Office Tech Post COVID-19: From Contactless Entry to Virtual Meets

The corporate world will increasingly turn to tech solutions as hygiene concerns mount post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated07 Apr 2020, 06:19 AM IST
Tech and Auto
4 min read

Once the world begins to get back to normal when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, there will be quite a few hygiene lessons that corporate India will take away from it. A lot of offices will be making changes to their setup to ensure a pandemic like this has little chance of spreading in the future.

One thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught the world is that there are a significant number of functions in an office that could be remotely managed, which could help in better social distancing for hygiene purposes. For those who have to come to the office, there are technologies that will ensure there is less contact between shared surfaces at the workplace.

Here are some technologies that could be deployed across many corporate offices henceforth.

Bye-Bye Biometric Access

Incubsence makes a QR-code based access scanner.
Incubsence makes a QR-code based access scanner.
Photo: Incubsence

Biometric access control devices such as fingerprint readers for attendance management or door locking will have to be done away with for hygiene purposes. In its place will come contactless systems or at the very least the good-old RFID access card system.

Incubsence, a Delhi-NCR-based startup, has come up with a solution. It involves a tap-and-access system using users' phones. This tap to access system or even a QR-code based access system does away with the need to have a receptionist to vet interviews or meetings. Don't have a smartphone? There's an RFID sticker solution for that too.

Visitors need to download the Incubsence Swagat App and just tap the phone on the access device or scan the QR-code on the reader at an office reception to gain access.

How Hot Are You?

File Image: An official uses a thermal screening device on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in wake of deadly coronavirus outbreak.
File Image: An official uses a thermal screening device on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in wake of deadly coronavirus outbreak.
(Photo: PTI)

Every individual walking into an office building will soon be subject to a thermal scanning. Forget about going to work or a meeting if you are running a fever. Most offices will have thermal scanners or at the very least an infrared thermometer at the reception to gauge your temperature before granting access.

Thermal scanners by generating infrared heat maps for individuals. They are infrared cameras that can tell the temperature from the infrared spectrum given off by an individual standing in front of it.

A cheaper device is an infrared thermometer or thermal gun, which costs about Rs 8,000. It emits an infrared ray that at close proximity, but without contact, can read the body temperature of an individual.

No More Knock-Knock

Automatic sensor-based doors ensure no contact with people's hands.
Automatic sensor-based doors ensure no contact with people's hands.
Photo: Indiamart.com

Door handles are cesspools for microbes. After the coronavirus pandemic, many offices are going to be considering installing automatic doors.

Automatic doors are mechanised. They use motion-detector sensors or optical sensors to detect when a person is approaching them. They close on their own as well, which can save electricity on airconditioning costs as well as keep dust out.

While they may be expensive to install at first, they have certain hygiene and security benefits. Think the initial costs is too expensive? Then hire the good-old doorman, who will be the only one to operate the door.

Don't Touch The Water Tap

Contactless taps are more hygienic in washrooms.  
Contactless taps are more hygienic in washrooms.  
Photo: Pinterest

Washrooms in corporate offices may get a revamp. Instead of regular taps for water, companies may consider putting in contactless taps with infrared sensors.

These taps use an electric infrared sensor to detect when a user's hands are in front of it. They automatically turn off the water once a user's hands move away. Not only are they hygienic because they don't involve any physical contact with a user's hands, but they also end up saving water as well.

If the washroom also has an electric hand-dryer installed, companies can save on towels or paper towels too.

Let's Take That Meeting Online

Videoconferencing apps will become increasingly commonplace for meetings.
Videoconferencing apps will become increasingly commonplace for meetings.
Photo: The Quint

With many companies now advocating work-from-home amid the coronavirus pandemic, crowded meeting rooms may just become a thing of the past. Meetings can now be easily held virtually, through the plethora of video-conferencing apps.

This will not only help maintain a hygienic social distance among employees or even clients, but it could also help save thousands of rupees on travel and commuting costs, not to mention the travel time as well.

The way we see it, work-from-home or meeting virtually will soon become increasingly commonplace, which could be a good thing for the environment in the long run.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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Published: 06 Apr 2020, 02:11 PM IST

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