08 Apr Business are Getting Back to Business with these Pandemic-Era Updates
Coronavirus has truly changed the way we look at health and safety standards around the world. All of our lives have been impacted by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, with one of the most widely-occurring changes being those in the workplace. Coronavirus changes to workplace standards have had an impact on all businesses. Working from home became the new norm in 2020, but studies show that the number of Americans returning to the office to work is increasing. As people return to work, keeping employees health in mind is more important than ever before in ensuring workplace safety. Technologies have improved since the pandemic, and it is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to stay up-to-date in order to meet and exceed customer expectations. Below you will find 5 ways that workplaces are adapting to new standards to keep workers and customers safe. Touchless smart locks, contactless payment options, reservation services, artificial intelligence, and social media presence are all ways that your business can meet rising demands, stay up-to-date, and continue to not only survive but to thrive as restrictions are lifted and life continues post-pandemic.
Touchless Smart Locks
In the “new normal” that we have found ourselves in, people are apprehensive of touching surfaces that likely have not been properly sanitized. Storage lockers are one of the things that, among theme parks, resorts, spas, and other places, have not been able to be safely used. Ojmar is a company that is at the forefront of lock innovation that has developed a touchless smart lock for digital lockers that can be controlled from your cell phone through Bluetooth. This technology allows customers to forgo the use of keys, codes, and dials in opening their locks while still providing the security that they expect from storage lockers. This product also gives managers the ability to access and control the locks as needed from an app on their phones. In hospitals and other businesses with employee storage lockers, these touchless lockers would give staff a sense of security for both their possessions and their health. In public areas that provide storage lockers to customers, there is no safer or easier way to ensure the health of patrons and drastically reduce the risk of spreading germs and viruses on a previously high-touch surface.
Contactless Payment Options
Apple Pay, Square, Tap-to-Pay, PayPal, and more are available at many businesses today. These services provide a way for customers to pay at almost any retailer without ever having to exchange your card or cash with a cashier or waiter. As people have become more germ-conscious, many of the practices that we have grown accustomed to are now causing us to reevaluate. A cashless society has been discussed for years, and the coronavirus pandemic seems to have made that possibility more likely as people become increasingly comfortable and familiar with contactless payments. The way that people pay back friends or even pay rent and utilities has changed drastically, with many people relying on apps such as Venmo and PayPal rather than handing over cash or writing a check. Even some restaurants offer these ways to either pay by mobile phone or by credit card without risk of cross-contamination. Some of these payment options, such as Apple Pay and PayPal, require the customer to only touch their cell phone in order to complete a transaction. By scanning a QR code or accessing your Apple Wallet, you can successfully pay out without so much as reaching into your wallet. Other services, such as Square and Tap-to-Pay, require using your credit or debit card to either swipe, scan, or tap your card without having to hand it over to a cashier. For retail businesses, these technologies are essential to give both customers and employees peace of mind. The risks associated with passing cards back and forth are high and unnecessary, and implementing touchless payment options is an easy way to do your part in limiting the spread of germs and viruses. Studies predict in increase in contactless transactions from $178 billion in 2020 to $1.5 trillion in 2024, meaning that while the technology may be relatively new, it is undoubtedly here to stay.
Reservations have been around for a while, especially in the restaurant industry. However, many other businesses are adopting them as well with the health and safety of their customers in mind. Places like gyms and salons can benefit from implementing an updated reservation service in order to ensure that a clean and sanitized seat or station is ready for a customer right when they need it. Being able to anticipate crowds and prepare ahead of time can allow business to be more prepared and the customer to be able to rest assured that their spot has been properly cleaned before their arrival. Being able to check-in virtually on an app or website would provide a simple, contactless way for customers to reserve their space and give businesses time to meet heightened expectations. Reservation services also make it easier for businesses to monitor business capacities and ensure that they have the availability to suit customer needs while following state and local guidelines. Apps such as OpenTable provide customers with a way to make a reservation and even check their place in line as they wait. This helps to limit exposure by allowing people to remain at a safe distance until it is necessary for them to enter a restaurant and be seated at their table.
Artificial intelligence will be the most transformational technology of the modern era. AI gives machines the ability to work with super-human speed and accuracy– solving problems that have yet to develop, recognizing speech, and constantly learning and evolving. With the progress of artificial intelligence technologies, computers are able to meet customer demands, answer questions, provide feedback, and more. One benefit of artificial intelligence in the workplace is that it can limit the need for face-to-face contact. AI can take your business marketing, human resources activities, accounting and finances, and more to the next level. The possibilities are endless, and as businesses continue to reel from the effects of the changes brought on by the coronavirus, implementing artificial intelligence within your company is sure to pay off.