Thanks to the development of smart technology, modern offices are filled with intuitive and intelligent devices designed to make daily life much more convenient. Employees can enter and exit buildings with a wave of their hand, engage in interactive conference calls with dispersed team members and even become more productive using real-time data analysis and informed HR management systems.
Alongside these major benefits, modern touchless technology contributes greatly to creating a more hygienic and safe work environment for employees to enjoy, helping to dramatically reduce the need for workers to interact with high-touch surfaces known to promote the spread of germs and bacteria.
As touchless technology continues to become more widespread, and more organizations begin to consider how best to implement these systems alongside existing technologies, teams may wonder how their offices are likely to change in the coming years. For those interested in the potential of such systems, here’s the lowdown on touchless offices and what this means for the employee.
How does touchless technology work?
Though the specifics will vary depending on the device in question, generally speaking, touchless technology enables users to control physical computerized systems using biometric indicators such as voice commands, hand gestures and facial recognition, or by communicating wireless data from a smart device such as a smartphone or tablet computer using Wi-Fi, radio waves or Bluetooth signals.
In a typical touchless office, all essential technologies including access control readers, HVAC devices and technical equipment like conferencing systems will be connected via a cloud-based management platform. Employees will then be able to access and control these devices remotely using either their own smartphone or by interacting with an IoT facial recognition or gesture sensor.
Examples of touchless office technologies
Access control systems
Touchless access control systems are commonly used to provide staff with a more convenient and hygienic way to manage property access. Personalized credentials are sent directly to users’ phones which can then be used to unlock certain doors by simply holding the device in proximity to a reader.
Security teams can control which doors specific users are able to access by adjusting permissions remotely via a cloud-based management platform, helping to improve on-site security, whilst further integrations can be developed by connecting the access system to additional devices. For example, an elevator security system can be developed to manage access to certain floors in a shared office.
App-controlled HVAC systems
Touchless technology can also be used to improve energy efficiency in modern offices. By connecting IoT-enabled lighting, heating and ventilation devices to a cloud-based management platform, property managers can view and adjust these devices remotely using a dedicated smartphone application.
Operating such a network allows teams to only engage these utilities when specific rooms are being used, reducing energy waste by as much as 68%, whilst also removing the need for employees to physically touch switches and thermostats to prevent the spread of communicable illness and germs.
Touchless hygiene systems
Touchless IoT sensors and devices can be used to dramatically improve office hygiene in a number of ways, for example, health screenings can be implemented at main access points to perform automatic temperature scans, preventing employees showing signs of illness and fever from entering the office.
Additionally, touchless taps, soap and hand sanitizer dispensers can be stationed in bathrooms and around busy areas of the property to provide employees with a multitude of easy ways to keep their hands clean and free from germs, further reducing the spread of contagious diseases and illnesses.
How employees benefit from touchless offices
Touchless office technology has become far more common in the wake of the recent pandemic, primarily as the utilization of these devices can help to markedly reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, though health and hygiene benefits are not the only positives employees can expect.
By implementing a cloud-based office security system containing access readers, security cameras and connected IoT sensors, teams can view and manage all aspects of office security from a remote position. Staff will be issued personalized access credentials directly to their own smart devices, with admins able to view, adjust and revoke permissions instantly to improve incident response times.
Thanks to touchless technology removing the need for staff to interact with high-touch surfaces like door handles and access systems, workplace absences will be noticeably reduced, which in turn can lead to a more productive, healthy and positive work environment conducive to high-performing teams.
Touchless and remote-access technology can be integrated alongside essential systems like room reservation programs and occupancy trackers, allowing staff to reserve facilities for meetings, view booking schedules and ensure that spaces are never overfilled all from a universal company app automatically linked to each staff member’s unique credentials and relevant workplace information.
Touchless offices are already becoming widespread across several industries, providing staff and business owners with several key benefits including improved security, better hygiene and reductions in energy waste, helping to produce more convenient, efficient and productive modern workplaces.
By integrating touchless devices such as access readers and IoT sensors alongside existing office infrastructure, businesses can allow their employees the freedom to access and manage essential systems remotely and on their own terms, further improving office infrastructure for all employees.
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