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Can big data fill the employee lockdown fear void?

Mark Milligan, SVP of Marketing

As Americans return to the workplace, many employees are worried about potential COVID-19 exposure – in fact, according to a recent study, more than 54% of US employees reported feeling this way. Building IoT technology is a key solution to ease employees fears and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

The Enlighted, a Siemens company, IoT platform combines industry-leading smart sensor technology with applications and data analytics. This enables organizations to make data-driven safer workplace plans and respond if an individual tests positive for COVID-19. The system provides data and visualizations of the density and movement of people, monitoring workplace cleaning and disinfection, real-time-overcapacity alerts for crowded spaces, digital contact tracing and more. Here’s how the technology can ease employees’ anxiety.

I’m worried about exposure in common areas such as hallways, conference rooms and kitchens.
Enlighted’s IoT technology provides heat maps and motion trails to show traffic patterns in densely populated areas in the office, common traffic patterns and bottlenecks – and even pinpoint what time these typically occur. Using this data, employers can easily reroute traffic, move desks and mark pathways to help reduce the number of people coming in contact with one another. 

I’m worried our workplace will not be properly sanitized.
Employers can use IoT data to see where the most people have been throughout the day and ensure (and even validate) that cleaning crews concentrate in these areas.

I’m worried about putting myself and my co-workers at risk.
More advanced IoT systems like Enlighted’s have the ability to monitor assets through a real-time location service (RTLS), which provides the ability for employers to monitor who came in contact with whom. While providing anonymity and privacy options, employees wear badges and the IoT-based RTLS system locates where within the workplace a positive individual has been, what other badges they have interacted with and for how long. Thus, avoiding the need to quarantine entire buildings of people, while ensuring potentially contagious employees stay home. This information also helps focus deep sanitization efforts.

My co-workers and I have concerns about privacy.
With Enlighted’s IoT-based RTLS system, associating individual names with contact tracing tags is not required. Nor is a data-collection app on an employee’s mobile phone. The system and process can be configured to send notifications using only depersonalized tag IDs. Additionally, all density and bottleneck pathway data is collected anonymously using motion data collected by the sensors.

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