As 3.1 million Americans are getting inoculated each day, businesses are thinking about return-to-workplace strategies. While there’s still a lot up in the air, this much is certain: we will not be returning to the same office we left behind a year ago. The pandemic is a watershed moment for American workplaces, much like 9/11 was for airport travel. In other words, businesses need to be thinking about how structure our workplaces for the long-term.
That is exactly what employees want from their bosses. Right now, 75% of remote workers “do not feel completely safe” returning to their office, which suggests that employers are not doing enough to assuage very real fears. And 23% of all workers say they’ll look for a new job if their employer doesn’t step up and implement new public health protocols. This makes it clear that these are not just health decisions. They are also business decisions that are essential to long-term prosperity.
While temperature checks and other health screenings may become the post-pandemic norm, it’s also true that these can be logistical nightmares. For example, how will commercial buildings prevent bottlenecks as they welcome thousands of workers back to the office, screen their temperature, and still ensure everyone gets to their desks on time? To maximize efficiency and health, companies must turn to technology.
New tools, like contactless elevated temperature detection, can help solve these big dilemmas. Infrared technology and facial scanners are two options that allow for efficient real-time high-temperature screening before a worker enters the office. By placing these at multiple entry and exit points, we can get everyone in the door in a way that is safe in both the short and long term.
It will not be enough, however, to simply install elevated temperature scanners or other tech tools, like biometric devices or mask-wearing technology, without proper training. Companies need to train employees on how to use the technology and interpret what it tells them while implementing the right protocols and next steps. Otherwise, we risk doing nothing more than simply checking the public health box without making an actual difference.
We are all experiencing a rush of relief as we see the pandemic wind down, but there are still challenges ahead. The good news is that we have the tools and protocols right now to answer some of the outstanding questions and return to the workplace safely and efficiently. Doing so will accelerate our reopening and get us back to the professional life we all once took for granted.