Workforce safety and business continuity is on the minds of every CEO, COO, HR executive, chief legal counsel, CIO, employee, and higher-ed student. Businesses, government agencies, and higher-ed institutions hope to return to pre-pandemic operations as soon as guidelines allow. Employees need to return to earning income in a productive and safe work environment and students need to learn in a safe environment that goes beyond online learning.
Although many white-collar workers can telecommute, a large number of employees in the retail, pharma, logistics, transportation, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors (to name a few) are unable to work remotely and require guidance on rotation and/or phased return-to-work plans that incorporate social distancing and facility readiness. Similarly, students need to continue their education in a safe, effective manner that allows them to collaborate with fellow students while restarting their campus experience in a safe environment. Managing these processes safely, while complying with various guidelines, isn’t easy.
Fortunately, workforce safety software has emerged to help organize and manage the return-to-work process. Deep Analysis defines this software market as follows:
Workforce safety software for business continuity allows businesses, higher-ed institutions, and government agencies to safely manage their employees’ return to the workplace and students’ return to campus, taking into account personnel health and risk factors, facilities management, HIPAA/privacy compliance, health and safety regulations/guidelines, and phased scheduling decisions by HR, business continuity, and legal executives. Essential functionality includes (but is not limited to) mobile support, health analysis, management dashboards, case management, contact tracing, and rapid configuration.
Workforce safety software delivers a platform for those in HR, business continuity, and legal departments to manage facilities, follow health guidelines, and mitigate business risk during the return to normal operations. In addition, IT executives are involved in sourcing, configuration, deployment, and ongoing support of the application. Workforce safety software is designed to track each individual’s health status (within FERPA, HIPAA, HITRUST, ISO, and GDPR guidelines) and manage the return-to-work process, including phased reopenings, rotation schedules, and social distancing policies.
HR is finding that specific regulatory details are fluid, which underscores the need to track changes in compliance requirements in parallel with developing the organization’s return-to-work plans. The stakes are high because court cases about COVID-19 and an unsafe return to work are inevitable. Fully featured workforce safety software provides a mobile app for employees, students, or any other person who interacts with an organization to liaise with the business operations where they work or study. Workforce safety software should also include dashboards for HR, legal, and business continuity to track, monitor, and manage the return to work.
Trying to manage the health and safety of thousands of employees or students using spreadsheets, Word documents, and email is nonsensical. On the other hand, trying to build an effective technology solution in-house is equally foolhardy because of the complex requirements and impossibly short timeframes. That’s why most large organizations decide that comprehensive workforce safety software that can be implemented quickly is de rigueur for safely reopening.
Deep Analysis has written extensively about return-to-work software and best practices. For more original research from our recent sponsored publication and other Deep Analysis reports, see:
Managing the Return from COVID: Software Solutions for Workforce Safety (sponsored by Appian)
Return-to-Work Best Practices for Business, Government & Higher Ed
Case Study: University of South Florida
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