New 2023 Technology Streamlining Return to Office Experiences

Despite a wealth of available research indicating that the great shift towards hybrid and remote work has been, for the most part, a positive experience for employees, increasing numbers of businesses and organizations are seemingly determined to return to a more traditional workplace environment.  

Recently published data shows that 68% of American employees prefer remote work over in-person schedules, 64% would consider quitting if forced to return to the office and only 56% feel comfortable shifting back towards traditional work models. In addition, some reports state that as many as 77% of remote workers have increased their productivity since leaving the office, so why are we returning? 

Of course, every business will be experiencing a different combination of factors guiding management teams towards this final decision, and in most cases, employees are unlikely to be given much say in reversing such a call. However, workers should be prepared to request a few significant changes to outdated working environments to ensure that returning to the office can come with some benefits.  

Touchless Access Control 

One aspect of returning to in-person working environments that often frustrates modern employees is the inefficiency of outdated building management systems that so frequently contribute to a significant amount of wasted time. When working from home, staff were given an almost unprecedented degree of control over their daily schedules, allowing for increased productivity in a much shorter time frame

Though that same level of freedom cannot be matched in a traditional office environment, employers can help to streamline the return to office experience by choosing to install and operate touchless access control, providing employees with a quick and convenient way of traveling through the office. 

Modern solutions like mobile access control systems allow employees to manage their own property access using unique credentials sent directly to their phones, removing the need for workers to carry around easily lost key cards and enabling staff to access amenities without any physical interactions. 

Operating such systems can also help to facilitate a much more hygienic workplace. With no need for employees to interact with high-touch surfaces like door handles and switches, the spread of germs, bacteria and communicable diseases can be reduced to the benefit of all workers’ health and safety

Smart Security Cameras 

Physical security can also be a major concern for employees preparing to return to traditional office environments. When working remotely, staff only needed to protect themselves from cyber threats using company-issued software tools, but in-person workplaces require the use of reliable physical hardware. 

Thankfully, modern smart technology devices can be deployed to dramatically improve existing office security systems, primarily through the integration of AI-informed software to better detect and respond to potential threats. Object and facial recognition systems can be used to detect possible weapons or intruders and be programmed to automatically lock all access points to ensure the safety of workers. 

Additionally, offices situated in multi-level properties should choose to carry out an elevator camera installation to ensure that unauthorized individuals from nearby offices and potential intruders can be easily detected by security teams and prevented from accessing private locations without credentials. 

Finally, exterior commercial grade security cameras can be equipped with license plate recognition software to both streamline employee parking management and alert security staff to the presence of suspicious vehicles. Workers can register their own cars within the system to book parking spots, streamlining their morning schedules and assisting security guards in better monitoring access to commercial properties. 

IoT Occupancy Management Systems 

Many modern offices now choose to operate a wide variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to streamline essential building management systems and help employees make more efficient use of their time. IoT occupancy sensors in particular can be an incredibly useful tool, allowing for the development of automated HVAC, scheduling and amenity booking systems in office environments. 

Sensors can be programmed to automatically switch on heating, lighting and ventilation systems as soon as workers enter certain rooms, removing the need for staff to manually adjust these devices and ensuring that all workspaces are adequately conditioned and suitably comfortable to work in. 

IoT occupancy sensors can also be integrated alongside existing scheduling software to provide staff with real-time data regarding facility use. Workers can see which meeting rooms or on-site amenities are currently in use as well as access internal scheduling systems to book such facilities themselves. 

These programs and devices can also be linked to the office’s mobile access control system meaning employees can use their unique digital access credentials to log into and adjust hardware devices or view software programs without needing to remember complicated passwords and personal log in details. 

Though many workers may prefer to continue working remotely, returning to the office doesn’t need to mean returning to outdated traditional work environments. By making use of modern technologies and intelligent management systems, in-person work can be made much safer, more comfortable and less frustrating for the average employee, ultimately helping to streamline the return to office experience. 

This blog was contributed directly to Workplace Fairness. Published with permission.

About the Author: Marian Domingo is a contributor to Workplace Fairness.

The post New 2023 Technology Streamlining Return to Office Experiences first appeared on Today’s Workplace.

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