Looking Ahead: Obtaining the Insight to Adapt After the Pandemic
To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted operations around the world is the understatement of the decade. That being said, businesses and governments are under mounting pressure to restart their operations as quickly as possible. With social distancing and other measures helping to curtail the spread, organizations are turning their attention to a critical question: “How do we effectively restart operations while protecting our employees’ and citizens’ health and safety?”
In the absence of defined contingency plans, industry standards, or regulatory guidance, organizations across the globe are looking for new, innovative ways to help them address a host of new challenges. They are not just focused on response or monitoring of hot zones during the pandemic; they’re also thinking about afterward, when people return to daily activities and the workplace under a different, new set of circumstances.
Embarking on this journey and being successful requires a key element: the insight to adapt. As organizations begin to “reboot,” they must be able to take a variety of factors into consideration and focus on what they can actually control: their employees’ safety, operating models, and existing compliance requirements.
Adjusting these elements demands a pragmatic approach that addresses the potential risk to employees in various environments while also delivering a degree of confidence to customers that an organization is taking a meaningful, proactive posture to keep people safe and healthy. Also, as circumstances change, obtaining the insight to adapt to those changes, and implementing workplace health and safety tools are crucial for businesses to stay one step ahead and remain agile.
One example of this, that we expect to impact the future of business, is the increased use of mobile applications to provide remote health checks of employees while delivering push notifications of wellness tips, rapid communication when issues arise, and response to a call for help in case of emergency changes in health status.
To illustrate the point, having employees provide current symptom status and temperature before arriving at work can help to establish a baseline. Upon arrival, they complete a quick check-in to verify the information before entering the premises. Businesses can even recheck individuals during the workday to identify any emerging situations that may require contact tracing and provide healthcare assistance to employees that may be at risk.
In this instance, it is important to remember that private health information is being shared, requiring adherence to existing privacy requirements, documentation, record keeping, and accuracy checks. Doing so manually is a recipe for disaster, hence the need for a systemic approach that maps to current needs, can scale to larger populations, and remains adaptable to emerging requirements and legal mandates.
We expect to continue to see new use cases like this evolve as organizations implement new approaches to daily operation. Regardless of the use case, the underlying driver is that access to information and flexibility is critical and the ability to respond quickly is vital.
As we all adjust to different ways of operating, we offer a few points to consider:
- Identify the mission-critical challenges that are most relevant to your operations. They may be very different from others in your industry and vicinity.
- Focus on the things that are within your direct control. You cannot fix the world, but you can protect what matters most to you – your employees, processes, and property.
- Implement processes and policies that are flexible enough to fit your situation, scalable to larger or smaller groups, and adaptable to new requirements – be they regulations, standards, processes, or new technologies.
- Above all else, be pragmatic. The solution should not be worse than the problem.
As we move out of this phase and into the weeks, months, and years ahead, there is hope, and we are proud to play a part in helping organizations tackle their most mission-critical challenges.
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