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How Unifi can help enable a safe return to office work.

Many organisations and employees are asking “how soon will we return to the office? Will it be my choice of when to go back to the office? And will it be safe?”

Return safely to the office.

Transitioning back to the office is a concern for many businesses and their employees. Recommendations about masks, strict cleaning schedules, capacity limits, and social distancing measures need to be considered to ensure that the journey back into the office is a safe one.

When the pandemic started, Unifi helped many of our customers use technology to successfully adopt a full remote work culture. Some made do with using Microsoft Teams, as part of their Office 365 subscription, whilst others have embraced a true remote working culture by deploying Cisco Webex for calling, meetings and messaging.


Better, safer ways, to work .

As the CEO of one business put it, “With this technology, we have found better ways to work together, better ways to serve our clients, and a better path forward for all our colleagues.” This customer went from only 10% of their workforce working remote to 98% working remotely. They were able to keep their business running seamless through their usage of Webex.

As businesses realise that they can successful work remotely, the challenge now is how to enable a hybrid working environment to allow employees to work from home and safely in the office. Most customers are planning for a hybrid approach of both full and part-time remote employees, more now than they did before.

The number 1 priority is the safety and well-being of employees. What policies need to be instituted?  What precautions need to be taken?  What social distancing measurements, open office guidelines, office cleaning methods, desk sharing programs needs to be rethought to protect those that come into the office?

As part of these safety methods, some are looking into taking temperatures and ensuring mask wearing be enforced.  Some companies have already built temporary tents outside the office to track the temperature of incoming employees. 

Still, other companies are taking more precautions by using smart tech and AI to enable better safety measures.  A recent Teecom article stated:

“…we won’t immediately find ourselves in a post-COVID-19 world, and we’ll need to use occupancy data to inform real-time decision making. In the same way many grocery retailers have begun limiting the number of shoppers in their stores, workplace density will likely be reduced, and facility managers can use their occupancy measurement systems to automatically notify employees when a given space has reached its safe capacity. Digital signage, messaging systems, and digital workplace experience apps can all be used to inform occupants in any kind of facility about which spaces are available, which ones are nearing a safe capacity limit, and which ones are no longer accessible.”

Technology to help enable a safe return to work.

Using technology inherent in the Cisco Webex platform, Unifi are helping customers create a clear “safe return to the office” strategy through digital signage and simple space management. Meeting rooms with Cisco video devices, from small privacy rooms, to huddle spaces, to larger meeting rooms, to boardrooms can help provide a safe collaboration environment.

Here are some use cases for making any space an intelligent workspace to promote safety:

Reception and check-in experiences.

In reception, critical and engaging content can be delivered to your displays. Everything from safety messages and videos informs office goers about building occupancy and what to expect throughout the space.

Office guests can use the Cisco Desk Pro to check-in, and the Appspace visitor registration workflow takes pictures, provides NDA documents to sign, and notifies the individual expecting the guest that they have arrived. It can even connect with a badge printer and print an access badge or sticker for the guest. As we return to work, visitor management is a feature that many will need to adopt to control traffic flow in and out of their office spaces.

Meeting room experiences.

Check-in deskpro

With AI voice enabled technology and proximity pairing, you can seamless pair your mobile or laptop device with the in-room technology WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO TOUCH IT! A dramatic reduction to the spread of germs. No touching cables or buttons on a screen. Just start your meeting or call with your voice.

Room capacity limitations on room screens.

AI-powered application to detect meeting room participants to better enforce room capacity limits due to social distancing requirements, without requiring any additional equipment or licenses. In the past, Webex Room devices would use a sensor to only count people that were looking directly at the camera, but now those sensors will also detect people regardless of which way they are facing. Not only will the in-room screen show the current capacity limits, it can notify you when too many people have entered the room.

safe meeting rooms

Enterprise messaging integration and workplace displays.

Each employer will want to remind employee of specific guidelines as they move within the office throughout the day. In addition to room screens notifying of space capacity, those screens connected to the video device display company-wide communication to promote new health guidelines. Messages can be shown like, “don’t forget to wear your mask,” or “wipe your sitting area before you leave.” These reminders can go a long way to ensure safety.

Cleaning check for all spaces.

Not only can the in-room system show reminders of cleaning the room, but how nice would it be to know how many people have used the room since last cleaning? Or to notify the cleaning service that a room has been used frequently that day and needs extra cleaning? The room system could count the amount of calls it has been in, and after a certain amount of calls or meetings, it can inform a cleaning service for room disinfection.

Ability to track space usage and compliance.

Imagine how valuable it would be for IT, corporate real estate, and HR teams to understand room usage, and compliance. These sensors in the room video conferencing or phone systems will inform these groups with real-time insight into of this type of information. How many rooms had too many participants, how often have they been cleaned, how many started with voice assistants, and more. This information can help IT get an inside looks of how every space is being used and how they can implement new guidelines for better safety.

These are just some use cases of how intelligent workspaces can help provide a safe working environment. Unifi can help you use this technology to address concerns before you are willing to work in the office environment again. Please contact us today if any of the areas discussed here can be of help.

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