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Ready or not, there have been more than rumblings about offices reopening after a three-month shutter in an effort to combat the worldwide threat of COVID-19. Lenovo announced Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for businesses which will have to address the inherent challenges in keeping a safe and hygienic workplace.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

The solutions are the first from Lenovo’s Commercial Internet of Things Business Group, which was established in 2019. The initial solution to solve: Employees believe it’s the company’s responsibility to deploy technological safety measures within the workplace.

Lenovo developed ThinkIoT Solutions to support the transitional steps centered around key workplace actions as businesses return to offices, including: Touchless building access, elevated temperature screening, digital signage and policy communication, safe workplace monitoring, and on-premise contact tracing.

Lenovo said the system will ensure employers will have the right technology to be able to welcome employees back and hopefully won’t need to endure issues often associated with IoT projects.

As part of the application of Lenovo’s ThinkIoT initiative, the company compiled promises for its worldwide clients: Validation, deployment, end-to-end management, single-point accountability, minimal site disruption, and testing each solution before submitting.

Having these elements in play will make the transitional return easier for big companies with several locations, Lenovo said.

SEE: 5 Internet of Things (IoT) innovations (free Pdf) (TechRepublic)

Employees weigh in

A Lenovo June 8, 2020, survey showed:

  • 58% of respondents in the US said their jobs went remote because of COVID-19
  • 88% of respondents in the US said it’s important companies use tech-based safety measures in the workplaces before they go back to work.

3-step framework

Lenovo set a company-wide standard to offer clients, what it refers to as a three-step tech-based framework for safe spaces and assistance in accelerating the new normal. Lenovo tells its customers it will control who is allowed into the business space, manage the response and behavior in the office, and be available, on alert, and prepared to respond to queries and incidents.

Collaborative partnerships

ThinkIoT Back to Work Solutions partnered with several hardware and software companies to develop safe technology solutions, including CXApp, Ipixon, L Squared, Openpath, Relogix and Viper Imaging.

These solutions–which can be ordered in any combination–are now available through Lenovo sales channels in select regions.

  • Touchless building access: In addition to touchless access, there is phone-based authentication, cloud management, as well as integration systems and IoT solutions. (Openpath)
  • Elevated temperature screening: FDA-cleared thermal cameras (with thermal screening solutions) to take body temperatures as people pass through access points. (Viper Imaging)
  • Digital signage and policy communication: Company policies and information are distributed to staff using integrated digital communication and a content management solution. (L Squared)
  • Safe workspace monitoring: Monitoring social distancing protocols as well as identifying how to use and clean workspaces. (Relogix)
  • On-premise contact tracing: With the existing Wi-Fi, employees and visitors are monitored through tracing, to keep track of zone health and a quick response in case of an incident. (Inpixon)