Cubicles and production lines. Conference rooms. Elevators. Shared kitchens, bathrooms, and common–use areas. Rush hour on trains, buses, and shared rides.
Who would have thought that a year ago, this list would be one that makes us shudder? As we learn how to better deal with COVID-19, we’re starting to return to the workplace. But is it that simple? We think it can be.
The changed face of the workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifted our shared perspective on workspaces. But the reality of returning to physical locations isn’t as clear cut as opening the doors, dusting off the desks, and reverting to the average routine.
Employees and business decision-makers are considering the massive number of interactions—public transportation, office spaces, events, and day-to-day activities—that take place for staff during a normal business day. And with those interactions laid bare, the anxiety around the virus has shifted into a new phase.
According to a survey, 54% of U.S. employees say they’re worried about exposure to COVID-19 at their place of employment. But 71% of those employees also felt confident that their employers could bring the workforce back safely. That puts the burden squarely in employers’ hands. Yet there’s no official handbook for doing it right.
No room for error in the return to work
Employers are faced with a set of unprecedented challenges: mitigate employee and customer exposure, abide by state-by-state guidelines, and address the evolving safety concerns of their workforce. It’s not a surprise that the stakes are high for getting return-to-work initiatives right on the first try.
If that sounds daunting, that’s because it is. But there’s an easier way.
Safety & confidence through tech
In April, our teams at Mazik Global started considering what it would take for the world to get back to work post-COVID-19. So we started developing an all-encompassing Back-to-Work solution to meet the top challenges businesses are facing: keeping staff and customers safe, keeping business moving smoothly, and helping workplaces demonstrate their safety commitment to staff and customers.
Built on powerful tools like Microsoft’s Power BI dashboard and PowerApps, the Back-to-Work solution comprises staff health tracking with real-time visibility into companywide and individual illness risk, staff contact tracing, and company compliance with local back-to-work regulations.
It starts with a simple app (which can alternatively be embedded in Microsoft Teams), in which employees complete a short survey:
This completely customizable assessment tracks a number of factors, such as:
Health Risk: Is the employee experiencing symptoms or are they classified as an at-risk group by the CDC? Has the employee had any testing done for COVID-19?
Confidence: How does the employee feel about returning? What barriers do they face in returning to work?
Interaction and contact rate: With whom at the office does the employee most frequently interact?
Employers can request assessments from staff at any frequency desired, for any number of employees, at any number of facilities. All the data pools into an easy-to-read and secure Power BI dashboard for the HR department, CIO, COO, or whoever is authorized to know. If any employee reports symptoms of COVID-19, managers can quickly take action in sending them home and immediately alerting others who are likely to have come in contact with them.
This aggregated information gives both high-level and comprehensive real-time views of the obstacles and challenges facing the safety of any return-to-work strategy. It also provides tools to mitigate risk, such as automated workflows.
What about managing safety and staffing needs during a crisis?
If an employee does get sick, how do you keep the rest of your staff safe? And how do you maintain staffing needs when one or more employees must stay at home to recover? Does it understand your unique company?
The functionality of the Back-to-Work solution is flexible, so it can meet your needs in any industry. We also made sure to include workflow automations to help effectively manage any staffing disruption. Customizable push notifications, automatic alerts, and employee case management are all part of the package to help you be as proactive as possible while upholding local work safety guidelines.
When you’re enabled to react quickly, you can truly mitigate the risk of exposure and spread in your business, and keep more people safe. The Back-to-Work solution just takes all the work out of it for you.