Adapting to the pandemic is taking many forms. One is the under-utilization of existing office spaces and this triggers a need for smart, wellness-equipped office spaces in the future, according to Gartner, Inc.
“Due to COVID-19 many offices remain unoccupied or underutilized as employees choose to work remotely,” said Gavin Tay, research vice president at Gartner. “However as more people return to offices, those that have been turned into smart, wellness-equipped spaces make employees feel safer.”
The research firm predicts that by 2022, 60% of hybrid workers will prioritize a wellness-equipped smart office over a remote office.
How can employers create these types of offices?
Gartner suggests using technology such as integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) solutions.
IWMS and resource scheduling applications (RSAs) that use artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), including motion sensors and beacons, can remind employees to adhere to social distancing rules based on their whereabouts.
With help in contact tracing, companies can use virtual personal assistants (VPAs) as wellness coaches.
Organizations should not only augment existing hygiene policies with thermal imaging systems but also invest in systems that monitor air quality in real-time and keep employees informed, the report says.
Additionally, features that provide the ability to continuously disinfect, improving air quality by reducing airborne and surface contaminants like viruses, bacteria, germs, volatile organic compounds, smoke, and other allergens will be important. Ultimately, cleaner air allows for improved recycling of air, which will contribute to energy-saving benefits as well as make the workplace healthier.
Note: Gartner offers a variety of strategies to help companies reset due to COVID-19.