Is Tech Fuelling A Safe Hybrid Office Workspace?

Despite the threat of Covid-19 weakening, the drive to work from home hasn’t declined. 30% of employees in the US now work from home. While some employers have concerns about remote productivity, we’re not seeing a shift to return working in an office full time. Instead, we’re witnessing a push for hybrid working. 

What is a Hybrid Workspace Model? 

So, what is a hybrid workspace? Well, it’s the best of both worlds. Employees can choose to work in the office or at home. Some businesses let their teams decide where they work on which days while others contractually obliged workers to be in the office a set number of days.

Some may wonder whether hybrid working isn’t more expensive for the employer. After all, they’re paying for office space and work from home equipment. Yet, hybrid workspaces can be far more productive and well worth the actual cost with the right technology in place.

Hybrid Office Workspace Technologies

Here are some of the leading technologies to ensure a smooth-running hybrid workspace that you need to know.

1. Portable Technologies 

The days of fixed desktops are over. Well, at least if you want a hybrid workforce. Laptops and tablets are easy to carry around. These days, laptops are capable of a lot. So don’t worry about paying for two lots of equipment for hybrid workers.

Moreover, it allows for flexibility if staff aren’t able to come in. Hybrid working isn’t just beneficial in case of illness. It also helps with childcare, doctor’s or dental appointments, and other necessities that businesses didn’t consider before the pandemic.

2. Touchless and Keyless Access Control 

While COVID-19 is less of a threat than it once was, everyone is far more aware of workplace hygiene. Even before the global pandemic, colds circulated offices and took out workers one by one. 

Touchless technology goes a long way to prevent the transmission of viruses. With fewer illnesses floating around, employee productivity should increase. From an office door smart lock to voice-activated lights, you can create a COVID-safe workspace with technologies integrated into the building’s security systems.

3. Remote Collaboration Platforms

Once upon a time, if you wanted to collaborate with your team or co-worker, you walked over to their desk to discuss the task. With remote communication software, you can encourage collaboration between co-workers in the office at home. Instead of getting close to others, simply send them a message from your desk, reducing the risk of transmitting viruses.

Platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack are popular choices. However, with so many options on the market, you’ll find the perfect solution to manage your hybrid workspace.

4. Occupancy Management

A less crowded office space means better social distancing and reduced risk. Therefore, you need to manage your occupancy levels to prevent overcrowding. Smaller businesses might find this a relatively easy task. However, larger companies could see rising mounds of admin work to organise occupancy management. 

However, save yourself the effort by utilising technologies to manage your occupancy. For instance, occupancy counting will highlight popular areas posing more significant risks.

5. Temperature Screening

A high temperature is a symptom of COVID-19, among other illnesses. Introducing thermal imaging cameras into your hybrid workspace will help identify infectious employees. Beyond camera systems, temperature screening devices at doorways are an excellent way to protect your building from infection. 

As you enable employees to work from home efficiently, you won’t disrupt productivity by sending infectious employees away. Yet, while you might be able to encourage employees to work from home when ill, it’s harder to extend these rules to visitors. 

We might hope that outsiders do the decent thing and delay their visit. However, you can’t rely on it. Therefore, temperature screening anyone entering the building is an excellent way to mitigate the risk of illnesses spreading.

6. Distancing Technologies

While everyone is at their desk, maintaining social distancing is manageable. However, as soon as employees move around the building, eat lunch, or work in a more practical workspace (e.g., a warehouse), keeping distance is more challenging. However, new technological developments seek to rectify this. “Smart necklaces” are devices worn by each employee that alerts them whenever they get too close to another worker.

7. Smart Desk Management and Booking

Unless you manage each employee’s schedule, hot-desking is the best way to optimise your workspace. However, you don’t want too many employees to come into the office at one time.  Therefore, a smart desk booking system will allow your employees to reserve desks as and when they need them. This will also save you paying for more office space than you need.

There are numerous other hybrid workspace technologies to implement in your business. Hybrid working is beneficial for the employer and the employee when done right. It enables more flexibility and reduces the risk of illnesses spreading in overcrowded offices. With the proper technologies, you could see your business and workers thrive.