Finding ways to make user experiences more intuitive and seamless have always been hallmarks of both technology and good design principles. Two such examples found ubiquitously throughout most work environments include Google's "Ok, Google" feature, along with Microsoft's Cortana voice-activated virtual assistant. Both of these often-used features allow staff members to experience the convenience of using their voice instead of their hands for information gathering and other tasks.
With the advent of the world-wide pandemic and the dramatic changes it brought to the workplace, it's no surprise that employers are looking for even more ways to bring touchless interaction to the forefront of the office environment. This burgeoning technology will likely become an essential component in bringing the workplace back from a forced remote work environment to a state of normalcy.
Benefits of a Touchless Work Environment
It's been said many times that necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of the pandemic, early on it became very clear that companies needed to find a way to remain viable, while also keeping their employees safe. While a temporary solution was found by sending employees home to work remotely, the current state of a physically dispersed workforce is not the optimal solution for many organizations.
It is also apparent that companies will need access to effective solutions for the time when they are finally allowed to restore their office environment. Touchless workspaces are likely to become a crucial aspect of restoring a normal office environment for the following reasons:
- Improved levels of employee health and safety.
- Energy savings.
- Increased productivity and profits.
- Eventually, a reduction in costs.
- Aesthetic appeal.
The pandemic has made businesses aware of how important it is to provide a healthy and safe work environment. Not only can touchless workspaces help reduce the spread of illness, they can also help employees reduce wear and tear injuries such as carpal tunnel and "tech neck" that occur as a result from the overuse of technology devices. Automating aspects of building maintenance such as temperature control, window blind use, light switches, etc. allows organizations to maximize their energy savings while becoming more intuitive to the needs of staff members and their clients.
Providing a healthy work environment means that companies should experience lower levels of employee downtime due to illness. This in turns leads to greater productivity and likely increased profits. While there will be an initial investment to implement touchless workspaces, over time, costs should be absorbed as companies experience fewer health-related issues/costs, along with potential fines associated with an unsafe work environment.
Last but not least, tomorrow's office environment will be more aesthetically appealing than the office spaces of the past. As more intelligence is built into the devices that employees use during the workday, the fewer distracting cables, buttons, switches, screens, and remote control units employees will have to navigate.
The Future is Available Today
The trend toward touchless workspaces was already emerging even before the pandemic occurred. The rise of COVID-19 only heightened the inevitable march toward more intelligent, automated, and voice-activated devices. The following "futuristic" scenario is actually available today.
Imagine a scenario where an employee books a conference room with their own BYOD. Upon entering the room, a sensor automatically detects their attendance and turns on the lights. A voice-activated device is available to turn on a TV screen, or start a video conference with others throughout the globe. Once the meeting ends and the attendees leave the room, everything in use shuts off automatically after a few minutes of sensing zero motion within the room.
Tomorrow's touchless workspace environment is available today. If you would like to know more about how to create a safe and healthy work environment by incorporating new smart and touchless technologies, please contact us today for a consultation.