorized planning scenarios to visualize phases by department or person
  • Plan and manage short term occupancy
Watch the video: Blocking and Seating Scenarios

3. Visualize With Digital Wayfinding Icons

  • Depict life safety, signage and wayfinding, sanitation, PPE stations, open/closed areas
  • Wayfinding arrows depict one-way paths of travel
  • Display modified conference room capacity
Watch the video: Drag and Drop Icons

4. Conduct Employee Feedback Surveys

  • Gather feedback on the experience of working from home
  • Capture insight into prior employee experience in the office
  • Understand employees’ expectations upon returning to the office.
  • Inform change management and changes to extended work from home policies

Learn More about Gensler’s Work From Home Survey

5. Support Contact Tracing

  • Track where individuals have been assigned in the office and identify proximity to others
  • Layer badge data to determine who is in the office each day
  • Identify individuals assigned to neighborhoods and areas of the floor.

6. Manage Desk Check-Ins

  • Support short term desk assignments
  • Assignments expire at the end of the day to refresh for tomorrow
  • Mobile access via web browser for quick check-in

Learn more about desk check-ins and desk reservations

7. Observe Behavior and Utilization

  • iPad app to spot-check space utilization and occupant activities
  • Capture head count in conference rooms and compare to capacity
  • Understand how people are using spaces differently
Watch the video: Observe

8. Maintain Seating Plans as Density Increases

  • Ongoing move, add, change workflow to accommodate new hires and daily moves
  • Report on space metrics, including density and vacancy as capacity increases
  • Plan for consolidation or growth of your portfolio

The Workplace Still Matters

Building community, reinforcing our organization’s culture, and strengthening relationships with colleagues is still what the workplace is all about when we return.

Whether it’s ReRun, Wisp, Surveys, or future needs for consulting services, we have a deep bench of strategists and analysts who are well-versed in supporting the evolving workplace. Let’s talk.

Schedule a 15-Minute Discovery Call

ReRun has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Projects of the Year by the Project Management Institute.

Who Else is Talking About ReRun:

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ReRun is a first step in capacity planning to accommodate physical distancing requirements.

Using generative algorithms, Gensler has developed a physical distancing tool, ReRun—a data-driven process for post-Covid workplace occupancy planning. While maintaining the existing layout of a workplace, ReRun can quickly generate many scenarios and identify the most optimized plan for a variety of physical distancing conditions, whether an organization has hundreds or thousands of seats.


  • Capacity planning analysis for multiple distance options for each floor plan.
  • Opportunities for maximizing density outside of the occupiable seats, such as within flex spaces.
  • PDFs and DWGs of your floor plans with occupiable seats clearly identified.

After occupiable seats are identified in ReRun, a next step is assigning them to departments or individuals.

As organizations plan the return to work, phased approaches or shift work scenarios are being adopted to maximize seating utilization while respecting physical distancing and providing opportune times for cleaning.

With essential employees spread out across the office and temporarily sitting at a desk previously assigned to someone else, clear communication regarding the expected seat assignments can add transparency and clarity to all parties. Indicating the respective desks, break rooms and bathrooms to be used can also help facilities teams prioritize cleaning plans for spaces being used.


  • ReRun scenario(s) uploaded into Wisp.
  • Access to Wisp for three months.
  • Create unlimited colorized planning scenarios to visualize phases by department or person.
  • Plan and manage short term occupancy.
  • Maintain spatial data and workplace metrics.
  • Export capacity data reports.

The journey back to the workplace will require companies to strategically rethink the office to accommodate new employee expectations and ways of working.

Our global team of consultants and strategists is ready to help your organization recover, adapt to the new normal, and plan for the future. We blend proven research, tools and methodology with the innovation that comes from design thinking to deliver meaningful change and lasting results.

Schedule a 30 Minute Discovery Call