Last year, we witnessed how the rapid spread of COVID-19 forced many businesses to adapt to regulations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and the OSHA COVID-19 Control and Prevention for Healthcare Workers and Employees. These regulations were put into place in an attempt to reduce the spread while allowing for a safe return to work and school.
To adapt to these regulations, organizations across all industries implemented these common changes:
- limited entryways to their facilities to easily track and screen those who entered,
- required the use of PPE such as masks and gloves, and
- added sanitation stations throughout their facilities.
Technologies Implemented To Address New COVID-19 Regulations
Organizations mobilized to follow safety guidelines by relying on existing employees to administer health screenings and offering their employees the ability to work remotely. In a relatively short amount of time, businesses have implemented a variety of technologies to address the new regulations, including:
- Visitor Management Systems: universities, corporate offices, and healthcare centers are using visitor management systems to track the number of people inside a building and determine when and for how long individuals can enter a specific location in the facility.
- Incident Reporting Systems: law enforcement departments, colleges, and healthcare facilities are tracking positive COVID-19 cases using incident reporting systems, helping organizations simplify the daily reports of cases to their local health departments.
- Records Management: a comprehensive records management system keeps critical processes operational during a crisis, reduces process downtime, and lowers risks.
- Thermal Scanning and Identity Verification Systems: thermal scanning and intelligent identity recognition were implemented to monitor guests and employees and prevent the virus’ spread.
- Sanitation Compliance Software: cleanliness and sanitation compliance software has helped facilities manage and keep records of when, where, and by whom a location or machine was sanitized, further enforcing the sanitation process.
What does this mean for the outlook of security changes in the workplace moving forward and how can we ensure a safe return to work after COVID-19?
Contactless Authentication Solutions
As employees head back to the workplace in a post-pandemic world, they will encounter new hygienic protocols that feature contactless authentication solutions. These systems will serve two functions:
Access Control: users will be granted secure access with less touch through their smartphone with mobile solutions that integrate Bluetooth® technology.
Information Security: secure, touch-free readers will enable smart cards and mobile devices to protect printer and network data of network-connected multifunction printers while reducing the spread of germs.
We can expect the new normal to feature a more prominent AI presence and digitized environment to process all the operations that maintain compliance with health safety regulations. We’re already seeing this evidenced in the rise of organizations, regardless of the industry, that have begun investing heavily into technologies and solutions that help ensure their employees’ safe return to work.