Aug 26, 2020

How to Promote Safety, Productivity, and Accountability in Your Workspace

Right now, our physical spaces necessarily look different than before the pandemic inundated every aspect of our lives.

In some ways, this is a good thing, especially for leaders who need to rethink their physical spaces to ensure that their teams remain safe, productive, and accountable. Updating and improving physical spaces is a critical next step for companies positioning themselves to thrive in the new normal.

It’s clear that protecting people and property are inextricably linked. As you take steps to prioritize both, here are three things to consider.

#1 Rearranging workspaces.
For employees to flourish in the workplace, they need to feel safe, which is best achieved through physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Of course, in today’s open-concept, collaborative workspaces are not inherently conducive to these requirements.

Therefore, companies should rethink these spaces. First, identify the number of employees that you can safely have on-site. Leveraging a hybrid workforce comprised of on-site remote, distributed teams can help minimize congestion and overall exposure.

For those working on-site, consider separating desks, installing dividers, and instituting other relevant changes to prepare your property for the new normal.

#2 Integrating assistive technology.
In addition to rudimentary physical changes, integrating assistive technology can further prepare your property for this unique moment. This includes:

  • Touchless technologies. The Coronavirus can survive for hours or days on surfaces. Reducing exposure to high-touch areas can help mitigate the threat. Specifically, wave readers and exit buttons keep buildings secure while keeping people safe. Similarly, touchless meeting rooms can allow companies to continue collaborative efforts while minimizing potential risk to workers.
  • Face-matching technologies. Limiting building access and authorizations is critical for physical distancing guidelines. Office buildings have a constant flow of workers, visitors, deliveries, and other in-and-out behavior. Face-matching technologies control this movement without exposing employees who would otherwise be tasked with overseeing visitor entry.
  • Auto-operators & wave buttons. Businesses can be proactive about eliminating high-touch surfaces by using these technologies for non-access controlled doors in bathrooms and other high traffic areas. In this case, employees can avoid touch door handles and other high-risk surfaces for virus transmission.

#3 Communicating regularly.
While it’s clear that the healthcare implications of the pandemic will be far-reaching and long-lasting, the informational environment is continually evolving.

Adjustments to on-site safety standards will be dynamic and on-going, requiring leaders to communicate regularly with stakeholders. To support these efforts, consider integrating digital signage to provide always-updated information about facility navigation, safety protocols, and other helpful directives.

In the weeks and months ahead, business leaders and facilities managers need to rethink the protocols protecting their people and property.

That’s why, at IST, we have retooled our product and service offerings to help leaders identify the physical changes that can support these initiatives. In addition to the best practices identified above, contact us today for a complimentary new normal gap assessment.