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Reopening India: Biggest concern at workplaces now will be investing in tech solutions for COVID-19-safety: Survey

Organisations are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

June 04, 2020 / 12:57 PM IST

As lockdown opens and workplace resumes function, corporate organisations are feeling the need to deploy tech tools to monitor workplaces.

Health and safety of employees has become paramount across all organisations. While both the good and the bad sides of ‘work-from-home’ have become visible, not many organisations appear to be in a hurry to get their employees back at work in large numbers.

Large majority of seats within workplaces are likely to remain unoccupied for several months to come. In such a scenario, the need to monitor hygiene, air quality and overall performance of workplaces in real time become critical.

This is possible with QR-code and sensor-based technology. Given the cost pressures, coupled with the ‘newness’ of these tech tools, organisations are being cautious before investing on them.

In a study conducted by workplace strategy consultant iDream, with around 150 medium-to-large India-based corporate organisations, it was found that the fear of success is a secondary concern, after cost.

London-based Raj Krishnamurthy, CEO, Freespace said “Besides the ability to monitor hygiene and social distancing in real time, employees can also get desks assigned to them when they decide to go to the workplace, thereby optimising the workplace usage while maintaining health & safety norms.”

Nearly every business has been financially hit and the challenge is to cut the losses. This requires organisations to ensure that employees remain productive and do not fall sick. Organisations are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

The cost of sensor and QR code-based tools that ensure this, is miniscule compared to the opportunity loss of the need to quarantine an entire team due to one employee falling sick.

Cleaning costs are likely to be higher if smart cleaning is not done; which is possible by way of inexpensive QR codes across the office. Many of these tools are now available on a monthly subscription model.

“Real estate is expensive. A sensible way organisations can offset the opportunity loss due to unproductive real estate for the next several months is to optimise its use, by the use of technology,” Krishnamurthy said.

The study, supported by the Indian arm of the International Facility Managers Association, also showed that when it came to using new technology, the top need that respondents wanted to be tackled most is analytics related to workplace and employees.

The study also included conversations with 40 corporate leaders. Opinions about the future of the workplace swayed between extremes like ‘The office as we know it, is dead’ to ‘Nothing will change in India’.

But nearly all agreed that management is firm about not making any immediate changes with their workplace layout or their real estate portfolio in India.

Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 4, 2020 12:57 pm