As the lockdown continues, business owners and managers are busy planning how to prepare the workplace for the post-COVID-19 world. Many of us are working from home right now and are likely to continue doing that. Those who return to offices can expect to see more rigorous cleaning and disinfection routines, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, minimal use of shared surfaces and equipment, and increased use of face-recognition based touchless office access control technologies.
Goodbye Pin Pads and Key Cards
You got that right. The key card or pin pad that many of us used to access the office before the pandemic seems to have no room in the post-COVID-19 workplace. Being touch intensive, these legacy access control systems provide excellent sanctuaries for germs to hide and spread.
The coronavirus can lodge onto a card or pin pad when an infected person uses his or her hand to cover the mouth or nose while sneezing or coughing, then touches the key card or pin pad. The virus can remain viable on these surfaces for several hours and can spread to other people who touch that surface and then touch their nose or mouth.
The post-COVID-19 office access control technology has to be designed to prevent the spread of viruses and infections.
Touchless Office Access
Face recognition and mobile-based workplace access systems eliminate the need of shared surfaces and provide a safe and assured office access experience. But is touchless entry all that you could desire from post-COVID-19 access control technology? Not really.
Right now, companies are working on access control systems that help actively fight COVID-19 outbreaks.
With the latest generation of cloud-based face recognition access control systems, the HR can work with Security to restrict access to employees who have been traveling to high-risk areas or have been on sick leave with COVID-19 symptoms. The access can be instantly granted or restricted from anywhere using mobile apps.
Face recognition access control technology can be programmed to identify individuals that passed through a door in a short period of time after an infected person. Swiftlane, a pioneer in touchless office entry systems, is developing a new face recognition algorithm that can be trained to identify employees who may be infected. The technology can be further developed to accommodate thermal scanners and trigger an alert when someone running a fever enters the workplace.
That’s not all. The company’s post-COVID-19 office access control technology can be used as video intercom to obviate face-to-face interaction between the visitor and the front desk employee. The system can also be used for video surveillance.
Office entry video and photo records are stored in the cloud and can be readily accessed to track the close contacts of an infected employee. In the post-COVID-19 workplace, you’ll need to store these records for a minimum of 14 days.
The Way Forward
Change is the only constant in this world. Sometimes the change is gradual and predictable, like the shift from desktop to mobile or from on-premises servers to cloud computing. At other times the change is so abrupt and unexpected it disrupts the way we live and work—like 9/11 and COVID-19. Whatever the type or speed of change, we have no option but to adjust if we want to survive and thrive. Implementing touchless door unlock could be your first step in the right direction.