By Craig Jarrett
As COVID-19 vaccinations become widely available and mask mandates loosen, more employees find themselves returning to in-person work. Their desks at home slowly become extra storage spaces and their sweatpants are exchanged for business casual. Many will have masks tucked into their pockets or purses, unsure if they’ll still be required to enter the building.
The past year and a half has brought about tremendous change – especially for the security industry – with businesses leveraging their existing security technology or implementing new solutions to keep employees and customers both safe and healthy. So, what has changed on the security front as we move towards a post-pandemic world?
Access control to manage occupancy
Access control has always been utilized to manage the flow of people into buildings, such as scanning a badge to authenticate who is coming and going. As we close in on a post-pandemic world, limiting the amount of people coming into a shared space is as important as ever. Access control allows there to be thresholds, which is extremely useful as many companies are permitting only a specific number of employees to come in on particular days as employees begin to return to work in-person.
People are more conscious now about touching the same surfaces and door handles as others, so access control can truly help with touchless entry— walking up to a door and presenting an access control credential which then triggers a door to unlock and automatically open, for example. This touchless approach helps stop the spread of germs, which has now become a high priority for many companies. There will likely be somewhat of a rise in use and installation of these automatic door opening systems paired with access control for companies that want to be extra cautious post-pandemic.
Analytics to detect masks wearing
As we come closer to the end of the pandemic, the call to arms for security and analytics to assist in general pandemic-related mandates has greatly diminished. However, some specific industries will still require the assistance of security analytics to help maintain a safe environment. For example, the healthcare industry and public transportation still require mask wearing, meaning that being able to detect whether a person is or is not wearing a face mask remains a priority.
The security industry has seen significant advancements over the past 18-months as people adapt existing security solutions and implement new technologies to support a safe work environment. As we begin to move towards normalcy, security professionals will look at how to continue to leverage investments in pandemic-influenced technology as part of their ongoing security needs.