Companies are now accustomed to work-from-home practices after more than a year of the COVID-19 lockdown. Virtual meetings have become the norm, with some suggesting that staff may not return to work once the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Although most employees are accustomed to working from home, they may be hesitant to accept it as the new normal. Indeed, according to a recent poll performed in the United Kingdom, one-third of the population has expressed a wish to return to work. Working from home is convenient, but going back to the office implies a better work-life balance and more face-to-face interactions.

Regardless matter how eager staff are to return to the old routine, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat. According to our findings, more than half of employees are frightened to return to work because of worries about cleanliness and COVID security. Employees have become hyper-aware of locations where they previously paid little attention, such as restroom stalls and common kitchens, which have suddenly become dangerous zones.

Sensor technology is being used by certain forward-thinking real estate and facilities management organisations to assist reduce some of the COVID-related dangers. Workplaces of all sizes can benefit from this technology. The sooner executives see the value of sensors, the better.

How Does Sensor Technology in the Workplace Work?

A smart workplace optimises practically every area of the office's operations, maintenance, environmental conditions, and occupancy. As a result, workplace sustainability, productivity, and employee health and well-being improve, while office resources are optimised.

Sensor technology was used during COVID-19 to ensure social distancing as well as improve and confirm cleaning schedules. Proximity, temperature, and touch sensors are used in the solution for a safer workplace.

Proximity sensors are installed on doors and activate when they open. The cleaning crew can learn how frequently employees use the restroom by installing a proximity sensor in each stall. As a result, instead of following a manual cleaning pattern, staff may clean whenever there is a need, based on real bathroom occupancy.

Underneath seats and desks are temperature sensors. The temperature sensors will detect a temperature change whenever an employee sits down. This information may be used to create space occupancy heatmaps, which are visual representations of workplace occupancy. Knowing how many employees are in the office or meeting rooms at any given moment may help you not only figure out their working styles, but also make data-driven judgments about how to set up a socially distant workplace architecture.

Touch sensors in toilets and throughout the office might help you collect feedback from employees and confirm cleanliness. For instance, in toilets, you might install a feedback panel that allows employees to offer input on restroom cleanliness at the press of a button. This quickly confirms your cleaning procedures and aids the cleaning crew's efforts. The buttons may be adjusted as feedback panels to fit your office's and employees' demands.

Privacy and security don't have to be mutually exclusive

A workplace that has been outfitted with sensors is data-driven and responsive in terms of reducing COVID-19 hazards associated with returning to work. Regardless of the advantages, sensor technology should never make employees feel uneasy. Employee privacy should not be compromised in the sake of security.

Only half of those polled were aware of workplace sensor equipment that monitors the atmosphere and the number of individuals at their desks. 65.6 percent of those polled indicated they would be OK with the technology being brought to their workplace after hearing about its potential benefits.

And what about privacy concerns? The vast majority of respondents (74.8 percent) said they would have no reservations about using sensors in the workplace to make them feel safer.

That assumption is also reflected in the way our technology is built: data will show cleaning personnel that the restroom has been used 10 times but will not reveal who used it. The same is true for meeting room usage and any ambient condition data collected by sensors.

The privacy and security of the data itself is a major worry for employees and the organisations for which they work. Sensor solutions used in the workplace must solve some of the IoT security's flaws. To address data security concerns, we created SecureDataShot, our own security protocol. SecureDataShow is a sensor architecture that assures that all data travelling from the sensor to the cloud is secured.

Employees, on the other hand, need to feel at ease with and in command of the technology that their workplace employs. Sixty percent of survey respondents said they would like their company to keep them informed about sensor technology usage and give feedback.Page Break

Empower Your Employees and Revolutionize Your Office

Many of us will be returning to work soon. More than half of employees are still hesitant to leave their home offices, despite the prospect of a COVID-19 epidemic. Employers must now give the tools, technology, and data necessary to reassure employees' health and well-being, as well as to make them feel safe and secure in the workplace.

Workplaces of all sizes may now use sensor technology to guarantee that ambient conditions, occupancy, and cleanliness are adjusted to meet the needs of their employees. Allowing employees to have a voice in how and where technology is used may provide employers with the best of both worlds: safety and peace of mind.