Countries across the world have begun easing the lockdown despite a steady rise in the number of the coronavirus cases. India is following suit to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus induced lockdown which has crippled business activity and left millions jobless. Organizations looking to restart their operations are facing the dual challenge to get their businesses back on track while making employees feel safe coming back to work. There is no guidebook that can be used for reference to manage businesses and teams through this unprecedented challenge.
In this context, the new MHA guidelines permitting the opening up of offices is a welcome step providing the much-needed direction and push to concerted efforts of organizations, implementing employee safety measures at workplace, to check the spread coronavirus. These guidelines are to act as confidence building measures for people and encourage them to actively contribute to business.
21st century development, need of the hour
The history of the built environment can give us lots of insight into the history of public health. In this new age when terms such as “social distancing” is part of the vernacular, the need of the hour is to have a built environment which is at the forefront of reinforcing public health, in a similar fashion to the way construction standards and other measures are recognised as important to mitigating climate change.
Organizations looking to future-proof their business must embrace 21st Century Development paradigm for their new and existing office premises. Strategically located, intelligently designed, and equipped with technology-driven facilities, 21st century real estate development projects are conceived to observe the highest standards of health and safety, and designed ahead of time to meet and often exceed all social distancing guidelines to provide safe and comfortable working environment to employees.
Complemented with meticulous landscaping to create less density such developments naturally bring in the concept of social distancing, which is the need of the hour. Such buildings are designed as per latest international guidelines that enables them to maintain an optimum temperature between 24-30 degrees and ensure supply of conditioned fresh air for maximum health.
Virtual Solutions for new recruitments:
Due to MHA Norms- social distancing, recruiters are not able to fill-in positions as candidates cannot appear for face-to-face rounds.
Against this backdrop, employers are progressively turning towards leading-edge virtual hiring solutions to minimize the loss of potential candidates. Such plans tap into the power of the online ecosystem to wipe out locational limitations and enabling organizations to flawlessly conduct talent recruitment.
Use of technology for employee safety by modern day organizations
Office complexes are powerful economic engine of modern times with benefits that last over its lifetime. In economic hubs, office buildings form a vital and essential part of their entire being and are increasingly playing an important role as economic accelerators. Organizations across sectors with active support of real estate developers are learning and implementing new technologies and processes to make workplace safer. They are working on detailed plans / roadmap in line with the new MHA guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted to a great extent to send the real estate sector back to the drawing board. But on the other hand, it has also offered new avenues to explore innovations to fast-track incorporation of new technologies – be it construction technologies, office automation or AI. It has helped to incorporate altered norms of social distancing, mobility, density, and health considerations.
The following are the technology assets that has supported the industry to get back to a new normal and pick up pace with tailwind:
- Adopt the use of virtual meetings, create meeting rooms equipped with cloud-based technologies
- Contactless visitor management system through access cards or QR based mobile technology or online checklists management system
- Use of Face recognition parking entry at office premises
- Installation of sensor-based touch free soap dispensers, hand dryers, water taps at the washrooms which universally used common areas
- Installation of TFA (Treated Fresh Air Units), MERV 13 filters and ESP filters at office building complexes to amplify the air quality and ensure conditioned fresh air for a dust and virus free environment at workplace
The COVID-19 situation is severe and complex. Organizations must go all out to keep their employees safe through measures that are in line with MHA guidelines for a sustained economic recovery. Real estate developers are doing commendable work in helping organizations operationalise their business continuity processes. The sector is up to the task to meet the need for 21st century development and is constantly innovating while providing a safe and pleasant experience to partners.