As office reopenings become more commonplace, company leaders need to address critical issues to provide the highest level of safety for returning employees.
To mitigate new risk factors introduced by COVID-19, leadership should look beyond the initial requirements for safely reopening offices and consider how implementing new technologies will affect corporate culture and security operations in the future.
With the new requirement for social distancing, companies must evaluate their posture on employee workspaces against guidelines for maximum occupancy. As a result of the pandemic, employee density in the workplace is a newfound concern. Instead of being a set in stone number, occupancy and density requirements are constantly evolving. Technology to track occupancy should be considered when planning office reopenings.
Most companies actively use proprietary visitor management systems (VMS) or a platform operated by their building management. These systems can be leveraged to define the requirements for visitors as well as ensure the number of visitors in a company’s space is controlled. Also, the VMS can be used if there is a need to identify persons who have been in contact with a sick employee.
Mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 by touch or close contact is of great importance to employers. Contactless access control is now critical and phone-based Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies should be considered. It is also important to consider implementing frictionless access at common doors during the design process in new workspaces.
As a means to monitor office occupants for COVID-19, some firms are considering using thermal cameras to identify employees and visitors with elevated body temperatures. Many companies are quickly coming to market with thermal monitoring systems, which presents concerns. Corporate culture and aesthetics must also be considered when evaluating this technology.
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