As the UK Government begins it's slow move towards a post-Coronavirus "new normal" here at One2Call we've put our heads together to think of all the ways in which we can help businesses of any shape and size get back to work, but in a way that is mindful of social distancing and will minimise the risk of tranmission.
This blog will be a super-quick summary of some of our ideas, so if any catch your eye as being useful to you, please get in touch.
But keep an eye on this blog and our social channels too as we'll be expanding on these ideas over the coming days and weeks.
1. Automatically limit in-store numbers.
Situating staff at the door to control the number of people in store is already in place in many larger retail environments. However, why use a member of staff on this relatively simple task when tech can do it for you?
People counting cameras from the likes of Hikvision are specifically designed to monitor the number of people passing a certain point. Hook this up to a screen, traffic light, or even door lock and you can automatically ensure the correct number of people in store and get on with serving them!
2. Touchless entry and exit.
If you have entrances and exits controlled by an access control system, you might have some of these problem points:
- Physical "push to exit" buttons.
- Fob or card readers that require very close proximity to be read.
- Entry via fingerprint scan.
In most cases these items can be straight-swapped for:
- Motion-sensitive "wave over" detectors
- Long-range fobs (up to 2.5m)
- Facial-recognition entry cameras
- User smartphone via app, QR Code or RFIP via user smartphone
3. “No mask alert” cameras
Cameras equipped with facial recognition technology can be adjusted to detect when face masks are and aren't being worn. This can be used for entry to your business or specific areas, and can also be used as a monitoring tool, with alerts sent when faces are detected without sufficient facial coverage.
4. Fever detection cameras
Watch the video or read the blog for more details on this technology, but highly sensitive thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect workers who may have the kind of raised body temperature indicative of a fever.
This could be essential in ensuring further fevers, even if it's not COVID-19, are spread through your workforce at this difficult time.
5. Crowd and loitering detection cameras
Technology designed for event security and to track retail footfall can be repurposed to prevent too many people gathering in one area.
Virtual zones can be created in the camera's view and the number of people entering and exiting the zone can be counted. If you've estimated only 10 people can be in that area before social-distancing becomes impossible, alerts can be triggered.
6. Automate your clock in and out.
Most access control systems have the ability to monitor clocking in and out times and to produce a roll call of people on site, but so many businesses either dont use this feature, or are not aware that they can.
Ask us about whether this can be enabled on your system and remove the need to monitor attendance separately.
Alternatively, camera or door based touch-free systems can be installed with personell monitoring built-in.
7. Stay virtual for meetings
It's important to keep people apart wherever possible, so even if you're bringing peolple back into the office, cramming them all into a meeting room is still a risk.
Use the many web meeting platforms that are freely available, often for free or on free trials (we can offer our 3CX platform free for 3 years, or trial licences for Microsoft Teams/365) for meetings. It may seem strange everyone sat using their screens when they could be talking to each other in person, but it might be the safer way for now.
It might also be worth investing in over-ear or noise-cancelling headsets too!
8. Replace communal or shared telephone handsets.
For obvious reasons, any shared physical devices will need to be reconsidered.
For telephones this can be done relatively easily as modern VOIP systems make it easy (and in the case of our 3CX system, free) to add individual users into the phone system via smartphone apps, so that users only touch their own device, but are connected into your business system.
Even if you're not on a modern phone system, though, there will usually be a solution. Get in touch to discuss your specific need.
9. Use apps to manage staggered working or sudden absences.
Shift management apps (like Shifts for Microsoft Teams) make it easier to deal with staggered working schedules and sudden or late shifts changes or absences.
Every worker has access to the app, allowing shift managers to post, change, monitor and assign workers to shifts more easily, and workers can even mark themselves as available, unavailable straight from the app.
And, following on from this point...
10. Explore Microsoft Cloud, and look beyond just Teams and Office!
Most people now appreciate what an amazing cloud-working platform Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is for busnesses, but many have simply transferred their existing way of working into the cloud, without considering the other ways in which they can fully utilise the tools available to work more efficiently.
Could you automate more tasks to reduce touch points? Could you be putting more processes online to prevent physical paperwork (like using Microsoft Bookings as seen in the video above)?
Microsoft's Cloud is so huge we can't really go through all the ways it can help in this summary blog, but if you'd like to chat through how it might help, please get in touch.
11. Regrade your Ethernet circuit.
All this online working might mean you need to increase your broadband speeds, but without necessarily committing on resources right now.
It's always worth discussing this with your provider, as, for instance, we're offering "regrades" (changes in your service profile) to increase or decrease bandwidth without charge until 30th June to suit new requirements.
For camera or access control solutions, contact Paul, our Security Expert. For virtual office, communication and Microsoft Cloud solutions, contact Danny, our Technical Director: