The VergeSense COVID-19 Toolkit: 5 Ways to Ensure a Safe Office Re-entry
Apr 29 2020
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, companies are facing unprecedented challenges to ensure that their workplace stays safe, healthy, and productive. To support our clients as they prepare to re-open their offices in the coming weeks and rethink their workplace strategy in the coming months, we’ve put together a 5-point toolkit with actionable ways for companies to comply with social distancing guidelines and keep their workplace safe.
1. Leverage VergeSense Social Distancing Insights
Ensuring social distancing and employee safety is both the newest and most significant challenge facing companies worldwide. Many companies are assembling cross-functional task forces or creating new roles to tackle this unprecedented challenge. Thanks to our proprietary computer vision technology, VergeSense sensors already capture a level of detail and accuracy that no technology provider on the market is capable of: measuring distance between employees.
In addition, VergeSense measures interaction frequency, how often people occupy the same room. Our data science team used this capability to uncover that employees around the world were already practicing social distancing in the workplace before mandates started.
Over the last several weeks, we have been working with our clients to make this information easily accessible within the VergeSense data analytics dashboard.
The VergeSense Social Distancing report provides a daily snapshot of how well the workplace is accommodating social distancing. Companies can easily view how changes in working hours, staggered shifts, room closures, and employee communications can impact their social distancing score. Leveraging this data, organizations can make informed, data-driven adjustments to their workplace re-entry strategy and keep their employees safe.
2. Ensure Compliance with Occupancy Regulations
In a pre-COVID-19 world, heads of corporate real estate were driven to optimize their space utilization and densify their workplaces as much as possible. Furthermore, they were tasked with improving employee experience, and pinpointing opportunities to reduce real estate assets that were not meeting minimum utilization rates. Now, the focus has instead turned to identifying when a space exceeds occupancy levels recommended by the CDC and local municipalities.
As companies across the US begin planning for the mass reintroductions of their workforce, they face numerous safety challenges. At VergeSense, we’ve adapted an existing product capability to meet this new need. Now, clients can set a maximum utilization rate by floor or building so that they have a real-time, accurate understanding of when and where they are reaching unsafe occupancy levels. This information will be pivotal as companies quickly iterate on plans to stagger workforce re-entry and shift assignments.
Our COVID-19 Wellness Compliance Dashboard includes visualizations of when and where peak occupancy is exceeded throughout the day. Workplace teams can strategize on how to smooth out the peaks by staggering working hours or redistributing shift assignments.
In a pre-COVID-19 world, real estate data was static, delayed, and anecdotal. Quarterly occupancy audits walking around with a clipboard counting people in various rooms are clearly inadequate in a post-COVID19 world.
Accurate, real-time people counting tech is now a must-have. Facility managers and workplace service teams can even use VergeSense Alerts to receive real-time prompts when floors or shared spaces exceed allowed occupancy.
3. Generate Smart Cleaning Reports
Like most companies, many VergeSense clients are dramatically increasing the length and frequency of cleaning throughout the office to limit the spread of germs and provide peace of mind. Real estate and facilities teams can enter VergeSense’s Smart Cleaning Planner view to access a real-time floor map of the most frequently used spaces. They can also generate cleaning plans or sync this information to their IWMS to manage cleaning efforts appropriately.
4. Continuously Monitor Occupancy Rates and Indoor Environmental Conditions
COVID-19 has also renewed focus on ensuring healthy indoor air quality. CDC guidelines recommend improving building ventilation rates and ASHRAE recommends maintaining an indoor relative humidity of 40-60%.
For PoE-enabled buildings, the VergeSense E105 sensor can prove to be a useful tool capable of pulling real-time occupancy data every 30 seconds and includes additional built-in temperature, humidity, and air quality sensors. Existing buildings can still benefit from the easy to install battery-powered L208 for analytics on occupancy utilization and social distancing over time. These measurements can be helpful in reassuring facilities teams and building occupants that they’re doing everything within their power to ensure a safe return to work.
COVID19 has thrust most of the world into uncharted territory. Companies will need to closely measure, monitor, and adapt to changing workplace conditions and give their employees peace of mind that they can get back to business safely.
5. Download Our Workplace Signage Pack
VergeSense is a tech company, but we also consider ourselves a partner and advisor to our clients as they plan their re-entry into the office. Sometimes that involves leveraging our cutting-edge, AI-enabled sensors, and other times that involves low-tech solutions, like simple signage. We’ve created several visual assets based on the needs we’re hearing from our clients. Feel free to download these signs and print them or display them on digital signage throughout your office to communicate best practices and workplace service changes with your employees.
Don’t forget to register for VergeSense’s April 30th webinar with CrowdComfort and Robin to learn how we are each adapting our product offerings to meet new workplace challenges better.
Office space is a significant and growing cost for many organizations. On average, high-rise office space costs $43.79 per square foot per year, but many cities have far more costly space.San Francisco recently surpassed New York for the title of most expensive city, with office space costing $72.26 per square foot in the last quarter of 2015. In New York, office space costs $71.85 per square foot.
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