The pandemic has given hand hygiene a whole new level of importance, especially in the workplace. Even though working from home has become more common, offices remain high-traffic areas where many people spend many hours per day. Almost all office buildings have improved there hygiene infrastructure. But what about smart dispensers? What is the acceptance towards this technology in the hygiene sector?
IoT and the cleaning industry
IoT (the Internet of Things) has become increasingly important for the cleaning industry. Sensors and collectors can now be installed in everyday devices these days, making work processes more efficient and easier.
The cleaning sector is also relying more and more on the smart dispensers. The dispenser’s data helps cleaners work efficiently, keeping large buildings clean and supplied without increasing costs. The benefits are clear to facility managers and cleaning staff. But what about the end user? Do they also accept hygiene-related monitoring? A recent study examined end user’s views.
The study grew out of a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the University of Leeds and Savortex, a manufacturer of IoT technology for hand hygiene. It involved sending out an online survey to employees at various companies to gauge their attitudes toward smart sanitizer dispensers in the workplace.
The sanitizer dispensers were able to measure and provide feedback on users’ hand hygiene behaviour in real time. Under certain circumstances, the dispensers could even personalized data for individuals.
This data was collected between July and August 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 314 respondents participated.
Acceptance of smart dispensers
Many respondents were supportive of the technology in disinfection dispensers, but they also expressed concerns about invasion of privacy. Attitudes toward long-term adoption of the technology vary significantly by age. Respondents above the average age were more likely to support the use of data that can facilitate the promotion and enforcement of good hand hygiene.
Hand hygiene important to employees
Similarly, the survey indicates that it is important to workers that good hand hygiene practices are in place and that infrastructure is functioning properly. Respondents expressed that good hand hygiene shows respect to other people. They also believe that employers should be interested in improving hand hygiene. Participants thought that promoting good hand hygiene is as important as providing good hand hygiene opportunities. Stemming from this belief, those survey stated that employees should be provided with a guide on how to implement good hand hygiene in the workplace.
The study also found that hand hygiene in the workplace has taken on a new importance as a result of pandemic. Respondents believe that when colleagues have poor hand hygiene, management should be allowed to point this out. They also said they would like to see an improved hand hygiene culture continue after the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.
SanTRAL® Plus SMART: Intelligent dispensers with maximum data protection
Make your office building smart with the smart dispensers of the SanTRAL® Plus series. These dispensers are not only visually striking with their six different finishes, but also have innovative features that make it easy to offer the most hygienic workplace possible. These dispensers can send data on fill level, battery level, and device usage to the Kanary monitoring system developed by OPHARDT or to third-party software.
The SanTRAL® portfolio includes soap and sanitizer dispensers, waste bins, paper towel dispensers, and toilet paper dispensers. Importantly for employee buy-in, we have made this smart system with user privacy in mind. The dispensers do not record any personal data, but only send updates on fill level and battery level.
This is the critical data, though, that facility managers can use to improve washroom uptime. Fill level can be retrieved through a user-friendly web app on a tablet or smartphone. Existing resources can be used more efficiently so that fill availability can increase to up to 100% without needing to hire more cleaning staff.
The process is very intuitive. As soon as a dispenser is about to become empty, a task is automatically created and the cleaners receive a notification through the Kanary web app. This allows them to visit only the washrooms whose dispensers need refilling and prioritize which products they put on their cart.