“New normal” is a phrase that is being used a lot lately, and businesses everywhere are learning how to adapt, reopen, and function effectively within a world still living with COVID-19. What some companies are not realizing is that there are several ways technology can provide safety measures to make employees feel confident to return to work.
If you think about it, in the midst of the pandemic, technology is being utilized more than ever – Zoom meetings, Google hang outs, kids in school are learning virtually – it’s hard to imagine life without it. Technology has also adapted itself into everyday items that can be incorporated into any workplace’s physical space. There is no doubt that these items will give employees and customers confidence that their safety is always at the top of mind.
Technology, as with any return to work plan, will not be one-size-fits-all. There are some common things that technology is meant to do for a business like provide time, be an organized way to communicate, close the distance of working remotely, store and retrieve content, and provide mobility to the workplace. There are five workforce technology enablers that can be customized and incorporated into business plans:
First, have a plan. In a recent poll, most businesses have a plan in place for returning to work. Most of those plans also include technology upgrades to aide in the safety of employees. Overall, the plan must align and give renewed energy to the business, define the priorities for returning to work, and the actions needed for it to happen.
Second, technology can help people understand and regulate social distancing and capacity rules within a space. Many insurance companies are driving a need for documented compliance. Installation of sensors can detect the number of people in a space by a physical count or by sensing levels of light and noise. There are even sensors that can detect the use of facemasks and when surfaces have been cleaned last. Apps can also help track when an employee is working from home versus coming in to the office to help stay within occupancy limits, and can be used to track where an employee has been within the building, or where they have traveled since they left the house.
Third and an obvious factor where technology can be utilized is workforce wellness. This can come in the form of contactless temperature screening devices installed at entrances, and phone apps that will ask employees if symptoms are present. There are also customizable solutions like temperature screening devices, or temperature and metal detectors combined into one unit.
The fourth way technology can aide in return to work plans is by implementing a virtual receptionist. Items that might have been high touch point locations, like digital meeting schedulers outside of rooms, can become touchless by use of QR code and app scheduling technology.
Finally, the fifth and final technology consideration is the increased demand on distance learning, meeting, and professional development. Consider what new collaborative spaces look like and the technology available within those spaces. Use of video and audio tracking devices, installation of additional screens and cameras, can help eliminate the sometimes stressful “stage” that a typical Zoom meeting can put people on to help participants.
Companies have several technology options available to help make workplaces safe to return to under “new normal” circumstances. Depending on the level of investment, businesses can determine immediate technology needs and adapt to changing conditions, as deemed necessary by employees, to ensure safety and compliance needs are met.
Learn more in our webinar: Pathway to Choice: Curating Technology Solutions