9 Ways Digital Signage Can Help You Re-Open In the New Normal
“Business as usual” is definitely a term that isn’t being used for what’s going on in 2020. Unfortunately, some businesses have been closed completely, while others have moved to a work-from-home environment, during the last several months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that companies are re-opening and attempting to bring back furloughed and temporary work-from-home employees, they are looking for tools to help them do this effectively while keeping everyone safe. Digital signage software is one of the ways workplaces can decrease human interactions, stay engaged with current messages and updates, and remain vigilant about life-saving behaviors.
There are 9 distinct ways that digital signage software can help companies successfully adapt to the demands of the new normal. The first three deal with employees.
As employees come back to work, it’s critical to manage them so they don’t come into work carrying the virus, spread the virus, or encourage co-workers to become lax on following preventive measures of avoiding the virus.
– Communicate announcements and other information. Workplaces vary. Some are offices, some are manufacturing plants, some are call centers, and some are retail environments. No matter the nature of the workplace, it’s essential to make some adjustments to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among the workforce. Digital signage can help communicate vital information to employees that may otherwise not be seen or read. Instructions at building entrances so employees know what is expected of them, directions for one-way walkways to minimize contact, and contact-less ways to book and arrange meeting rooms are a few of the ways digital signage software can make the new normal less disruptive.
– Direct employees in common areas. Rules about using the lunch room, for example, can be displayed on digital signage. Hours of availability or employee rotation schedules, as well as cleaning protocols are other aspects of the new workplace that can be shared via digital signage to employees. Instead of printed signs, digital content can be changed as needed to address the daily changes in requirements (if there is a surge of cases, for example).
– Give surveys and collect feedback. As new processes roll out to employees, it’s important to gauge their thoughts and feelings. Contactless questionnaires about how employees feel about their safety, the company cleaning protocol, and other requirements can be conducted by digital signage interactive quizzes.
Many places of business invite, and even depend on, visitors. Whether they are patients, retail shoppers, vendors and clients, or hotel guests, or attraction-goers, they need to be engaged so they understand the rules they are expected to follow to keep themselves and everyone else safe.
Convey new requirements. People who don’t understand the rules end up causing problems. Entrances are smart places to add digital signage messaging to keep visitors to your workplace informed of new policies. Hours of operation, mask requirements, social distancing rules, and number of people allowed can all be shared before the visitor steps foot inside your facility.
– Enable contactless interactions. Instead of visitors talking with a receptionist or other human, they can comfortably use digital signage to achieve what they need to know. Using voice commands, visitors can find out about product availability, promotions, and even learn about pricing and delivery information. Retail guests can use their smart devices to connect with digital signage to see all the messaging “mirrored” right to their private device. They can also access information about how many people are already in a store, for example, so they can decide whether to go in or wait outside.
– Provide wayfinding. Large facilities that would normally offer a guide to visitors can use digital signage maps to direct their way. In addition, they can access the new directions of one-way hallways and restrooms that are open. Malls can use signage to list the stores that are still not open, and highlight the hours of those that are open. Museums and other attractions can provide signage to enrich the visitor’s experience without exposing themselves to large tour groups.
Company leadership depends on intel to run every aspect of the business. COVID-19 is requiring the use of data to maintain the safety of the working environment and employee health.
– Track vital employee information. Management can put protocols in place to track the health of their employees, as well as following who is and who is not following current requirements. Gain access to employee temperatures, who are wearing masks, and who are abiding by cleanliness requirements in common spaces. Knowing this information helps keep all employees safer and less likely to contract the virus.
– Chart trends. As much as we would like it to, COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon. Having access to employee behavior over time will be helpful in managing processes. Notice employees are slacking on mask-wearing? It may be time for some strongly-worded reminders. Are there issues with too many workers congregating in the common areas at the same time? This information may encourage management to separate this places as only available in shifts. Digital signage can convey trends in data over time that help mitigate unnecessary risks to your workforce.
– Monitor employee behavior. Being able to check in on workers can be accomplished with digital signage tools. Spot checking every department to ensure mask wearing and social distancing are two ways management can help decrease the spread of the virus. Gaining access to employee temperatures-possible through digital signage tools-can help management address possibly sick employees who made the bad decision to come into work. In addition, seeing who is following protocols and who isn’t can give managers early insight into who they need to speak with regarding company requirements, so the slacking of rule following doesn’t spread through the entire department with negative results.
Two of the most important components in re-opening a business in the new normal are planning and communication. Digital signage software functions as a vital tool that is instrumental in achieving both. By laying out a plan as employees and visitors return, and communicating the requirements and expectations consistently and clearly, businesses can open for both employees and their customers, while reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19.