Why Fortune 500 Companies Deploy Indoor IoT Services to Prepare for a Return to the Office

16 February 2021

As the COVID-19 vaccine is gradually administered across America, business owners are finalizing their plans to resume office operations. But with analysts projecting that it could be summer of 2022 before all Americans are vaccinated, some Fortune 500 companies are taking special measures to create a safe work environment for their employees.

Indoor IoT services are among the forward-thinking strategies companies are introducing to pave the way for a safe return to work. Below is a look at the role of these measures in business re-openings and how Smart Badges are becoming the gold standard for workplace safety as employees return to work.

How are IoT services helping businesses prepare for post-COVID re-openings?

From the Americas, to Europe, to Southeast Asia, Fortune 500 companies are leading the way in developing return to work strategies. At the forefront of leading initiatives are IoT services designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Occupancy monitoring, contact tracing, and environmental monitoring solutions are being employed in nearly every industry as a means of mitigating the effects of COVID-19. Here are some specific ways IoT services are helping businesses prepare to reopen:

1. Transforming workforce worry into confidence

"Investments in safety measures like automated contact tracing and workplace sensors can help employees feel safer than manual efforts as they return to the physical workplace. The continued focus on investing in technology for growth rather than cost reductions further signals optimism about where companies are headed post-COVID-19."

- PwC CFO Pulse Survey 

According to a PwC survey, nearly 60% of CFOs worry that COVID-19 infections will hinder return to work. In an effort to restore employee confidence and safety, Fortune 500 companies are investing in technology to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19. IoT solutions include products designed to count the number of people inside facilities, promote social distancing, facilitate contact tracing, and expedite emergency responses.

Buy Smart Badge - The New Standard In IoT Employee Badges

2. Facilitating contact tracing

Quick identification of employees and visitors who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 is essential to minimizing the spread of the virus. Contact tracing solutions are designed to reduce employee anxiety, decrease false testing costs, and boost safety awareness.

Today's leading contact tracers are convenient and easy to use. Employees and visitors receive a unique wearable cloud-based Smart Badge that permits tracking using BLE-enabled Wi-Fi access points (e.g. Cisco) or Bluetooth gateways. The facility manager is then able to use web-app to securely keep a record of each person's movement.

3. Maintaining social distancing & understanding building occupancy

"Wireless sensors connected to a secure IoT network can help provide an extra buffer zone around these employees. For example, if your key staffers have their own offices or dedicated workspaces, door sensors or motion and activity-detection sensors can alert them (and their managers) in real time if someone enters their restricted space."

- Ray Almgren, EHS Today

Kontakt.io cloud-enabled Portal Beams help you monitor space occupancy, utilization and analyze how spaces are actually used. It’s important to know if there is an underused space, if people maintain appropriate social distancing and how building floor space is utilized in real-time and historically so that you can improve facility flow planning. Equipped with a thermal camera, a ceiling-mounted Portal Beam lets you monitor how people occupy spaces and track the occupancy of buildings, floors, rooms, and desks, without infringing on privacy. As a reference point the Portal Beam allows for 200+ sq ft coverage at 10-feet ceiling height.

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4. Enabling managers to swiftly respond to emergencies

Every second counts when an emergency strikes or an employee falls ill. With their cloud-hosted design, IoT solutions enable ill or distressed employees to contact security with the push of a button. On the receiving end, security staff can instantly detect the employee's location and swing into action right away. The end result is a safer work environment which can help employees returning to work feel more at ease.

While COVID-19 remains a threat in the workplace, there are other risks that are minimized by IoT solutions. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that the top causes of work-related injuries that receive emergency room treatment are falls, overexertion, and contact with objects and equipment. With the ability to dect such situations, Portal Beams provide an increased sense of security and can minimize the extent of an injury.

5. Boosting accessibility to all pertinent data

"By making this information accessible through a cloud-based dashboard, they (IoT solutions) allow project managers to maintain accountability across a worksite while minimizing potential exposure to the virus. Furthermore, since all IoT information can be stored in the cloud, project managers can access it from a remote location as well as the worksite."

- Robert Constantini, Occupational Health & Safety

News of an emergency or an infected employee may surface at any time. COVID-19 diagnoses are not predictable, and employees or visitors may be diagnosed at night, on a weekend, or when a safety manager is working remotely. Today's IoT solutions use a cloud-hosted format that enables managers to quickly access information at any time from any location. The end result is swifter contact tracing that can be instrumental in containing spread of a virus.

Why are Smart Badges gaining in popularity among Fortune 500 companies?

Kontakt.io Smart Badges feature an innovative twist on standard legacy badges. Smart Badges are gaining traction in hospital settings as well as corportate real-estates and other work environments where it is important to monitor staff location and movements. Here are some key features that are driving the popularity of Smart Badges among Fortune 500 companies:

1. A lightweight, wearable style

The non-intrusive, lightweight design of the Smart Badge has boosted its popularity among users who value convenience. The Smart Badge is designed in the form of a holder that eliminates the need to carry an ID and a badge. The Smart Badge can easily connect to a lanyard or swivel clip, and you can choose to carry it horizontally or vertically depending on the layout of your ID card. 

2. Long-lasting technology

For over a year, COVID-19 has interfered with business operations across the globe. When developing the Smart Badge, our team worked to create a badge holder that would last for years without requiring a battery change or servicing. The Smart Badge's 4-year battery life eliminates interruptions to productivity while providing sustained safety support.

3. A simple 2-button design

Smart Badge's simple design makes it easy for employees to use. Each badge holder features two programmable call buttons to enable employees to request help. In contrast to many technology updates, there is no need to spend extensive resources on training and maintenance for the Kontakt.io Smart Badge. 

4. IR receiver signals for improved accuracy

The simplest, most innovative IoT solution in the world is useless if it fails to deliver accurate results. The Smart Badge was designed with an IR receiver signal that doesn’t penetrate walls. This allows you to achieve the room-granular accuracy you need to pinpoint an employee's location with certainty.

5. Instant emergency alerts

With the push of a single button on the Smart Badge, an employee can quickly notify security or medical staff about an emergency or a threat. When a notification is received, security staff can instantly pinpoint who needs help and their exact location within the building.

What step can business owners take today to help ensure a safe return to the office?

Preparing to return to the office while the COVID-19 virus is still a threat is not an easy task. But by educating your employees and introducing Indoor IoT services, you can help keep employees safe by ensuring they are adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

The best step you can take today to help ensure a safe return to the office is to contact the experts at Kontakt.io. Scheduling a discovery call with our team is easy, and you can learn how our solutions will help you achieve the following:

  • Understand occupancy of your building
  • Contact tracing capabilities
  • Improved visitor management
  • Accurate tracking during evacuations
  • Enhanced convenience for workers
  • Superior emergency management

We invite you to reach out to us today. Whether you work in healthcare, corporate real-estate, manufacturing, or any other busy office environment, the Kontakt.io team has the experience and IoT solutions that can help your business thrive in a post-COVID world. Contact us today or order a Starter Kit!

Aneta Ciurkot

Director, Product Marketing

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