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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Workplace sensor technology: helping office workers feel safe

Workplace sensor technology: helping office workers feel safe

Author:QINSUN Released in:2023-12 Click:61

After the outbreak of the epidemic, some companies have now become accustomed to working from home. Virtual meetings are now the new normal, and many speculate that even if the lockdown restrictions end, employees may not return to the office.

Although most employees are now accustomed to working from home, they may not accept it as quickly as the new normal. In fact, a recent survey we conducted in the UK showed that one-third of the population's desire to return to the office has increased. Working from home is comforting, but returning to the office means better work life balance, more face-to-face collaboration, and higher team morale.

Although employees may be enthusiastic about restoring the old normal, the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic remains imminent. According to our research, over 50% of employees are afraid to return to the office due to concerns about cleanliness and COVID related safety. Employees are now very familiar with areas they usually don't pay much attention to - bathroom compartments and shared kitchens have become dangerous areas.

Pioneering real estate and facility management companies are turning to sensor technology to help mitigate some COVID related risks. This technology is suitable for workplaces of all sizes. The earlier managers realize the potential of sensors in the workplace, the earlier they can implement them to ensure that relevant employees return to work safely.

How does workplace sensor technology work?

Having an intelligent workplace means optimizing almost all aspects of office operations, maintenance, environmental conditions, and occupancy rates. This in turn improves the sustainability, productivity, and health and well-being of employees in the workplace, and optimizes office resources.

During COVID-19, sensor technology has been implemented to ensure social distancing and optimize and validate cleaning plans. The solution to create a safer workplace relies on proximity, temperature, and touch sensors.

The proximity sensor is placed on the door and triggered when the door opens. By placing proximity sensors in the bathroom compartments, cleaners can gain a deeper understanding of the frequency of employee use of the restroom. Therefore, staff can clean according to the actual occupancy of the bathroom when needed, rather than manually cleaning the program.

The temperature sensor is stuck under the chair and table. Every time an employee sits down, the temperature sensor detects a temperature change. These data can serve as the basis for space occupancy heat maps, which are visualizations of workplace occupancy. Understanding how many employees occupy office space or meeting rooms at any given time can not only help you determine their work style, but also support data-driven decisions about maintaining distance from social office layouts.

The touch sensors placed around the restroom and office can help you collect employee feedback and verify cleanliness. For example, you can create a feedback panel in the bathroom that allows employees to provide feedback on bathroom cleanliness with just one click of a button. This can easily verify your cleaning process and assist cleaning personnel in their work. These buttons can be customized as feedback panels to meet the needs of your office and employees.

Security and privacy do not need to be balanced

A workplace equipped with sensors is data-driven and can be used to reduce the risk of epidemics associated with returning to the office. However beneficial, sensor technology should not make employees feel uncomfortable. Employee privacy should not be sacrificed to ensure safety.

Only half of the respondents are familiar with workplace sensor technology used to monitor the environment and desk occupancy. After understanding the potential benefits of this technology, 65.6% of respondents expressed satisfaction with its introduction into their workplaces. These results are also consistent with the data released by our partner Infogrid.

Regarding privacy issues? The vast majority (74.8%) of respondents are not worried about using sensors in the workplace to help them feel safer.

This expectation is also consistent with our technical design approach: the data will show that the cleaner's bathroom has been used 10 times, but there will be no indication of who has used it. This is the same for any environmental condition data collected by conference room usage and sensors.

Employees and the companies they work for are most concerned about the privacy and security of the data itself. Sensor solutions implemented in the workplace must address some weaknesses in IoT security. We have designed our own security protocol, SecureDataShot, to alleviate concerns about data security. SecureDataShow is an end-to-end sensor architecture that ensures that all data flows from sensors to the cloud are encrypted.

At the same time, employees need to feel comfortable and be able to control the technology implemented in their office. 60% of survey respondents hope their employers will let them know about the adoption of sensor technology and provide feedback. With touch buttons and other mechanisms suitable for your workplace, you can provide them with the tools they need to feel safe and comfortable with technology.

Completely change the office and empower your employees

Soon, many of us will return to the office. Due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, over half of employees are still unwilling to give up their home offices. Employers now provide tools, technology, and data to ensure the health and well-being of employees, and to make them feel safe and comfortable in the workplace.

Nowadays, sensor technology can be widely used in workplaces of all sizes to ensure optimized environmental conditions, occupancy, and cleanliness to meet people's needs. Employers can have the best of both worlds: by giving employees a say in how and where technology is implemented, it is both safe and reassuring.

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