New Design for the Post-Pandemic Healthy Smart Office Building

By April Bertram
Senior Business Development Director, GOJO Industries

During this pandemic, office buildings sit empty of workers, but work is still going on inside – building owners have been busy frantically updating interiors preparing for the eventual return of workers, updating elevators to make them touch-free, taking a critical look at office air flow, evaluating building cleaning procedures, and employee hand hygiene protocols. The pandemic has made people rethink previous norms of what an average workday looks like.

The urgency of smart building technology adoption will be intensified as building management prepares to bring employees safely back to work. This adoption will allow building owners and managers to make informed decisions, share information, and guide people using the space.

Prior to the pandemic, smart technology was focused on employee experience and use of the space. Now, a new form of employee safety is emerging called Security of Health. We will see a demand for smart technology that can contribute to the safety and health of employees returning to the office – fueling faster activation of smart restroom and hand hygiene technology.

Occupancy analytics will provide tremendous insights on space capacity, cleaning protocols, identifying and making decisions against unused space, and informing how to safely introduce additional employees.

In the new normal, government mandates and changed behaviors towards hand hygiene and health will alter the way businesses use and interact with their buildings and spaces. Commercial Real Estate can protect and increase asset value by investing in solutions supporting employee health and safety. This will include a combination of smart restroom and building technology, for informed decision-making of building use and cleaning protocols, along with a portfolio of hand hygiene and surface products that support the right placement of product that will encourage increased handwashing, as well as hand and surface sanitizing.

Employee health and safety starts in the restroom

Restroom management has never been more important than during this pandemic – data from the Onvation™ Smart Restroom Management System has shown that restroom visitors are spending more time washing their hands and using products at an unpredictable rate.1 Onvation™ can help strengthen hygiene protocols by making sure your restroom and building PURELL® hand sanitizer dispensers are in working order, at a time when people are counting on them the most.

This system was announced by GOJO and Kimberly-Clark Professional in 2018 and today is more relevant than ever, offering two world class brands – SCOTT® Towel and Bath Tissue, and PURELL® Hand Soap and Hand Sanitizers – in a system that uses smart-sensing technology to monitor and analyze restroom conditions in real-time, empowering maintenance teams to increase tenant satisfaction, reduce work orders, and have more control over building management. They can spend less time in the restroom and more time on new cleaning protocols outside the restroom, to help tenants and employees feel safe when returning to work.

By ensuring the right products are in the right places, and are always available for critical hygiene moments, you can help employees feel safe, healthy, and valued in their workplace. No one wants to provide the perception of an unsafe space. And if this happens, it could impact your building asset value.

Learn more about the Onvation™ Smart Restroom Management System.

1. Data based on sample of 9 facilities across USA between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2020.

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