Four safety measures for businesses getting back to office
By Bhavin Turakhia
The economic ecosystem that drives the city of Mumbai has long relied on the millions of workers who pour into office buildings each day to meet the demands of their employers, clients and the economy. After almost three months of absolute lockdown, the Indian economy is slowing moving towards recovery with some organisations having restarted their operations.
The end of the lockdown however does not indicate a return to the old “normal,” and reopening businesses completely in the current scenario is not a wise thing to do.
Here are some safety measures organisations can take when getting back to work:
As a minor proportion of employees get back to office after a two-month gap, indoor areas such as office spaces, including desks should be cleaned every evening after office hours or early in the morning before the rooms are occupied along with the outdoors. Keep sanitisers at regular intervals, on floors, canteen and washrooms, well, everywhere!
Elevators should be avoided as far as possible. It is best to take the stairs for the time being, and avoid touching the railings.
Welcoming virtual meetings
In the last couple of months, video conferencing has quickly emerged as the core of many collaboration and communication strategies for leading brands, worldwide. We believe that this is not a temporary peak, and this trend will continue in a post-Covid-19 world as well.
We have recognised the power of virtual collaborative workplace platforms and how they can replace in-person meetings at large. Gradually, people have also understood that daily to-do’s can be discussed and addressed online, rather than one having to be physically present. Also, client meetings can be done via video calls, which will eventually save a lot of travel time. Due to the ongoing pandemic, businesses are not rushing to ask their employees to get back to the office as the work-from-home model seems to be working quite well. Today, there are workplace collaboration and communication platforms that offer an all-in-one suite with access to email, calendar, to-do’s, voice notes, video conferencing and are enabling seamless communication across teams.
Digital payments only, in cafeterias
The pandemic has forced many companies to completely automate their canteens, which also means that there is no place for a team huddle or brainstorming sessions.
Some practices organisations can kickstart in the cafeterias include:
Digital modes of payments like UPI, BHIM, etc.
Digital apps to pre-book seats, QR codes for entry
Buffet system will be completely banned, automatic food dispensers that fill up plates can be installed
Foot pedal-powered vending machines and wash basins to be installed.
Hello face recognition attendance
Touch screen interfaces only became a common practice in the last decade or so. Now that our awareness of ‘shared hygiene’ has increased, we will transition more quickly towards voice and machine vision interfaces and contactless logging in and logging off.
Take, for example, the fact that we used fingerprints to log in at offices, which will completely transition to facial recognition going forward. These technologies will help limit physical contact people have with surfaces and each other, thereby reducing the risk of contracting the virus.
All in all, while people are excited and worried to get back to office, let’s not forget the preventive measures to ensure safety for ourselves and our near and dear ones.
The writer is founder & CEO at Flock (a proprietary messaging and collaboration tool)