April 14, 2022
By Mohammad Soleimani
Protecting the workforce has become a much bigger job since the start of the pandemic. Beyond ensuring tenants offices are secure and protected, commercial real estate operators now must also take steps to shield workers from health threats.
It’s a daunting enough task on its own, but it’s further complicated by the hybrid work model, since the number of people in a building each day could fluctuate significantly. Property managers don’t have to start from scratch, though. In fact, much of the technology necessary to safeguard people as they return to the office is already in place.
KastleSafeSpaces is a recently launched service that utilizes Kastle’s existing systems to help commercial properties safely transition the workforce back to on-premises operations. By configuring in-place access control technology, KastleSafeSpaces is easy to implement, but still offers a robust set of tools to make health screening protocols part of the daily office routine.
That’s achieved in a variety of ways:
Step one in any protective health plan is ensuring that no one infected with COVID-19 enters the building. KastleSafeSpaces offers the option for tenants to present workers with an array of screening questions that must be answered before building or office credentials are activated. Only after an employee affirms they are not symptomatic will they be authorized to enter the building. This could be extended to visitors, also, with the badge printer showing their screening date and how long that screening is valid.
Employees can self-screen at home or when they get to the office via the mobile app – and office managers can tie the results to tenants’ access credentials and use those results to inform their daily plan of action as they keep the office healthy.
Mobile hands-free control
Many buildings already have motorized door entrances to ensure ADA compliance. With some minor adjustments, Kastle can tweak those to allow them to be opened with KastlePresence, a mobile credential that’s tied to the worker’s smartphone. A signal from the phone via Bluetooth unlocks the door, and a hand wave sensor triggers the door to open. (Visitors, meanwhile, can pre-register online and head straight to the turnstiles or elevator with a QR code they receive via email.)
Even the elevator can be a touchless affair using KastlePresence. A scanner near the elevator banks will recognize someone is waiting for a car and call it for them, then take them to their default floor assignment (or they can choose the floor they’d like to visit in the app).
Dynamic inbound occupancy regulation
Health screening questions deal with how an employee is feeling that day, but if your workplace has mandated vaccinations or regular testing for people with exemptions from those orders, tracking those could be a headache. KastleSafeSpaces can work with approved sources to dynamically access employee-provided health records (with permission, of course), verifying their immunization status or the date of their most recent screening.
Dynamic occupancy also lets tenants assign workers to come in only on certain days of the week to ensure safe distancing. If the employee attempts to enter the building on a day they’re not supposed to be there, their credential will not work. Alternatively, operators can flatten the tenant arrival curve by scheduling arrival times in the Kastle mobile app to minimize wait times in the lobby.
Air quality monitoring
Airborne pathogens continue to be a concern for many people. KastleSafeSpaces uses HEPA filtering technology to detect and remove airborne materials, using smart sensors that identify unsafe levels of smoke, carbon dioxide, VOCs, humidity, particulate matter and more. The device can be placed in offices, lobbies or other spaces and report on and improve air quality in real-time, providing insights and recommendations to operators and tenants.
Tenants still want to enjoy amenities like the fitness center or office kitchens, but concerns of crowding could keep some away. KastlePresence includes a feature called Glimpse, which can help with those concerns. Tenants can use the app to see the approximate occupancy of certain areas, tracked via credentialled access. It’s a tool building owners can provide to tenants to help them feel comfortable in the space, while also alerting them if large congregations begin to gather in one spot.
It’s not just managers who are eager to get people back to the office. Many employees long for the day-to-day contact with coworkers and spontaneous conversations that drive innovation. But above all, everyone wants it to be done in a way that leaves them feeling confident about the safety and security of their building and office space. KastleSafeSpaces offers the tools to do that.