We all know we need to keep our distance these days, but doing so correctly is proving easier said than done. This is what Agoria, the Belgian Federation for the Technology Industry, discovered when employees were allowed back into the office. Even with the best of intentions, it was difficult to judge exactly how far away 1.5 metres actually was, and this rule was soon deviated from as a result. Agoria has now found an efficient tool in the form of the SafeDistance wearables from Lopos, which have had an immediate effect in ensuring that everyone in the office stays the correct distance apart from each other at all times.
Agoria employees were allowed back into the office in June. CEO Marc Lambotte testifies about maintaining social distancing: ‘There’s absolutely no question at all of ill will, but people don’t always realise exactly how far 1.5 metres is. We have a natural instinct to stand or sit a normal distance away from each other. Sometimes you might need help from a colleague, for example, so they come over to your desk to have a quick look and point at your screen, and you’re suddenly closer together than you’re supposed to be.’
‘We set out the chairs correctly in meeting rooms, but you notice here too that people instinctively get closer to each other than they should. We are social beings, after all, who naturally like to sit a bit closer when we’re in discussions. So we needed an efficient tool you couldn’t ignore.’
A better solution than just the standard hygiene rules was therefore required. ‘We came across Lopos in our search for a tool. It was essential for us that it could be delivered quickly and was easy to configure. Luckily, this wasn’t a problem – and we were using the SafeDistance wearables from Lopos within just one week of deciding to set sail with them. They’re really easy to use, too. There’s only one button, to switch it on. So you don’t need to do anything except wear it around your neck or on your clothing.’
Marc Lambotte: ‘The wearables really are a great help in keeping us the correct distance apart. Employees are immediately alerted by the alarm if they get too close, and the devices have proven their worth straight away. People chatting in the coffee area are further apart from each other now.’
‘We’re also using the wearables in our board meetings. And after the formal part of the meeting, when people like to network, the Lopos SafeDistance wearables ensure we can do so safely.’
‘The battery in the devices easily lasts for one or two full days – more than enough for a working day. People are already taking their device to the charging station at the end of the day as a matter of course. The devices are always on – and only go into sleep mode when they’re charging – so employees can’t switch them off even just briefly. And we always disinfect them after charging so they’re ready for the next morning.’
‘Now that working from home is again being recommended where possible, we’re no longer working in the office. But I’m assuming we’ll be able to return again later this year. Fortunately, we have the SafeDistance wearables to ensure a smooth transition. Everyone will be able to work together in the same physical space again, safe in the knowledge that we can maintain a safe distance to guarantee their health as much as possible. This will help our people to look after themselves and those around them.’