How Can Facility Automation Solutions Improve Working Conditions as Employees Return to the Office?

Through advancements in facility automation solutions and concerns raised by COVID-19, workplaces are taking advantage of facility automation solutions more than ever before

Recently, more people have been returning to in-person work as the risk of COVID-19 declines due to vaccines and other prevention measures like mask mandates. Since we now have more tools and knowledge than ever to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, employees are slowly but surely returning to the office.

In light of this, there is more focus than ever on cultivating and maintaining safe and healthy working environments. Thankfully, facility automation solutions have made it possible for office wide COVID-19 safety protocols. Every operations industry from HVAC to lighting control system manufacturers have adapted automated technologies to ensure a safe and healthy return to work. Let’s take a look at some of the solutions currently being implemented in large scale office buildings around the country. 

1. Employee Health and Safety

Facility automation solutions allow for constantly operating COVID-19 mediation measures

Employee health & safety is a bigger concern than ever before

As we all have experienced, there is a much larger concern for indoor health and safety requirements since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. To adapt and ensure safe working conditions as people return to the office, building owners, managers, and corporate representatives have innovated how facility automation systems work to keep employees safe.

We are going to be discussing two key elements of workplace safety — air quality and general hygiene.

Air Quality

For many employees returning to work, indoor air quality is a top concern. Ventilation is especially important to mitigate the spread of disease. The facility automation solution for ventilation is an automated HVAC system with integrated sensors. Sensors detect when the room is occupied and will automatically begin blowing filtered air into the occupied space.

A well ventilated office space helps prevent disease and can help reduce work related fatigue. Not to mention, poor air quality is a general health concern, so the better your air quality the healthier employees will be. 

General Hygiene

Hygiene is another essential factor for employees interested in returning to in-person work. Before 2020, most employees did not think about being in close proximity to others or sharing bathrooms. As of right now, these are some of the most important things for employers to consider for returning employees. 

Facility automation solutions can combat any hygiene concerns raised by either party. For example, Occupancy sensors can detect the amount of people in a room and alert cleaning staff. This feature of automation helps prevent spread of any disease by alerting staff to disinfect the area after a meeting, conference, or any other type of indoor gathering.  

2. Use Automation to Streamline Workflows

Beyond hygiene and air quality, facility automation solutions can also improve everyday workflows

Occupancy sensors have many more applications beyond security

Building automation solutions are not just for adapting to a more disease-conscious world, they also have the ability to streamline the workday. Think about the inconveniences someone in an office building will face on a daily basis — no available conference rooms, an overly crowded break room, or constant communication breakdowns. These are all common employee complaints that can be solved through facility automation solutions.

Use Sensors for Easy Conference Room Booking

One of the biggest challenges faced by in-person office workers is finding space. Whether it’s space for a breakout meeting, a private room to focus, or a large conference, it can be difficult to keep track of who is using which room. Thanks to facility automation solutions and sensors, booking conference rooms or checking if a room is available takes seconds. Not only that, but you can use occupancy sensors to monitor and schedule other parts of the workday. For example, if you have an employee break room/restaurant, you can use sensors to determine the occupancy and wait time for food. This allows employees to check if there is seating room available or a long food line before taking their lunch break.

Internal Employee Communication App

It is also beneficial to facilitate better internal communication and employees return to the office. Ease and clarity of communication is proven to lead to a better and more efficient workplace. When you implement an employee communication app, employees can make requests, send messages, and schedule meetings all from an intuitive app. You can also use an internal app to schedule meeting rooms or check to see if meeting rooms are currently occupied.

If you are an employer returning to the office — or an employee — it is important to be aware of different ways automation can improve health and safety as well as streamline daily operations. Each day there are more solutions to adapt to an ever changing work environment. As employees return to the office, it is important for employers to guarantee that the building is safe and efficient. 

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