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After doing work from home, employees are getting ready to get back to the office. Companies are expecting their workforce at the site. However, the threat of the COVID-19 is not over yet. It’s necessary to ensure the safety of the professionals at the workplace without compromising work productivity. The smart building plays a vital role in such scenarios as it allows the professionals to deal with the aftermath efficiently. With the implementation of IoT technologies, users can develop smart facilities. The Fortune Business Insights report states that its market is estimated to expand from $67.60 billion in 2021 to $265.37 billion in 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 21.6%. Now, that’s a pretty impressive figure that emphasizes the vitality of IoT technology.

The challenges created by COVID-19

No matter how much companies modernize their operations, they still need to address the challenges created by COVID-19. The idea of a traditional office layout is just not a viable option now. If they want to bring back the professionals with confidence, they need to employ the latest technology that provides the best solution to these problems.

If companies don’t implement the right solution timely, bringing back the employees to the office will turn out to be their worst decision. They need to be specific about maintaining the physical distancing and hygiene, improving ventilation, reducing touchpoints, and other mandatory guidelines. Collecting employee feedback about their safety is also vital. What can be better than IoT solutions to ensure these objectives?! It gives rise to smart building that drives safety and efficiency in the workplace. Around 36% of companies have shifted towards the implementation of IoT technologies.

Research Director, Quocirca, Louella Fernandes, and the report author have mentioned that the investments in IoT technology have soared in the last year, where 76% of organizations made a significant investment from 2020. In fact, 40% of the companies agreed that improved environmental performance acted as a key driver due to COVID-19.

How does a smart building act as a key to a safe return to the workplace?

Smart IoT solutions change the way we operate, work, and interact. It offers opportunities to maximize energy efficiency and enable buildings to work harmoniously with the surrounding environment, leading to a safe, healthy return to workplaces. The COVID-19 situation has added to the necessity of a smart facility. After all, it improves occupants’ comfort, handles health and safety aspects, ensures efficient energy management, and maintains flexibility in structures.

Maintaining building controls is essential in commercial spaces. Keeping the increasing priority for public health, autonomy, and adaptability in workplaces in consideration, the demand for smart building technology will rise in the future. Here’s understand of how it ensures employee safety in the workplace:

1. Better Air quality control

The risk of the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus is more if the air conditioners are not properly maintained. IoT sensors in smart facilities track and monitor the air quality in the environment. Managers can always make sure that the safety and health of the employees are not compromised.

2. Better temperature/humidity control

Keeping the humidity level between 40%-60% can reduce the transmission of viruses by up to 70%, leading to better workplace productivity. The smart building always makes sure that the humidity level in the workplace is optimized. With the help of built-in IoT sensors, employers can understand the make-up of buildings. Based on the collected information, they can optimize the facility operations with better temperature/humidity control.

3. Optimum cooling by building HVAC systems

Optimized heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can smartly handle the building’s air filtration and purification to circulate air more safely. Therefore, the intelligent controls of HVAC systems are vital. They account for approximately 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Smart technologies can improve HVAC systems, making them more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. IoT technologies enable HVAC automation systems that switch off lights and reduce heating when space is unoccupied.

4. Predictive Maintenance

The companies also need to make sure that equipment is running smoothly at all times. It is the point where predictive maintenance comes into use. It detects all the underlying issues present in the machinery and allows the management to take timely action. Employees cannot wait for the equipment to run smoothly. Smart facilities in the workplace take care of this aspect.

5. Touchless access

The COVID-19 virus spreads by coming in contact with anyone. The risk is even more than employees are working in the office. Maintaining social distancing becomes mandatory in these times. Smart building is an ideal solution when workers return to work. Embedded with advanced IoT sensors, it tracks workers around the office and traces who is at risk. It also measures workplace occupancy and ensures that workers are not exceeding the recommended maximum limit in the office.

With the sensor-based door, elevator controls, and touchless switches, smart offices can offer a zero-touch environment. Workers don’t have to stress about their health and safety.

6. Safer and smarter

Buildings that provide instant and real-time data are able to make instant changes when required. This facet is highly crucial in a situation like COVID-19. It’s the reason why these buildings are called “smart.” Whether the motive is to ensure the health and safety of employees or enable energy efficiency, a smart building can do it all!

Deploy smart building and welcome back your employees with confidence

Companies are embracing the power of IoT solutions and the benefits they offer. A smarter workplace is the need of today. It is possible with IoT applications as they make buildings safer, attractive places for employees to return to, contribute to sustainability initiatives, and help in creating smart cities. Want to make your office “smart”? Connect with Zenatix, one of the leading names in the IoT industry. We realize this vision of yours with our solutions.

Keep up with the latest IoT-based building automation, and follow us on LinkedIn!

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