Whilst not the first global pandemic, Covid-19 has reshaped our considered ‘normal’ way of life in its entirety. From the ways we live and interact with one another, to how we work and operate in business, dining out, shopping, socialising and our freedom to travel, the myriad of personal and global changes will affect the population for generation, with important decisions being made to effectively enable us to live with the virus.
The wearing of masks, introduction of flexible working arrangements and home education, adoption of social distancing and reduction in movement have helped in slowing the spread, but it is the advancement of artificial intelligence that has been a key driver in how the world operates futuristically.
THE HR EXPERT OPINION
Colin Wilson, Human Resources, Business Advisor expert and Director of Key Business Advisors, noted that, as employees are called back to the office and businesses re-open, the expectations from consumers and employees-alike will reshape the foundations of workplace safety and business practices, internationally.
“Before Covid, the National Employment Standards (NES) entitled employees to 10 days’ sick leave per annum,” said Wilson. “In fact, employees were expected to come to work unless unable to physically do so.”
Whilst previously, a staff member taking time off for being unwell may have been met with raised eyebrows, today, coming to work sick or even clearing your throat in public can cause a sense of unease and disruption.
Wilson continues, “As an employer, we need to consider the ways in which we are able to update our processes following the pandemic to carry out a further due diligence to our staff, and creating reassurance and a sense of safety across both staff and customers alike. This means updating OH&S processes, as well as HR processes. Artificial Intelligence is proving to be a great contributor to these fields.”
Bloomfield Technology is one such organisation that has emerged in the wake of the pandemic. A part of property development and hospitality business, Bloomfield Capital, Founder, Thor Bloomfield, set up the arm after learning about the technology, wanting to offer support for businesses navigating their way out of the lockdown, and effectively preparing them for the future.
“The Bloomfield brand is built on giving back, with a vision to create a safer, more sustainable lifestyle,” said Bloomfield.
“I spent the foremost of my life battling Cystic Fibrosis, undergoing countless surgeries to prolong my lifespan before being fortunate enough to receive a double lung transplant. Whilst I operated a number of successful businesses in my earlier years, it wasn’t until then that I felt the sudden urge to give life a better go – I knew what it was like to live in fear, and I didn’t want that to be the world my daughter grew up in.”
Bloomfield Capital is an equity group driven to build a better tomorrow through environmentally ethical and technologically advanced ecosystems. Learning of the innovative temperature detection technology, Bloomfield made the decision to launch the Bloomfield Technology brand to further compliment his mission and vision.
The temperature detection technology scans and detects a person’s body temperature using a thermal camera, providing users with the ability to monitor and detect abnormalities in real-time. The unit also enables employers to manage attendance and access control based on facial-recognition, and comes armed with a sanitization unit.
Introducing the thermal screening units to his Australian network, Bloomfield notes the market has been “very receptive. Businesses want to create assurance across their consumers, and provide a duty of care for their employees.” Because it is not just a pandemic – it is a full-fledged reset that we must embrace. From globalized supply chains, to routine in the home and workplace, the health of employees and the vast contrasts between healthcare systems and country leadership, 2020 has revealed much of what the developed world has taken for granted. Businesses are reassessing processes, procedures and everyday practices to prepare and evolve with the times.
AI IN TOURISM
Businesses like Victoria’s luxury Jackalope Hotel initially adopted the technology to monitor staff, Tracy Atherton, Group General Manager, said the brand intends on rolling out the artificial intelligence on reopening.
“This year has really forced businesses to engage in conversations around how we can better our brand and instate an element of security and trust amongst our guests and staff,” said Atherton.
“We want to ensure stakeholders know that we are doing everything we can to keep them safe. We believe temperature detection is not just a Covid-safe implementation, but an essential consideration when planning for our future. The hospitality industry, specifically, sees thousands of travelers visit us each year from around the globe, and Covid-19 has been a strong reminder of just how vulnerable we all are. Our temperature detection units have enabled us to monitor staff health with ease and confidence, and so it was an obvious decision to implement the technology in our foyer when reopening to the public.”
AI IN BRICK & MORTAR BUSINESSES
Similarly, Sadik Ardolli, Group Sales Manager, Chef’s Hat said the decision to include the technology wasn’t just a socially responsible duty of care to employees and consumers, but a financially responsible one, too.
“We have found that, for the majority, consumers feel more confident in knowing we are managing our environment to the best of our ability,” he said.
“Financially, employing someone to manually take each person’s temperature isn’t sustainable, and becomes time consuming and awkward with multiple customers, so the purchase of a compact temperature detection unit has been a smart investment.”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Temperature detection technology has been in use, globally, for over two decades. As artificial intelligence continues to rapidly evolve, today, the technology offers plenty of room for innovation. It’s not about detecting the virus. It is about using the technology to our advantage to better prepare ourselves for the future in an effort to prevent a repeat of the year that was.
A contributor to the long-term reassurance and safety measures, Bloomfield Technology strives to create a culture of wide-spread business support, encouraging businesses to grow together and work collaboratively to achieve the collective goal of simply doing business. Bloomfield Technology pledges 10% of sales to small businesses that may not be able to afford the technology, but will benefit from it in the long term.
Bloomfield notes, “There’s a lot of room for innovation in the temperature detection technology, and we want to be at the forefront of changes for the better. We would love to see the facial recognition used for employee time logs, guest check in and more down the track, especially in our own properties.”