During the first COVID-19 outbreak, we were suddenly reminded of the inherent dangers of touching physical objects and surfaces, like door handles and elevator buttons. This gave an additional push to the already existing trend of adopting touchless technologies in the workplace.
In addition to providing protection against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, these solutions can also generate significant savings and cut the time workers need to perform certain actions, boosting the organization’s overall efficiency.
In this article, we are going to illustrate some of the most popular touchless technologies that are revolutionizing the workplace.
Touchless Access Control Solutions
Access control solutions are crucial to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the premises, as well as monitor who goes in and out of certain areas.
Many traditional access control measures require physical contact, which may expose workers to a number of pathogens. For this reason, many companies are now opting to invest in solutions that are designed to open doors and gates without having to touch handles, buttons, or other surfaces physically.
Here are some of the most popular touchless access control technologies.
- Keypad door entry systems that use RFID technology and pin codes to authenticate users and grant access.
- Voice command access control systems that allow users to open and close doors with their voice.
- Biometric solutions that use a person’s fingerprints, eyes, or face to recognize them.
- Digital credentials that use smartphones or other mobile devices as a substitute.
Temperature Scanning Devices
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of devices to scan body temperature has increased significantly. These solutions allow employers to quickly and accurately monitor the temperature of employees as they enter the premises, thus helping to keep infectious agents out.
However, while traditional temperature scanners may involve some physical contact, touchless solutions are designed to eliminate contact between users and surfaces. These devices use infrared sensors to detect body temperature from a distance without making contact with the skin.
Some of the most popular touchless temperature control devices include infrared, thermal, and 3D thermal scanning systems.
Voice Activated Technologies
These solutions allow your workforce to interact with computers and other devices using voice commands and eliminating the need for manual input. By using voice-activated technologies, employees can easily and quickly access information, control their workflows, and execute tasks without touching a mouse or keyboard.
In addition to providing additional safety against numerous pathogens, voice-activated devices can eliminate the need for time-consuming manual actions, reduce the frequency of errors, and give workers a more natural user experience. The combination of these factors can significantly boost productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
In addition to popular voice-activated technologies like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Microsoft Cortana, several specialist solutions are specifically designed for enterprise use.
Touchless Visitor Management Systems
Visitor management systems make it easier to manage the flow of visitors in your office. Examples of traditional solutions include sign-in sheets, visitor books, and logbooks.
However, adopting a touchless visitor management system allows guests to check in the office without having to physically touch any surfaces. This eliminates the risk of spreading disease while also making the process much faster, more comfortable, and ultimately more efficient.
One of the most popular touchless solutions in this field is using QR codes, or near-field communication (NFC) enabled tags that allow visitors to check in or out of the premises via their smartphones. Other solutions include using facial recognition technologies and other biometric solutions to grant access.
Visitor management systems can also help companies manage the shift towards hybrid or remote work models by allowing them to manage occasional visits from remote workers easily.
Video Conferencing Tools
One of the drawbacks of in-person meetings is that they often involve frequent physical contact, which in turn leads to the spread of infections. In order to prevent this, many companies are now increasingly shifting to virtual meetings and video conferencing tools as an alternative means of communication.
In addition to the most popular video conferencing applications like Zoom and Skype, there are now specialized enterprise solutions that also allow teams to communicate, collaborate, and share documents securely.
In addition to reducing the risk of pathogen transmission, using these solutions can also boost the workplace’s efficiency by minimizing the time between meetings and other tasks that workers must perform on that day.
Robotic Cleaning Services
These technologies can help to keep your workplace clean, hygienic, and safe while also eliminating the need for manual cleaning. Robotic cleaning services use advanced robotic technologies and sensors to scan the environment, detect areas that need to be cleaned, and then apply necessary cleaning agents.
Challenges of Implementing Touchless Technology in the Workplace
As we’ve now established, touchless technology is fast-becoming an integral component to modern workplace safety and efficiency. To take advantage of all that touchless tech has to offer, however, companies must be prepared to overcome some of the inherent challenges. These include:
(Not Quite) Breaking the Bank: There are no two ways about it, adopting touchless technology can be an expensive endeavor, largely because they typically require some pretty bold investments in infrastructure, hardware, and software. This is a deterrent for many companies, particularly small ones with rather limited resources.
Employee Resistance: Overcoming the hesitancy that some staff members may have towards new technology is another issue that may crop up. If they’re used to old methods (and potentially ‘set in their ways’), some employees may resist the new, and have a hard time coming round. Companies should factor in educating employees about touchless technology and its benefits to generally demystify it and support them in transitioning away from more familiar processes.
Compatibility Woes: Addressing compatibility issues between the new tech and existing systems can be another disruption to seamlessly transitioning. In the worst-case scenario, touchless technologies may require companies to carry out extensive updates or upgrades, which can be a costly and time-consuming exercise.
The Future of Touchless Technologies in the Workplace
The adoption of touchless technology in the workplace is on track for continued, rapid expansion in the coming years. These cutting-edge technologies are evolving at warp speed, with new innovations and applications emerging all the time.
One such emerging trend is the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning with touchless tech. These technologies have the power to exponentially enhance the capabilities of touchless solutions, enabling them to learn directly from user behavior and adapt accordingly – quite unnerving if it wasn’t so impressive.
Another on-point trend is the use of wearables and IoT devices. Wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, can be used to monitor employee health and wellness (with impressive accuracy), while IoT devices are great for automating and optimizing various workplace processes.
The emergence of new touchless solutions is also expected to further drive up the adoption of touchless technology in the workplace. Touchless payment solutions, for example, seemingly came out of nowhere, yet are already the relative ‘norm’ – how long will it be before we can pay for our groceries with our retinas?
Touchless technologies can provide a safe and hygienic environment for everyone in the workplace. Solutions like temperature scanning systems, voice-activated technology, video conferencing tools, and robotic cleaning services are designed to increase the workplace’s efficiency and minimize the need for physical contact, thus preventing the spread of dangerous pathogens.
They are an excellent investment for employers that want to get the most out of their workers while also looking after their well-being and comfort.