hile hand sanitizers have been around for decades in some shape or form, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for more efficient devices. After more than six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still relying on rather primitive solutions in offices and public spaces.
Manual and automatic sanitizer dispensers range from the simplest bottles that we all have in our homes, to stand-alone bulky machines, to wall-mounted units that use light sensors to dispense a certain amount of the sanitizer.
While in terms of the go-to-market, it has been a good start, and after half a year it’s also a field ripe for disruption. We are in need of a more long-term solution. In fact, the entire office hygiene field requires a modern, sustainable, and scalable approach. We’d all rather use connected devices and iPhones instead of telegrams or analog phones—in a private, professional, and institutional context. Why then are we still using primitive sanitization methods when the alternative is much more beneficial?
What Digital Transformation Has to Do With Sanitization?
Digital transformation is a process of adopting technology to transform services and businesses—and it stems across not only data security or our daily workflow but also sanitation and sanitization too. What began several years ago, is nowadays rather obvious—we’re sending emails, exchanging messages on Microsoft Teams and Slack, connecting via Zoom or Google Meet. It’s time to fix the field of office hygiene.
To some extent, it’s about scalability and the effortless approach to workforce sanitization. When we take a look at consumer containers as well as wall and stand dispensers, we’ll discover that—at best—they can provide up to 600 hand sanitizations per charge. In an office for a hundred people, that’s up to 17, or even 333 refills (of 60 ml containers).
The only way to scale this approach is by dedicating more man-hours towards the servicing of the devices—although there will still be challenges that are simply unsolvable without a future-proof device. How would we ensure the sanitizer supply? How can we decrease the ecological footprint? How would we incentivize user adoption or remote work compatibility? What about compliance evaluation?
Enter: Smart Sanitizer. How Does It Ensure Employees Safety?
Regardless of the size of your office, you are required by law to enable your workforce to properly sanitize whenever entering the premises. Manual solutions create an operational overhead that’s difficult to quantify: you have to regularly ensure that the sanitizer is in place, that you have enough stock, and that your team is using it. As an employer, your job is not only to provide work: it’s also to protect your employees in the most efficient way you can.
In 2020, we’ve entered a new world of work—one that reminded us how important hygiene is. Just as air travel changed after 9/11, higher awareness of how germs and viruses spread is changing traditional offices into environments that prioritize employee safety. It’s not only about COVID-19, too—it’s about a major mindset shift that will continue to happen even after the pandemic is long gone.
Without further ado—what are we looking at? What kind of challenges lie ahead of conventional sanitizers and how can they be solved by introducing smart sanitizers in the office space?
For employers, the benefits stem from being able to cut man-hours and cost on sanitizer sourcing, to managing policies in the cloud, to being able to care for the employees that are working remotely.
Moreover, traditional hand sanitizers have to be touched to get liquid—and an estimated 80 percent of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smart sanitizers are entirely touch-free.
Sanitization and the Employee Experience
Just as the digital transformation needs to be built around people’s needs, sanitization also has to serve employees first. How can we use technology to support and engage our people?
Let’s assume that one in five people will not sanitize their hands when entering the office. The result? An entire building is at risk.
With conventional sanitizers, there is no way to know or understand the data—simply because it’s not there. With proper cloud management, it’s easy to deploy hand sanitization policies that comply with present regulations, and will also comply with changes implemented in the future. With the ability to monitor usage and set sanitization KPIs, it’s all more efficient, trackable, and measurable, giving you a solution that can predict the demand for sanitizer in your office.
Smart solutions allow not only to measure the data, but also to incentivize the employees through various gamification techniques such as ecological and vanity metrics. For example, why wouldn’t you participate in a race to decrease the amount of plastic waste as much as possible? Why not launch a competition to be zero-waste between teams in your office?
Why not show your employees that you take their health seriously, and—just as with nutrition or work-life balance—you want to start building better habits that will benefit them both in as well as outside the office.