Finding Safety in Data
Like it or not, the “new normal” is here – one version of it anyway. Personal protective equipment, social distancing, and regular cleaning are all part of our daily lives. For many, so is worrying about the safety of their loved ones, friends, and communities – especially as school starts nationwide. How can schools and businesses meet the personal safety needs of their people and still move forward with a new version of normal? We posit that safety and reassurance can be found in technological aids and the data they store.
It’s that time of year again – waking everyone up, fixing breakfast, and rushing your kids out the door to catch the bus…or maybe to the kitchen table to log in to their video lesson for virtual or hybrid schooling. In a recent poll, ParentsTogether asked 1,200 parents their opinion on re-opening schools this fall. 59% said schools should remain closed until there is no health risk, even if that means pushing the students behind in learning. This high number reinforces what we already know; parents want to feel confident that their children are safe. These days that means they need confidence that their schools are taking proactive measures to protect their children’s health.
Re-opening for the students can be intimidating for staff as well as parents. School administrators are referencing the CDC on how they can protect the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of their students, teachers, and volunteers as they prepare for classes to resume. To accomplish this daunting task, several schools are looking for ways to track laptops, tablets, and other frequently-used devices to ensure that students are keeping their peers safe.
Real-time location systems (RTLS) could be the answer for tracking these devices and even people, to rely on hard tracking and tracing data rather than a much more fallible technology, human memory. Put yourself in an office or school. It’s a Friday morning; the weekend is almost here. You sit down at your desk. After a few hours, you realize that two of your friends haven’t arrived at theirs yet. Your mind starts picking up speed as the questions spin: “Was I around them this week? Did we spend too long in the same area? Did I clean my phone and keyboard enough? What did they touch – did I touch the same things? Could I be asymptomatic? Could I have brought this home to my family? Do we all need to quarantine?”
How much better would you feel if your company had access to extensive data records? Records that could track who was in contact with a particular person for more than five minutes, within 6 ft.? Technology that could alert someone if their temperature has gotten too high to be around co-workers, students, and staff safely?
Peace of Mind
Technology could be the answer to finding comfort amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic. As AB&R’s partner, Quuppa pointed out in a recent blog, “Real-time location is the next step along this path [toward peace of mind]. Put simply, RTLS is to indoors tomorrow what GPS is to the outdoors today. Cost-effective Bluetooth based real-time location opens up a lot of potential for keeping our kids safe and secure. The possibilities extend not only to our everyday lives at home but also to the many activities that we do outside our homes.”
Business owners are alongside the parents and school leaders, bearing the responsibility for protecting the health of others. They’re actively finding ways that they can re-open their operations. This means that many parents are sending their children to school as they return to working outside of the home. That doesn’t mean, however, that people are confident and fully supportive of this decision. In a recent study of 2000 people, performed by Qualtrics, 66% were not comfortable with returning to work. That’s two out of three people!
To inspire confidence among the workforce and make workplaces safer, companies have started to invest in technology supporting their return to work. Solutions range from touchless employee temperature screening to UV-C Light sanitizing solutions and even into Operational Intelligence or MotionWorks Proximity solutions to help enforce cleaning schedules, proper distancing, proximity monitoring, contact tracing, and more. All of these technologies help stop the spread, especially when combined with social distancing, sanitizing surfaces, and following other company safety regulations. Three of these four systems securely store data that could be accessed by HR to complete contact tracing or monitor when and if symptoms presented. When people can refer back to data rather than memory alone, it builds credibility and fosters a more positive environment – especially when so much else is uncertain.
What steps are you taking to ensure the safety of your students or workers? How are you encouraging others to follow the guidelines in place? The solutions are out there. And if you need help identifying the right one(s) for your business, we’re here to support you.
Accepting today’s world as the new normal can be exhausting. But given the circumstances, we need to find ways to make the current situation work for us. While we will find our way through it, this pandemic is not going away any time soon. New ways of utilizing existing technologies are allowing companies to continue to operate while keeping their workers safe. Investing in solutions that increase safety and boost efficiency today will translate into accelerated growth when we get to the other side.
Our top priority is making sure our customers feel safe and that they are receiving the best service. We believe that this technology will help better you and those you interact with. We believe it so strongly that we’ve invested in a solution with the technologies listed above that make sense for our team. With the help of these technologies and a common goal, we can create a safer world, so that you can get back to doing what you do best.
When you need us, we will be here to help.
WE’RE HERE FOR YOU.