THE POST-COVID WORKPLACE is going to need more breathing room. One key strategy for controlling the spread of infectious disease is maintaining a safe distance between people. The best approaches to this challenge will combine clear guidelines, effective communication, and leveraging technology to assess the effectiveness of guidelines and procedures.
On the guidelines and communication front, efforts could run the gamut from one-way hallways and directed routes for navigating the office to visual representations of safe physical distance like those already appearing in grocery stores.
The ability to measure and act on occupancy counts within a space will be central to ensuring workplace distancing guidelines are followed. Where there are closed spaces that accommodate only one person or tight passageways like washrooms, it will be necessary to indicate when the space is being used.
Building on the same principles behind occupancy counting, geo-fencing enables notification when someone (or something) enters or leaves a specific area. This can greatly extend the company-wide awareness of how, when, and by whom each space is being used.
A concept that has gained rapid recognition is contact tracing – the ability to find out who has been in recent contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. A contact tracing strategy is critical to protecting employees by allowing an organization to respond quickly. Implementing this in an office environment will necessitate a thoughtful balancing of safety and privacy.
It has long been recognized that indoor properties like temperature and airflow have workplace implications that go beyond comfort. As we return to our buildings and offices, however, ambient condition sensing will take on new importance. For example, certain viruses spread more easily when the humidity is low. For this and other reasons, it will be highly advantageous for a company to implement temperature, humidity, and IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) sensing.
Finally, while innovations such as occupancy counts and geo-fence notifications will greatly improve adherence to social distance mandates, we can go further. The wealth of data generated by these technologies can be aggregated and analyzed, revealing hidden trends and patterns in how people and spaces are interacting. The insights gained this way can lead to further improvements in guidelines, communication, and technology.
The Trellix IoT Advantage
TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP organizations measure how effective their social distancing safeguards are in practice, for example by analyzing location data to reveal employee density across the office. A connected lighting system can gather the data to drive this kind of analysis.
Trellix Locate uses integrated IoT sensors to pick up Bluetooth signals from tags and workforce badges and calculate their location in real-time. The solution is composed of the Trellix Bluetooth® enabled tags and badges, WaveLinx IoT sensors (integrated with the luminaire or standalone), Trellix IoT Smart Spaces platform, and Trellix Locate Application.
Using an intuitive Web application approach, Trellix Locate delivers real-time location data so authorized users can pinpoint asset positions, analyze their movement, view asset counts in a space, and get real-time notification based on configurable location rules.
For COVID-19, personal badge locations can ensure occupancy count limits are being respected, with real-time notifications if limits are exceeded. The same data can power historical analysis on space utilization and drive notifications (e.g., blinking light, audible sound) to notify people of the need to move to a larger space.
Our personal badges can power real-time employee counting within a space. These RTLS badges are HID-compatible and can work with standard access card readers.
By leveraging the Bluetooth® technology built into WaveLinx integrated sensors, Trellix Locate gathers the signals emitted by the tags and calculates their location. We offer standalone sensors for spaces that lack LED luminaires with integrated sensors.
The Trellix Locate application and associated services are hosted on our flexible range of Trellix Core appliances (Pro, Enterprise, and Virtual).