Finding a new normal in a post-pandemic world is an adjustment everyone has had to make. Companies can implement a number of technologies to accommodate the ever-evolving needs of employees — and meeting the increased security demands of our time can be the springboard to greater flexibility, peace of mind, and comfort.
Biometric Security for Convenient and Personalized Access
Biometrics offer security across a multitude of devices and access points, from access pads and key fobs to peripherals and PCs. Viable as both a standalone authentication method or as part of a multi-factor system, biometrics provide extra security without inconveniencing the user; there are also personalization benefits, such as users having instant access to their settings on shared computers.
Via biometric solutions with on-device authentication (with the user’s data encrypted and contained within the device), a business is able to avoid the added burden of managing a secured biometric database. This authentication is available on many devices, such as smartphones, laptops and more. One way to implement this type of biometric authentication is access cards, wherein each access card is linked to one specific person and registered by their fingerprint. Systems such as access control door readers significantly help in the prevention of unauthorized access into buildings or other secure spaces. An added benefit is that these types of access cards are more hygienic, providing contactless access methods by replacing outdated security systems.
Embracing New Technologies
New technologies can assist in safety and wellness tracking, as well as helping to implement staggered schedules for employees for in-office vs remote days, reducing transmission of illnesses such as COVID-19 and the flu. As we are moving away from pre-wellness entry checks (wherein the employee has their temperature checked before starting their workday), daily health surveys, QR code check-ins, and contact tracing, there is still plenty of room to protect employees as they return to the office.
Building a Greener Future
In an ever-changing work landscape, companies strive for sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as safety and wellness for their employees. By investing in eco-friendly upgrades, and innovative, energy-saving technologies, businesses can not only enjoy substantial overhead savings, but also contribute to a greener future.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are chief contributors to energy costs in offices, but there are ways to offset these overheads with modern technologies, such as smart thermostats. These provide an automated smart solution to optimize HVAC energy consumption. Smart thermostats use machine learning algorithms, occupancy sensors, and remote access to adjust the temperature based on comfort levels and occupancy patterns. They can learn to automatically adjust heating and cooling in relation to usage patterns. Additionally, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely through smartphones. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems are an outstanding option for businesses looking to reduce dependence on the grid by generating clean, renewable energy. Solar panel technology can be used to power the business by converting sunlight into electricity, and LED lighting has become the standard for energy-efficient lighting in businesses; they consume much less energy while lasting considerably longer than outdated lighting systems.
Empowering Businesses with Energy Management Systems
Energy Management Systems (EMS) provide businesses with solutions to optimize, monitor, and control energy consumption, while smart sensors provide real-time insight into energy usage. EMS can also integrate with other smart technologies for better energy management. Energy-efficient appliances are designed to operate more efficiently; investing in energy efficient products, such as quality air-conditioners, refrigerators, computers, and such, businesses can attain energy savings over time.
Centralized Control with Building Automation Systems
Building Automation Systems (BAS) are advanced technologies that integrate and control several building systems, including HVAC, lighting, and security. BAS allows for centralized monitoring and control, giving businesses the opportunity to optimize energy consumption. BAS can adjust temperature, ventilation, lighting settings and more, to ensure energy is not wasted.
Energy-efficient windows and insulation may seem less sophisticated, but significant energy can be lost through outdated windows and inadequate insulation. Upgrading helps to reduce the need for cooling during warmer months while also helping to retain heat during winter; they are designed to minimize heat transfer, which in turn reduces strain on HVAC systems.
Securing Physical Space
A physical security assessment is as important (if not more) as biometrics and HVAC solutions when it comes to keeping a business running smoothly. A security assessment looks at how the physical building and employees are protected from possible threats. By conducting an audit, weaknesses and threats can be identified and mitigated more effectively. Reviewing access to security and control measures is a good way to start, as is a physical inspection of the location. Is your technology functioning at full capacity? Time to test security systems!
Harnessing the Power of Employee Insights
Interviewing employees is valuable for multiple reasons, and security is only effective if employees are following procedures. They may have insights into potential vulnerabilities or have security concerns that may otherwise have been overlooked. Speaking with employees can also ensure they are prepared for potential risks and help them feel confident in the event of an incident. By including employees in the assessment, they feel valued, protected, and heard. This can improve the overall office culture of security and boost the morale of the team.
Prioritizing in-office security measures is a vital step toward ensuring the best possible outcomes regarding the wellbeing of your employees. With the aforementioned measures in place, businesses can actively create a safe, productive environment that best supports its team members, all while embracing the post-pandemic ‘new normal.’