Return to the Office with DISTO

Confronted with the realization that COVID-19 has claimed millions of lives, organizations understand that personal safety, health and well-being have become non-negotiable priorities of the utmost importance. So, when the time is right to return to work, companies must demonstrate an unrivaled commitment to protecting employees. Advancements in technology are powering exciting breakthroughs across industries. In the design world, the rise of sophisticated computational tools has empowered teams to automate the repetitive and often time-consuming aspects of their workflows. As a result, experts can devote more time to solving large-scale issues impacting our clients and our world.

When the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality, SmithGroup designers and members of its Technology in Practice team took immediate action – developing a new technology that could help clients prepare for and move beyond the immediacy of the crisis.

DISTO is a proprietary software tool developed by SmithGroup to help organizational leaders make critical space-based decisions required to safely bring employees back to work.


With this tool, we can help you answer questions such as:

  • How will our interior environments be impacted by new recommendations, guidelines, processes?
  • What seats can we use?
  • How do we indicate spaces that are off limits during the pandemic?

Used in conjunction with widely adopted design platforms, DISTO allows teams to collect data points that can be applied to design strategies that will ensure safety and well-being in a post-COVID world. This data enables our design experts and planning strategists to quickly analyze existing workspaces and then suggest a range of modifications to meet social distancing and safety guidelines. Using an existing floorplan, teams can offer recommendations regarding revised occupancy rates, create modified seating and furniture arrangements, determine safe circulation patterns for walkways, stairwells, shared spaces and more.

Have you established new occupancy requirements for your physical workplace? Or determined optimal solutions for updating seating plans and adjusting conference rooms, shared spaces and circulation patterns within your facility? Our designers can use DISTO to help create a solution that meets your organization’s unique needs. Contact amy.warden [at] (Amy Warden)target="_blank" title="E-mail amy.warden [at]", CPSM, Workplace Practice Manager, to discuss.


Watch the DISTO tutorial to learn how this tool can help you your organization during these unique and challenging times.