Thermal cameras, face detection software, retina scanners and apps to book office seats are ready as companies prepare to gradually open offices after lockdown restrictions were eased.
Infosys, Flipkart, Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG, among others, are putting in place certain protocol and technology tools to ensure compliance. Most of these have created their own applications aimed at helping employees.
IT giant Infosys has launched app InfyMe that allows employees who want to come to office get permissions and give a self-declaration on health. Richard Lobo, executive vice-president, head HR, Infosys, said, “We have developed a proprietary solution leveraging our autonomous technology platform, which completely automates the thermal screening process at the entry points and provides alerts in case a potential risk is detected.
The solution takes the feed captured by thermal cameras and processes it with computer vision and AI algorithms in real time. In addition, we are working on non-intrusive AI powered tools to help keep our campuses safe.”
Globally, some like Amazon are also deploying thermal cameras at warehouses to scan workers.
In India, Flipkart is conducting mandatory temperature screening using infrared thermometers for all employees and vendors at warehouses. “Over 1,000 supply chain executives have been given consultations by doctors across fulfilment centres in cities including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai,” a Flipkart spokesperson said.
Some firms are using technology in an innovative way to ensure compliance. For example, Deloitte’s Singapore office has already put software linked to retina scanner on laptops that will ask the user to wash hands every hour. If the employee doesn’t get up, the laptop gets auto-locked and will only unlock when another retina scanner in the washroom confirms the employee has washed hands. The firm may adopt the technology in India.
“We have created a handbook for employees. Adherence will be monitored and necessary safety kits are provided,” said SV Nathan, chief talent officer, Deloitte India.
Office layouts are being altered and in some cases the cabins of senior executives are making way for other facilities. KPMG has created medical isolation rooms that will be closer to office entry points. “We believe the ‘six feet office’ and physical distancing are here to stay,” said Arjun Vaidyanathan, chief operating officer, KPMG India.
Others such as PwC are also looking to give some additional benefits along with the increased monitoring. “We have also decided to double the base insured amount under the medical insurance benefit offered by the firm, for Covid-19 related illness,” said Padmaja Alaganandan, chief people officer, PwC India.
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