What will be the role of technology in managing workplace safety?
As the way the pandemic has evolved over the last months, companies have continually worked on adapting and adjusting to a new working environment as well as to be prepared for future challenges. For this reason, it’s possible that employer’s priorities and concerns look different now than at the beginning of this crisis.
A PwC survey applied in April to 330 financial leaders from different industries showed that the top three concerns with respect to COVID-19 and returning to the workplace were financial impacts (75%), a potential global recession (70%) and reduction in productivity (41%). By contrast, most recent data shows that the possibility of a new wave of infections (59%) impacts of global economic downturn (54%) and financial impacts (42%) are now the biggest concerns for professionals.
Leaders consider that working flexibility, better resilience, agility and technology investments are the main factors by the current situation that will make their company better in the long run. Actually, nearly a one third of leaders say they are planning to evaluate technology solutions as a part of their returning to work strategy.
In this blog, we would like to share some of our findings on how some technologies are being used for businesses as a part of their plan to return to work safely and combat specific challenges for COVID-19.
QR codes have been widely adopted by multiple industries for different purposes. However, there have emerged new ways to support daily operations in order to minimize physical contact. Companies are using QR codes to create self-health checks surveys for employees or to provide a contactless experience by making payments or creating menus with this technology, especially in restaurants and other small businesses.
Given that the contact of infected surfaces is one way to contract the virus, contactless technology seems to be another solution for ensuring a safe return to work. This technology consists of mobile apps that allow workers to send a command in order to access buildings and elevators, reserve conference rooms, automatize doors, among other functionalities to eliminate the need to touch shared surfaces or buttons.
Finally, wearable technology is another alternative that employers are considering for addressing future safety challenges at work. Wearables can be very useful when it comes to maintaining social distancing, especially if employees perform activities in a closed environment where people are in close contact for a long period of time such as factories and warehouses.
For instance, some wearables can emit an alarm which indicates if employees are not respecting the minimum of 6 feet of distance among themselves. On the other hand, wearables are also implemented for contract tracing, the process of identifying who has been in close contact with someone infected and preventing future transmissions.
In fact, the same PwC survey found that evaluating new tools to support workforce location tracking and contact tracing is within the top 10 strategies that companies are planning to implement once they start returning to the workplace. Additionally, a different PwC’s survey showed that 35% of US workers would feel comfortable if their workplace implemented contract tracing in order to get a real-time notification if someone has tested positive for COVID-19.
Experts agree that the adoption of digital contact tracing tools can make contact tracing process faster, more efficient, increase productivity, reduce potential exposure to the disease by limiting physical contact as well as reduce costs.
In today’s era Kwema helps to prevent potential COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces with Contact Tracing functionality. If someone is diagnosed positive for COVID-19, our technology allows you to trace where the employee was, identify who they may have come into contact with and classify all employees into 3 groups of risk and take action to prevent spread.