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Technology Beats Uncertainty Around Back-to-Work Strategies

Even under normal circumstances, the global economy is a complex ecosystem with individuals free to make their own decisions regarding back-to-work strategies. This is affecting all the other participants. This leads to risks, but businesses have long been able to account for these and hedge against them.

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In the COVID-19 era, however, there will not be a simple pathway back to work for the global economy.

Rather than a smooth road ahead, we have seen obstacles thrown our way. There are stops and starts as the virus appears to ebb then spikes, rearing its ugly head just when we think we are returning to normal.

Nearly six months into the crisis, we know there is a long way to go, with experts agreeing that many difficult choices lie ahead for the global industry and its workforce. That’s why businesses need strong back-to-work strategies.

Companies are grappling with operational and health threats in an unprecedented environment of uncertainty. The sheer amount of data needed today to assess risk is simply staggering, with so much conflicting information coming in across multiple channels. Individuals too must make decisions in this chaotic environment, worried that one wrong choice will have deadly consequences for themselves and their families.

Most industry leaders are aware that three main areas must come together properly if the American business environment is to have any semblance of normal for companies again. These include being able to manage the needs and desires of their customers along with restoring and managing supply chains, to ensure products and services are available when clients need them.

To achieve this, managing the workforce, making sure employees feel safe and have the ability to work in a safe environment is key. Staff need to know that they can work safely and return home to their families, and not fear putting their loved ones at risk.

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This is where a technical solution like our Healthcheck comes in. The technology can be applied to any enterprise, whether a factory, an office, out in the field, or any kind of work condition including blended location and remote working environments being developed in response to the COVID-19.

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Importantly, employees are made to feel comfortable and part of the process, giving them a sense of control and agency in their choices of working remotely or in the workplace as companies move through various government-administered phases of reopening.

Understanding each employee’s well-being, and how infection trends impact them at their specific location is key to the process in designing current back-to-work strategies. Simultaneously, employees are able to check in and share critical information about their health status that can help their organization provide assistance and guidance to ensure their personal safety.

Should an employee stay home and work remotely that day, mitigating the risks for others?

Has the employee traveled through a current hotspot, or been around those who might have, and can this be determined through contact tracing two to four contacts deep?

Is the employee suffering from CDC recognized symptoms of COVID-19 and in need of immediate medical attention?

Such questions are answered and tracked in real-time, allowing a company to maintain continuity and develop contingency plans, while offering sustained patient care for the impacted employee.

Daily check-ins and live bulletin boards allow for dynamic planning, and operational resiliency for company managers. Business operations and employee health are both given equal weight through the process.

Importantly, such technical solutions utilize the existing technology that employees are already familiar with, aiding in its adoption and transparency. These include Google Geolocation and Cloud storage, along with data encryption for personal privacy. Using cell phones and other devices, participants opt-in by clicking on consent boxes to proceed, a reassuring aspect of the engagement.

These components aid in giving a real-time snapshot of the health of employees and the overall status of the business, enterprise and worksite, keeping everyone safe and the organization ahead of the game. The technology is not only a sign to employees that management cares about their health but a way to show customers and business contacts that a company cares about their business and well-being too.

Getting back to business as close to normal will be a bumpy process, with many stops and starts along the way.

Technology, however, can lead us back to safety and alleviate fears, in a process emphasizing community and shared responsibility.

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