The Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses, workplace and education across the world. Initially, the expectation was that everything would be back to normal if people stayed at home for a while. However, it is now clear that the reality is the pandemic will last much longer and it is here to stay for some time to come.
At the same time, in order to avoid economic collapse, businesses are reopening, and employees are returning to work. Although this seems to be a necessary step, it is also important that it is done in such a way that keeps staff, clients, and visitors safe.
Ad COVID-19 is only going to become a more talked about topic, let’s examine six technologies that can help to keep workplaces safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thermal scanners used to be installed only in places like hospitals and airports. However, today, they are becoming increasingly common in areas of business and work. While a handheld thermal scanner scans an individual at a time, an image scanner having a large screen can check a group of workers together.
These devices, when installed in workplaces, can monitor each employee and provide an indication that someone may be unwell by using a numeric display or a colour-mapped image. In some cases, the thermal scanner is combined with a hand sanitisation stand so that the workers undergo the scanning process the same time as they disinfect their hands.
More and more touch-free devices are coming to the fore, because we know that the COVID-19 virus is spread through contact. Therefore, contactless access control devices have become essential in workplaces and business centres. A facial recognition system, eye-scan or smart card are touch less systems that can be used by authorized personal to gain access into the workplace.
Another technology aimed at reducing unnecessary contact between people is a lift control system that restricts people to different floors on a large business building. The smart card systems can be integrated with the lift so that it stops only at their work floor, thereby restricting their entry to unauthorised floors. In this way, contact with people is kept to a minimum.
Devices for Social Distancing
IoT or GPS-enabled wearable devices are being used in workplaces to ensure proper social distancing. Such tools can work well in many different types of workplaces. However, in certain occupational situations, it may not be possible to maintain the distance between people all the time. Smart PPE kits are also available to help workers to comply with social distancing norms. Various other technologies can also help achieve social distancing, such as AI-based solutions that can help in maintaining the right distance between people.
Virtual Reality for Familiarisation
When people return to work after a long hiatus at home, they are going to have to adjust to the new work culture and environment. They have to learn new practices that are being applied in the workplace.
Strict compliance with the safety norms will take some time and technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) can be used to make things easier. Its programs can create virtual work environments which employees can use to get familiar with the new setup.
Covid-19 Mobile Apps
There are many COVID-related mobile apps that have been released over the past several months. They have mostly been created by government authorities or private organisations to encourage awareness of the pandemic, and also to generate alerts if people come in contact with an infected person. Such apps can also be used in workplaces to comply with the pandemic-related regulations.
A company can develop its own dedicated COVID-19 app to help its employees. The organisation can provide timely alerts through this app for people on the move, and in times like this, it is advisable to pass instructions this way instead of calling a crowded meeting.
UV-C Disinfection Boxes
This device is a convenient chamber that disinfects small objects like mobile phones and wallets. Such items are not easy to be sterilised otherwise. For instance, alcohol-based sanitisers may damage LCD screens of mobile phones. The disinfection of such objects using a device like a UV-C chamber can be helpful as it is often through such small items that microbes spread from hand to hand.
There are a number of technologies that are being used to create safe work environments for employees, clients and guests. Even high-end emerging technologies like the AI and ML are taking part in the process. The use of various technologies and their convergence will most likely lead to the development of completely new workplace processes and systems. We’re already seeing how the “new normal” means that things will probably never be the same again. Luckily, we have the tools and technologies to support us as we move into this new, unfamiliar landscape.