Staff health and wellbeing is a long-term obligation for organizations. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is now more important than ever – where staff may feel anxious about returning to your workplace for the first time in months. In fact, research reveals nearly a quarter of the UK’s remote workers want to stay away from the office until they feel ‘safer’.

Your occupational hygiene monitoring strategies can help reassure staff, while minimizing bugs and virus transmission rates in your office. But this is a complex undertaking, where organizations and workspace managers are under more pressure than ever before to both protect and reassure their staff. The right technology can help alleviate this burden, providing your staff with some much-needed reassurance while delivering a cost-effective and easy-to-use strategy.

But what is the right technology? Sensors and signage are a popular option. These solutions provide you with a way to not only keep your staff safe by maintaining social distancing rules, but also implement an optimized cleaning schedule. In this post, we will explain how to implement an effective combination of sensors and digital signage.

Sensors – or no sensors?

Sensors provide you with a wealth of information to optimize your space and keep your staff safe during such uncertain times. However, at Freespace, our occupational hygiene monitoring solutions are a highly flexible option, working with or without our sensor technology.

Let’s explain how our no-sensor option works, using Freespace’s QR SPOT Tags and Cleanreader systems as an example. Our QR SPOT Tags are color-coded labels, which are designed to support and facilitate effective social distancing. You just stick the tags around your office and, once in place, you can implement your space planning strategy to maintain safe distances between desks. Using color coding for different days of the week, for example, can help your staff easily recognize available spaces.

Using the ruggedized Cleanreader device, your cleaning team then scans the QR code when their work is complete, and the area is recorded as clean and released for use for the next occupier. In this way, you can use QR SPOT Tags and Cleanreader without sensors to provide a safe and compliant workplace, reassuring your staff that desks are cleaned and sanitized before and after every use.

If you want a more optimized solution, you can integrate our sensor technology into this set-up. Our sensors can provide both planned attendance and turn-up-and-go occupancy strategies. Once a desk is vacated, a desk-placed sensor triggers a workflow for the desk to be cleaned before reoccupation. The worker doesn’t need to manually mark the space as vacated.

Sensors technologies provide a highly automated solution, where you don’t need to rely on workers manually marking a space as vacate. Once cleaned, the label is scanned using the Cleanreader device and the system makes a space available for use.

The Cleanreader instantly updates your back-end systems, once a desk is cleaned and ready to be used. There’s no opportunity for cross-contamination thanks to the real-time nature of this solution. The same strategy can be applied in your meeting rooms and other shared spaces, and can easily be integrated with your office booking system. What’s more, this information is instantly integrated with your digital signage for easy way finding (more on this later).

Our sensors monitor both occupancy and environmental conditions, providing you with all the information you need to run a clean and compliant workspace. They can extract various environmental information, including the air quality, temperature and humidity levels. When used in conjunction with your Building Management Systems (BMS) and HVAC systems, our sensors can also optimize these conditions using automated and localized adjustments across different parts of the building.

Our sensors can tell you the location and position of your staff around your workspace, monitoring occupancy levels and movements around your office. At Freespace, our occupancy sensors monitor the performance of a space, not your staff, relying on infrared and thermal images and with no visual capturing capability; negating any privacy concerns, and using a full range of security and data protection measures.

Engineers using key card to identity verification for access the door or enter the security room.

All the right signs

Digital signage provides seamless visibility to your staff as they move around your office, displaying a wealth of information outside your communal areas, showing staff which clean and socially distanced spaces are available for use.

For example, you can use digital signage outside any enclosed space (including washrooms, meeting rooms, and more) to indicate the number of permitted occupants and the number of people currently using that space. You can also use digital signage in communal areas, including staff canteens, to indicate the maximum number of people permitted and current occupancy levels.

Digital signage also assists staff in wayfinding to an available desk, allowing you to maintain social distancing policies and help staff move around your office safely, without running into one another.

When you combine our sensor and signage technologies, you enable a wealth of features to both protect and reassure your staff. For example, you can push notifications to staff. These messages could include cleaning notifications and reminders on social distancing guidelines to reassure them that every possible measure is being put in place to ensure their safety. You could also use these notifications to help you rebuild your corporate culture, communicating important organizational messages and information on (socially distant) meet-ups, for example. This information can also be pushed to staff across multiple platforms, including our return to work app.

In conclusion

Thanks to COVID-19, our workplaces are entering a new era where occupational hygiene monitoring is now vital to provide staff with the reassurance it’s safe to return to work – and allow workplace managers to do their jobs, both protecting and supporting your workforce.

Now more than ever, your workplace must adapt and evolve to create opportunities and purposes for staff to come together, reaffirming your corporate culture and values, combining work, social and networking opportunities beyond what has gone before.

To achieve this level of integration between your workforce and maintain a safe workspace, you need an integrated technical solution where up-to-date information is readily available to help your staff stay safe.

The Freespace occupancy sensors provide your staff with real-time access to a cleaned and socially distanced space. Used in conjunction with Freespace Digital Signage, this helps staff understand social distancing rules and desk/space availability on any given day.

This safeguards the safety and wellbeing of your staff, providing the reassurance to maximize return to work attendance and helping staff understand and comply with social distancing guidelines.

To find out more about Freespace and how we can get your staff back into the office, click here.