22Miles & Intel® Provide a Guide for Returning to the Workplace – Tools Included.

From the early days of the pandemic, 22Miles’ team sat down to figure out how this new normal would come along. By observing the new trends, from local to national lock-down, as well as tracking the development of the new cases and their progress, to documenting CDC and WHO recommendations. One thing was evident, the return to the office is imminent, and regardless of the when and how, it is the extent of the workspace metamorphosis in a post-coronavirus world that’s crucial, proposing new floor plans, and adding all the necessary tools to maintain a hospitable, safe and work-friendly environment. Protection-as-a-ServiceTM solutions suite was born.

So, what’s changing?
And what are the considerations that organizations need to address, in order to adapt to this fluid situation? and what would the possible measures be for bringing teams together for business continuity sake? Getting back to the drawing board, we plot the new floor plan and equip it with all the necessary tools to make that successful transition.

One thing is certain, a makeover of the office is necessary, and change is inevitable. 22Miles Protection-as-a-ServiceTM solutions are out there today to make the transformation possible, in an agile workplace environment, and with the strong will and skill of all teams and partners involved.

Video 1. Intel® NUC and 22Miles, equipping the office in the new normal.

Walking the office journey
Enterprises are going the extra mile in providing additional features ranging from access control, interactive wayfinding, virtual assistance, and physical temperature checks with thermal scanning, these automated kiosks are proving to add value in access and flow control, maintaining a safe work environment and a safe route for visitors to their destinations, a fast-track to get back to the physical office.

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Figure 1. Intel®-powered TempDefendTM thermo-sensing technology interface with feedback.

Let’s take a look at the new floor-plan
Starting at the entrance of the building or office, all the necessary signs are up to maintain proper hand-washing hygiene, respect the 6-foot distance and the preference to wear some sort of a face covering, with an update on the working hours and other relevant CDC, WHO, Federal or local notices and information. Due to the dynamic nature of such content, the majority of businesses are opting for digital boards or kiosks, as they do not require physical contact, and they provide an abundance of features, from touchless voice control to emergency alerts, updated news and bulletins and other, all managed remotely.

Office access
Enhancing access control will be relevant too. Now employees using their RFID access badges, will get access to their allocated agile workspace or booked desks as per their scheduled phased return. All required integrations are provided by 22MILES to ensure the delivery of customized data, based on active directory and Single-Sign-On (SSO).

Meetings new-normal
To book a meeting, employees can scan their badges outside the room and this will trigger the addition of all meeting attendees information to the meeting, if external guests are expected, once identified at the entrance kiosk, display or virtual receptionist, they’ll be delivered their own 3D wayfinding route to their destination as per the dynamic floor plan in effect. If no formalized visitor protocols or badge requirements exist, consider controlling access to the office via signage

Voice Control brings efficiency, hygiene, & safety
All displays in the visual communications solution will be promoting a fully interactive, touch-free user experience through 22MILES’ Voice Activation/Recognition and Control running on Intel® NUCs.
Any existing 22MILES interactive project can be easily upgraded to basic voice control with minimal effort. The Voice Command Center analyzes existing projects and automatically generates control commands, which can be easily tweaked by the content editor.

Video 2. Intel®-powered kiosk running the Voice Control and Secure Mobile Solutions.

One of the detectable symptoms of COVID-19 being high fever, temperature detection protocols were quick to become the initial non-invasive diagnostic step in triaging positive cases. A component of 22Miles’ suite of Protection-as-a-ServiceTM solutions, TempDefendTM thermo-sensing technology leverages a combination of camera technology, facial and body temperature detection software, integrated sensors, and dynamic machine learning algorithms to aid in the detection and prevention of viral spread.

Video 3. Intel®-powered kiosk running the TempDefendTM thermo-sensing technology Solution.

Continuing down that one-way journey, and ensuring we’re surrounded by that 6-foot imaginary bubble, we’ve probably reached the reception area, that might be equipped with additional visual communication tools, directing staff and visitors alike to their work or meeting areas.

Enters the new workplace, be it huddle rooms, open offices or hot-desks, you can start noticing the 6-foot distance markings around the actual seats and tables, one-way directional signs and other relevant information; obviously here, hot-desking provides an additional advantage by blocking some ‘red-desks’ and allowing the use of ‘green-desks’ to dynamically distribute the space per usage for that particular shift or office capacity. As a new practice, staff are placed on staggered or rotating shifts so those offices aren’t filled to capacity and to maintain professional distancing.

Secure Mobile Control
As a component of Protection-as-a-ServiceTM suite of solutions, 22MILES is offering a new option to support screen interaction. The Secure Mobile Control will allow control of any kiosk with a QR code scan (network required) and from a mobile web browser, with no application to download or install for the user.
From the administrator’s end, what is required is to download the Secure Mobile Desktop or plugin the Secure Mobile Remote dongle, in order to convert any screen on any OS device into a contact-free interactive display.

Video 4. Intel®-powered kiosk running the touchless Secure Mobile Control.

Communication is key
One thing is clear during this pandemic, and with all remote perks present, employers are going above and beyond by overcommunicating. Be it daily virtual stand-ups, weekly or biweekly all-company meetings, even a ‘Family fun Friday’ or a ‘Pet parade’, immense efforts are being put in place to maintain a healthy, supportive, fun, and accountable work environment.

Digital Notifications Suite (DNS)
Here too, 22MILES is empowering organizations with a FREE desktop and web URL Digital Notification Suite that can keep the remote and shelter-in-place teams aware of all company announcements, news, and other live information in real-time. As a part of our COVID-19 customer commitment, 22Miles is offering this solution FREE THROUGH JULY to any industry organization that has 100 or more employees working from home.infographic, enterprise, digital signage

Figure 2. Admin diagram detailing the users’ roles with Intel®-powered PCs running the Digital Notification Suite Solution.

Beyond the New Normal

The current uncertainty has made a stark change in how organizations will rethink and what the employee desires in the workplace design overhauls and office alterations should put the most recent technology innovations and safety at the heart of the workspace conversion.

Once again, 22MILES and Intel®, two established award-winning leaders in computer technology and wayfinding, come together to make the return to the workplace a frictionless and a safer experience, equipped with all the necessary tools. The hope is that working together we’re stronger, and our efforts will reduce further virus transmissions, and provide a healthy, collaborative and conducive work environment, be it at home or the office.

Moving forward, returning to the office will turn out to be significantly more about meeting spaces instead of socializing spots. Uniting workers and keeping up efficiency will be key for companies, with video conferencing at the core of the collaboration in the agile office of the new-normal.

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