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5 Tech Solutions That Are Making The Office Safe & Efficient In The Pandemic

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Established work norms are challenged like never before and every corporate faces one big challenge today; how do you enable safe return of employees and not only keep them safe, but also keep them productive and safeguard the DNA of the organisation, or its work culture.

Technology has come to the rescue like never before, especially in creating a hybrid workplace that essentially offers a flexible culture where employees can choose to work remotely or from the office. This could mean that while a few come to work, others are demanding remote access to critical business information. “If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen. If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return,” said Jennifer Christie, Vice President-People at Twitter, in her blog.

The turbulent waters are settling down to reveal a new reality. Corporations that can get tech enabled solutions under their belt to drive a successful hybrid workplace model will emerge long term winners. Here’s a look at some of these tech enabled solutions which make offices and return to work, safe.

Visitor Management System (VMS)

The reception is still there, and perhaps the receptionist too.. But gone are the days of signing in digitally. Contactless Visitor Management Systems (VMS) have almost become a norm in the last 4 months, as offices have reopened. AI-driven smart VMS can provide a fabulous User Interface and guide them through a sign-in process, including auto-printing photo ID-cards. It also monitors and records information about employees and visitors, leading to accurate, consistent and efficient database maintenance. In an interview to Mint Newspaper, Gaurav Saini, Founder and CEO, Vizitor, the world’s first contactless visitor management system mentioned that, “Contactless visitor management and contact tracing solutions are the way forward for a safe and secure work environment.”

Robotic Processes Automation

Automation of processes is the other big movement which is visible now. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can take over layered processes and mundane, repetitive work. This has potential to improve employees’ productivity and also ease workflow bottlenecks. AI-powered chatbots are already making waves. RPA tools are slated to make valuable contributions to healthcare systems and save the time of highly trained staff who can then focus on caring for patients. AI can also be employed to ensure employees maintain social distancing – automaker Ford is currently testing such wearable devices. If employees come within 6 feet of each other, wristbands vibrate. It’s only a matter of time that early adopters will drive large scale adoption.

Edge Computing – AI meets cloud

Hybrid workplaces and digital ecosystems mean an increase in the demand for high-speed networks. Video conferencing and content streaming are at record high since everyone is online, either for work, or for entertainment. So, every workplace that’s looking at a hyper connected remote work future will have to go the edge computing way if they don’t want to lose time and money because of poor connectivity. According to Gartner, a research and advisory company, edge computing is set to become an “innovation trigger”. Imagine a virtual business deal about to happen and your video getting stuck! Increased efficiency will come with allowing apps to access info in real-time, which can only come about by combining machine learning with real-time automated network monitoring that can configure virtual network functions faster than your IT personnel. Automating this will also mean office IT teams can spend more time on mission-critical function enhancements.

Augmented &Multiple Reality

This is literally bringing about a new holographic reality in business realms. When real tours, classroom teaching, touching or feeling products are no longer an option, taking a digital or virtual route are becoming viable options. Square Yards, a Gurgaon based PropTech firm is one example that shows why VR collaborations are the way forward for real-estate sales, and why agents must adapt to the digital landscape. From conception to construction, cloud-based building IMS is taking over physical client experiences using virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). These emerging tech-platforms are here to stay and might soon reshape traditional real estate, and even autocar offices. With Gen-Next more likely to embrace a virtual tour instead of a physical one, VR and real estate have a slew of deals to ink! Expect this to continue well beyond into the future, too.

Digital Ecosystems

Integrated all-immersive cloud-powered platforms that enable efficient work continuity are all the rage. Even when no one is meeting physically, work hours are flexible, digital ecosystems are enabling companies to expand globally by allowing for wider connections and app acceleration. IBM, Microsoft, Accenture, Procter & Gamble are some of the big corporations who have already done it. Bosses can connect with their teams, the teams with customers, customers with front offices; executives can catch up with clients, and drive business. All of this, from anywhere in the world using a few apps and tools. This is how cloud offices and smart tools are bringing about a digital transformation for efficient and productive workplaces.

Bottom-line, in the post pandemic world, it pays to invest in smart future ready tech, to step up productivity and the tech solutions are in no way limited to the above. The other big breakthrough that several start-ups and big tech giants are working on is technology focussing on employee wellness. Just the other day, there was a write-up on how Deloitte India had made work from home (WFH) easier for all its employees by sending them an infrastructure kit. This is how companies can inspire employees to become productivity ninjas in the hybrid workplace model.

Reference Links

1. Read views of Twitter’s Vice President-People on how they are taking care of their employees.

https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/keeping-our-employees-and-partners-safe-during-coronavirus.html

2. Read more to know about ID badge software and its need in your office.

https://www.swipedon.com/blog/5-reasons-you-need-visitor-id-badge-software-for-your-office

3. Read the full interview of Gaurav Saini on Contactless visitor management

https://www.livemint.com/brand-post/vizitor-is-helping-businesses-operate-post-lockdown-11592305232351.html

4. Want to know more about the top strategic technology trends, click below

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-10-21-gartner-identifies-the-top-10-strategic-technology-trends-for-2020

5. In her guest blog in tech UK, Emily Taylor, Communications Manager, Humanising Autonomy, a predictive AI company that delivers the global standard for human interaction with automated systems, details how edge and AI have a big role to play in building an exit strategy for the lockdown. Read here: https://www.techuk.org/insights/opinions/item/17558-guest-blog-how-edge-computing-aids-in-covid-19-response

6. How real estate firms are adopting technology, read here: https://www.squareyards.com/blog/square-yards-writing-a-new-chapter-in-real-estate-sales-by-leveraging-the-art-of-virtual-reality

Posted by: Ashwini Sharma

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