Manchester office introduces touch-free virus protection

Technology is an integral element of the new Landmark office space in Manchester’s St. Peter’s Square. The building provides a touch-free experience that helps protect the occupants from COVID-19.

Ian Mayhew, managing director of Barings, who developed the building, said:

“From entering the building, either on foot through the revolving doors, by car or cycle, occupiers and visitors have a completely touch-free journey through the building to their office destination.”

The system has a bespoke app, smart controls and visitor management systems. The building also features ultra-fast internet connections and intelligent LED lighting that responds to outside weather conditions. Roof-mounted solar panels generate electricity for the building.

Other offices take a more low-tech approach to virus protection. The Landmark building has added coloured painted lines that mark safe social distances.

The 2020 Occupier Flash Survey from property consultants CBRE found that 45% of respondents expect offices to install touch-free technology. More than a fifth of respondents said that they are prepared to pay an extra 20% in rent for a tech-enabled building.

COVID-19 has challenged how office staff work, with many working some time at home and other times in the office. Digital technology and communications are regarded as essential for the modern work style, which is why many businesses that rent or purchase office space in Manchester are demanding that buildings have the latest technology.

Should COVID-19 become a long-term threat, it could lead to touch-free offices becoming the “new normal” among Manchester businesses.