Technology has been creeping its way into office designs more and more in recent years. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus will expedite the influx of existing technologies that will shape offices in the very near future.
Employers have an obligation to protect the safety of their employees in the post-covid world. In addition to employee wellbeing, new technologies can improve security, efficiency, speed and cut costs.
Whilst many may feel digital technologies are intrusive, a move towards the Internet of Things (IoT) is inevitable. We are already synching devices in our homes. The workplace is the next logical environment to interconnect technologies.
Companies are already working on the logistics of how their workforce can adhere to social distancing norms. Many firms will look to refurbish their entire interior design of their offices and technology will help usher in a new age of agile working in a Covid-secure environment.
Today’s technologies even make buildings smart. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have pathed the way for designers to create a responsive workplace which unifies business operations under one system.
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Smart buildings adjust lighting, temperature, monitor elevators, increase comfort and help employees to be more efficient, productive, and employers hope, happier at work.
The proliferation of advanced technologies creates a high-tech environment that will organise your schedule, find you a car parking space, make your coffee as you like it when you like you it and customise the temperature in your private workspace.
Intelligent buildings are also more energy-efficient. Motion sensors detect when nobody is in a room and turns off the lights automatically. Temperature is adjusted to the optimum comfort which reduces heating bills and new forms of insulation and cooling systems facilitate indoor conditions all year round with a view to reducing the building’s carbon footprint.
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Biometric systems that scan retinas, fingerprint or facial recognition have been available for over a decade now. The sophisticated system brings 1970s sci-fi into the modern world.
Until recently, there was a lot of resistance to biometric recognition technologies. Since biometric authentication was added to smartphones, the resistance has started to wane somewhat; but there is still a lot of distrust and concerns about ‘Big Brother’ watching.
In a post-pandemic world, people will be encouraged not to touch surfaces. Biometric face recognition software provides a solution – and also improves the security of a business. Expect to see no-touch surfaces, sensors and next-gen ID cards coming to an office new you soon!
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For employers to ensure they maintain a Covid-secure work environment, they will need to introduce policies and systems that detect when employees are feeling ill.
Advanced technologies can actually recognise when people are ill even before people feel it themselves. AI-powered Depth Fever Detection Cameras can take the temperature of employees.
The cameras use CCTV and heat-sensing trackers that monitor body temperature in real-time. AI learns the natural temperature fluctuation of an individual throughout the day. When it differs, the system alerts the individual to report to HR.
Digital technology may be labelled as disruptive, but they are not as disruptive as Covid-19. As a matter of fact, advanced technologies will help to usher in the “new normal” without us even noticing anything is new.