An insight into one company’s contribution towards the fight against Covid, by Syed Ahmed, CEO & Founder of SAVORTEX.
The Key to Bringing People Back to Work
As the economy grapples with easing lockdown restrictions, businesses continue to seek ways to safely encourage employees to return to work. The government’s latest guidance gives businesses the discretion to decide when to bring their staff back. Whilst a crucial step for the economy, there’s no denying that the threat of Covid-19 is still present. To date, 318,484 people have tested positive with Coronavirus in the UK, and these figures still on the increase. With warnings of a second spike in Autumn, and the associated possibility of a second lockdown there is no denying that this will have an impact on people’s inclination to go back to the office.
So, what can be done to ease this fear? Diligently washing hands and maintaining high levels of hand sanitisation has emerged as one of the most important measures to safeguard against the virus. A recent study of 2,000 UK adults by OnePoll, found that over one in ten people are still not washing or sanitising their hands, despite rigorous warnings from the government. This equates to one million people in London alone. This is clearly an integral issue that needs to be addressed as businesses encourage their employees to return to the workplace. As our ‘new normal’ starts to take shape, employers must find ways to promote and enforce adequate hand hygiene standards. One way to do so is by having a checks-and-balances system in place to monitor the proportion of staff who have sanitised their hands and the proportion of staff who have not. Indeed, hand sanitisers that can collect analytics to this effect have emerged as a promising tool that can help alleviate concerns employees may have, and also foster greater confidence amongst the workforce that’s now returning to the office.
80% of Infections are Spread Through Contact with Other People or Surfaces
As we know, viruses can continue to live on surfaces and spread to an individual who has touched a contaminated object. On the whole, about 80% of infections are spread through contact with other people or surfaces, which is particularly pertinent when discussing Covid-19.
The current hand sanitisers on the market are not designed adequately to protect against the spread of the virus in all instances with most requiring users to touch the device itself to dispense the liquid. For those concerned about cross contamination, this could result in people avoiding sanitising their hands, thereby defeating the objective. Without any monitoring capabilities there is no way to know how many people have sanitised, nor is it possible to know when the dispenser has run out of hand gel without a user raising a complaint to the business.
A Smart Solution
Creating a contactless solution using IoT (Internet of Things) solves the pressing health related concerns that many individuals have regarding the return to work. The incorporation of advanced sensors would allow data monitoring capabilities, which means that a business could track what percentage of the workforce is adhering to the safety regulations. Not only this, but it would provide building managers with the ability to prevent employees from entering the workplace unless they have sanitised their hands. For those apprehensive about returning to work due to hygiene concerns, this could be a complete game changer. It would relieve those concerns and instead instil confidence that the office is a safe place to return to. It is this peace of mind that will prove invaluable as the nation tries to get the office economy back on track.
The use of IoT also means that the sanitiser automatically dispenses the exact amount of liquid required without needing to touch the device itself. This technology could also be used to notify building managers when the gel has run out, ensuring that premises are always equipped with adequate health and safety measures. It is important to note that GDPR compliance is crucial with any IoT solutions. The smart hand sanitisers would exclusively use authorised information to track usage, without storing any data and only using it under the agreed parameters.
Whilst returning to work is an important step in reviving the economy, it is important not to underestimate the issues and fears associated with this change. As we shift gears and focus on safely returning to the office, it is now more important than ever to have the right solutions to instil confidence at all levels of an organisation. Ensuring the best hand sanitisation standards provides the level of safety needed to make the workplace the safest place to carry out activity, enabling that crucial step towards our ‘new normal’. So, this is how smart hand sanitisers are the key to bringing people back to work
 Coronavirus government data as of 16.08.20 - https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/  Marketing research company OnePoll, on behalf of Citron Hygiene - https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/print/20165-even-amid-pandemic-some-people-still-not-washing-their-hands-uk-survey-reveals  Tierno, P. (2001). The Secret Life of Germs: Atria Books: New York, NY