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Digital signage in the COVID-compliant workplace

Many companies are welcoming their employees into the workplace. With this, they’re asking employees to adopt new health and safety protocols. Communicating these new protocols can be tricky. To communicate these changes effectively, it’s important to understand that—sometimes —people respond better to digital signage than to other people. 

There’s an interesting psychological phenomenon that we all experience called “frustration-aggression.” This can occur when a person is blocked from attaining a goal, and their mental frustration turns into physical aggression. Most of the time, this is harmless. However, frustration-aggression can escalate. As more people come into the office, workplace teams need to do everything in their power to create a seamless experience for employees.

Right now, employees are dealing with new rules, updated health and safety protocols, and different working conditions—not to mention a global pandemic to worry about. It will be key for workplace teams to over-communicate expectations to avoid frustrated interactions when employees come on-site.

Necessary changes for the COVID-compliant workplace

COVID-19 has forced employers to make accommodations to ensure employee safety. That means when employees return to the office, there will likely be significant changes in office design. Conference rooms may have new capacity limits. Hallways may become directionally one-way. Restrooms may close for short periods of time for regular cleaning. Businesses may adopt hot desking so employees can work at a safe distance from one another.

For better or for worse, these changes will affect the workplace experience. Employees may fumble to adopt certain protocols, and it will prove frustrating when they have to change their routines to accommodate new procedures.

This is where digital signage will be helpful. 

What is digital signage?

Digital signage is a digital installation that displays informational video or multimedia content. This can be a TV screen with sign-in instructions in the lobby. Or a digital map displayed throughout the workplace for wayfinding. Or an iPad displayed outside of a conference room, letting employees know if the room is free or occupied.

Companies can install displays that convey updated health and safety strategies to help employees navigate changes without feeling inconvenienced. For example, if you decide to implement hot-desking, a display could be more effective than your front desk staff. A digital display or personal device featuring which desks are available and which are not will help steer that person to a workstation without interruption. That employee is free to continue listening to their favorite podcast or song and move throughout the office. Your front desk staff can carry on with their important work. The information is clearly communicated. The employee has agency over which of the available desks they would prefer. The whole interaction only takes a few moments.

The benefits of digital signage

The benefits of digital signage in the workplace are far-reaching. This is especially true as workplaces are in a state of change and disruption—and while workplace teams may not be physically in the office. With digital signage you can:

  • Streamline communication. Digital signage helps to automate the communication of workplace information. This creates a better balanced, less frustrating environment as employees adapt to changes.
  • Customize messages dynamically. Digital signage is completely customizable, which makes it a perfect avenue to share information that may change as time goes on. As your workplace protocols evolve with each passing reopening phase, you can dynamically change the content of your digital signs.
  • Capture employee attention. You may walk past a physical poster once and read it, but the next time you walk past you’re far less likely to pay attention. With digital signage, there is always new content displayed on screen so it’s far more eye-catching to passers-by.
  • Signal to internal teams. Another benefit of digital signage is that it can work as a signal to internal teams. A digital sign can tell janitorial teams that a meeting room or desk is ready for cleaning. Instead of assigning a member of the workplace team to act as a hall monitor, you can provide the info on a digital sign right in the area that needs attention. 
  • Manage content remotely. One of the most important benefits is that workplace teams can easily update digital signs from anywhere. This is key, as many teams are still working from home. There’s no need to physically be in an office to change or update the information on a sign. This makes it extremely efficient to display digital signs throughout the office.

Other means of workplace communication

Digital signage is just one means of clear workplace communication. Here are other ways to get the word out about important information and announcements:

  • Email. One of the most trusty ways to communicate key, company-wide messages is over email. Particularly if you’re sending lengthier or more in-depth announcements. But keep in mind, email is effective for one-way messages, but not the best for two-way interactions if there’s a sense of urgency. 
  • Employee communication apps. Does your team use Slack, Microsoft Teams, or another group messaging app for work? This can be a great way to communicate important messages to employees. Plus, you can either send direct one-to-one messages or post in a channel to specific groups or all employees.
  • Mobile announcements. If your company uses a workplace app, like Envoy Mobile, then you can ensure employees are up-to-date, no matter where they are. With mobile announcements, you can share important information with your team and keep FAQs and important updates top of mind. 

The time for digital signage is now

Workplaces are changing—fast. As you roll out these changes, it’s important to over-communicate with your employees. The more you communicate, the more they feel in control and in the know. Digital signage is a great means to communicate your efforts to create a safe and collaborative working environment.

To learn more about what it takes to safely welcome employees to your workplace, download The reopening toolkit for workplaces.

Density measures how people use space in real-time without invading privacy. Using proprietary depth sensors and deep learning algorithms, the platform accurately and anonymously counts people in real-time. Organizations use Density to improve efficiency and enhance the occupant experience in their buildings, workplaces, and real estate. Unlike a camera, Density’s platform doesn’t capture personally identifiable information and is purpose-built for accurately measuring how people use physical space. Together, Density’s customers manage over 1 billion square feet of corporate real estate. Density was founded in 2014, with offices in San Francisco, New York City, and Syracuse, New York. For more information, visit www.density.io.