Now that many companies are planning to bring their employees back to the offices in January 2021 at the earliest, owners and managers need to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees. Whether it’s by the strict enforcement of physical distancing and mask-wearing or making use of more sophisticated technology, it is up to the management to take the lead in curbing and avoiding infections.
Here are some technological advancements that companies would be wise to take advantage of when they bring their operations back to the workplace.
Digital hospitals are already making use of smart technologies to provide COVID-19 patients with the best care possible, all while protecting the medical staff that’s ushering them back to health. Smart technologies involve the use of AI (artificial intelligence), robotics, and remote health monitoring to deliver the highest quality of medical and patient care as well as allowing the medical staff to skip unnecessary hassles and hazards.
In the workplace setting, AI can help boost productivity by working on repetitive tasks and allowing employees to focus on more important responsibilities that involve complex problem solving and creative solutions. Delivery robots can also be deployed to transport documents and other important materials to reduce person-to-person contact and face-to-face interaction.
Remote health monitoring, on the other hand, can be used to help managers stay updated on employees’ health condition, and to allow them to work remotely if their health allows it.
Exposure control and detection
For many companies, it is imperative to keep track of their workers’ health and safety. Especially in the manufacturing industry, where employees’ health can greatly influence day-to-day operations. Even if temperature checks could take place before employees enter the workspaces, it’s still not an adequate form of screening because COVID-19 can still be infectious even during the asymptomatic period. So employees who have the virus but exhibit no symptoms can still infect those around them.
One way to get around this hurdle is by using advanced logic, or software that can calculate people’s potential risk of exposure. The software is set up to send health assessments directly to the workers, so they can answer a digital questionnaire using their own phone or tablet. The responses are then automated and high-risk employees would be advised to self-isolate at home for two weeks to see if any symptoms come up.
They could also be directed to receive additional testing or be monitored to help them receive the proper care and treatment. As long as the questions comply with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and don’t violate employees’ right to medical privacy, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Professional cleaning services
Since the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has reported that the virus that causes COVID-19 can also be transmitted through fomites (or respiratory droplets that fall on the floor or other high-touch surfaces, which people touch or get into contact with, and then touching their eyes, nose, and mouth) and aerosol droplets (tiny particles that humans emit after coughing, sneezing, talking, yawning, and even breathing).
Making sure that the workplace is spotless is of utmost importance. Getting rid of disease-causing viruses requires so much more than just a regular dust-up; which is why hiring professional commercial cleaning services that are equipped with the right tools, products, and technology is the best way to go. These services use an IntelliClean program, which allows clients to get in touch with the cleaning service’s corporate headquarters, and to schedule an appointment with the click of a finger. All of your office’s information is readily available, which allows the team to execute the best kind of cleaning and disinfecting for your workplace’s specific needs and requirements.
Since ultraviolet light has already been tested and used with great success on both MERS and SARS, it stands to reason that it can also be an effective tool for combating COVID-19. Airports all over the world have already employed them to disinfect and sanitize public areas and high-touch surfaces, and offices would be smart to invest in them as well. Not only are they effective at disinfecting confined spaces; they are also capable of disinfecting accessories like face masks.
As business owners, it is incumbent upon us to do everything in our power and within our control to create a working environment that is safe and healthy for the people we work with. Not only because the law mandates it, but also because it’s the right thing to do. Develop a plan to keep your workplaces clean and safe before your workers’ return, and watch how it builds your employees’ confidence in your management.