Returning to the office.

It is common knowledge that change is inevitable. Nevertheless, our human condition never prepares us to that precise moment when change actually happens.

We already read about the benefits of remote work, they are undeniable; at Polarising is not new to anyone, as we have the flexibility to do it when we feel it will improve our performance.

But if there has been a general underestimated idea of this context, now we know how equally important both office and remote work are to that work-life balance companies and employees are always advocating.

So, Polarising decided to re-open the office in that assumption: just because things cannot be as they were, it does not necessarily mean we have to exclude any of the options!

República’s office is open since June 1st with limited capacity, and for that we had to come up with a solution that allows anyone to see if there’s place available to go and take care of business or just have a relaxing day outside home.

The challenge.

HR, LABS and Communication teams were already working together to prepare everything, and there were some ideas and possibilities on the table. Finally, I was contacted and asked to develop a registration app. There was a catch, thou… I had two days to do it!

This app had to be a quick and effective solution that allowed each one of our employees to book their day/ place and parking space in the office building.

A few months ago, I had decided to learn a little about Microsoft power apps, an Office 365 tool in which we all have a Polarising account. The concept is to develop no-code applications for PC, Tablet or Mobile. The data sources of these applications can be simple excel files, sharepoint or database repositories.

Another advantage is that it’s very easy to publish applications that can be used, for example, by integrating or embedding them in a website or in Microsoft Teams.

The requirements.

This app had to have some specific requirements, of course:

  • an app that any and only Polarising employees can access
  • a feature that allows to schedule the days at the office in each of the 3 floors and manage the number of people registered on each floor
  • when seats run out on a floor, no more bookings can be made for that floor on that day
  • it is possible for each employee to make only one reservation per day and to unbook a reservation
  • a feature that allows to book and unbook a specific parking space and only one space reservation per day
  • it is possible to check Booking and Parking Space details of all registered employees at any time
  • booking history must be saved.

The solution.

After comprehending what was needed, I went to work! My biggest challenges were fields like Data and Calendar, as well as using the logged user information in to the App, so I could make the reservation on it behalf, two concepts that I hadn’t yet used working with power apps; and it wasn’t as easy as I thought!

Step by step and overcoming each challenge, I came up with a first draft version of the app; I was ready to run some tests, so I asked the team to do it covering all sorts of possible scenarios, and most important, to suggest improvements if necessary.

The tests went so smoothly and mission accomplished: Polarising has an “express-app” ready to welcome all on June 1st, according to all safety procedures!

Working as a team was fundamental to have this application ready and functional on time.

It’s great to be back!

Márcia Catarino
Business Analyst

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