What does COVID-19 mean for our workforce? And how do we think about low voltage systems (Audiovisual, Telecom Infrastructure, and Security) in and outside the workplace? COVID-19 will have an everlasting effect on the Technology industry. Whether the industry was ready or not, it is being pushed to evolve much quicker than anticipated.
Our IT and AV expert engineers have continued to do research and sort out the technologies worth investing in from the misinformation. Collaboration technologies and platforms will have the most impact, followed by smart office spaces.
We have seen that building owners and managers are preparing for the return to the workplace by using people counters to track occupancy levels, thermal cameras to take people’s temperatures in building lobbies, touchless door operators, and indoor air quality sensors in amenity areas.
But about tenants? What steps can they take in creating a safer workplace? Based on our research, we've come up with these top five recommendations for tenants to consider while building occupancy is low:
- Hot-desking/hoteling with an algorithm to automatically manage socially distancing employees. With this algorithm, employee phone/directories/presence are updated automatically by the system. An added benefit is that the system ties to MEP and building management systems; this helps to reduce energy waste and improve health quality because desks/offices in sections of the workplace will not be allowed to be served until others are optimized.
- Wayfinding helps employees locate their confirmed seats/space. Wayfinding uses digital technology such as TV monitors and mobile apps (i.e. think of Google maps indoors) to guide the employee throughout the space. Hoteling provides the means to reserve a seat or space.
- Wearable devices that alarm on social distancing and tracing individuals.
- Indoor Air Quality sensors that quantify comfort and monitor the exposure to indoor air pollution. Beyond tenant comfort and reduced exposure to pollutants, improved indoor air quality also improves productivity.
- As employees return to work, they are likely to be anxious about touching surfaces. The reemergence of gesture controls, the adaption of virtual voice control (like Alexa), and more AI in meeting spaces, are examples of how technology has adapted so that they don't have to.
For more information about our research or questions about our recommendations, please reach out to our Director of Engineering, Matt Gaulin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Senior Technology Engineer, Melvin Figuereo (email@example.com).