The COVID-19 Playbook: Challenges, Solutions, and Best Tools
Has your business taken a hit and lost customers due to the frightening and frustrating rise in coronavirus cases and deaths?
While several companies are getting ready to re-open for business, Christian Pinkston has, so far, spent $50,000 on securing ultramodern safety precautions for about 50 of his communication firm staff to ensure they do not contract COVID-19 when they return to work.
What steps are you taking to ensure the safety of your workforce?
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the global community has been in a state of sustained shock. Employers, experts, clients, partners, and employees have been trying to make sense of this global pandemic to prevent businesses from folding.
As Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, explicitly put it, “We can only tackle this global threat – and get our economy back on track – by working together.” He also said, “Sharing tools to fight COVID-19 is the best shot the world has.”
Hence, the need for a COVID-19 playbook with reliable and efficient tools.
Many businesses have implemented measures to ensure that employees remain healthy and are not at risk of being infected when they resume work. These measures range from common-sense practices to expensive high-tech systems.
From Amazon’s COVID-19 testing facility to the Ford Motor Co’s small pilot program, we can boldly say that business owners are putting their employees’ safety first.
What is the best tool to equip your workforce with while planning to reopen for business?
We will be concentrating on the following two topics:
- The challenges faced by business owners
- The tools required for the COVID-19 playbook
The Challenges Faced by Business Owners in the Fight Against COVID-19
The fight against the coronavirus has lasted over 6 months and has proven to be one of man’s greatest challenges especially since it differs from other pathogens regarding biological characteristics and transmissibility.
Coronavirus has sneaked into the global society, unleashing havoc and disrupting various activities. So far, we have experienced containment, treatment, protection, and measures like social distancing, lockdowns, and wearing face masks.
Containment basically refers to preventing the virus from spreading too fast and overwhelming the current heath capacity of different nations.
The challenges, though different for businesses in developing and developed countries, include the following:
Timing is everything
Different states and countries worldwide have varying rules for the reopening of businesses. CEOs and business owners have to get the timing right!
The fact that your state has decided that businesses should reopen does not mean it is the right time for you to resume operations.
Your company may run at a loss if you open it at full capacity. Businesses such as surfing or tour companies should not reopen now. Many people are still afraid to go out or travel, and you will be wasting valuable working capital and working hours without making any sales.
Open your business in phases. Delay some facets of your business and focus on aspects like rentals and sales while assessing the demand for your products or services. If possible, use an online store and gradually reintroduce in-person sales for better customer service.
Sick-leave for staff
What happens when you are faced with mass employee absences?
There are several reasons why your employees will have to take a sick leave and stay at home:
- If they have underlying health issues that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19;
- If they have to self-isolate because they have been in contact with an infected person;
- If they are quarantined because they have been infected with the coronavirus;
Most of the time, sick leave is inevitable, and will affect the smooth operation of your business – especially when more than 3 workers have to stay at home. This will have an adverse impact on your business and affect your ROI.
Can anything be done to reduce the losses caused by employee absences?
Create a temporary COVID-19 sick leave policy that allows sick employees to stay at home for no less than 2 weeks. Employees who tested positive for COVID-19 or have any symptoms of the virus should not return to work until they have been given a clean bill of health from the appropriate authorities.
Also, employees who are self-isolating because of contact with an infected person should be given the option of working remotely until they are well enough to safely return to the office. This will allow them to be more productive.
Additional cost due to safety regulations
Many businesses have lost considerable revenue due to the prolonged closure of operations. Reopening your business will require substantial expenses to ensure that your employees and customers remain safe in the workplace. Adding a COVID-19 surcharge will minimize your losses.
Masks, sanitation regimens, thermometers, and plexiglass barriers, as well as smartspace contact tracing and social distancing tools, are among the things that can cost you a lot of money. These expenses add up in no time when you start implementing new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
You may have to recover the extra costs from your customers by increasing the price of your products or services. You can charge for protective gear, Plexiglas barriers, disinfectants, and your best digital contact tracing tool.
However, be polite to your customers as you explain why the price of your products or services has increased. Try not to lose them while keeping them loyal to you and making sure you do not run at a loss.
Team morale has been significantly affected by this pandemic, and businesses should strive to keep spirits high.
It is to be expected that some employees will be afraid of returning to work, especially those who do not have a car or bike. Being outdoors places people more at risk of contracting the coronavirus than staying at home.
Therefore, workers will be reluctant to return to the workplace until they are sure that standard safety measures are in place.
Work on rebuilding morale and improve communication with your employees. Let them know they are your top priority as they take the public bus to the workplace.
The Tools Required For the COVID-19 Playbook
Epidemics have proven to be a rising threat. Before the novel coronavirus disease 2019, there was SARS, Zika virus, and Ebola.
To fight COVID-19, there is a growing need to integrate digital infrastructure at different stages of the public health response. Many cities all over the world are turning to social distancing and contact tracing tools to safeguard themselves.
Calling for unity across cities in response efforts, Bernado Mariano Junior, WHO’s Director of Department of Digital Health and Innovation, said, “The world needs to be well prepared and united in the spirit of shared responsibility, to digitally detect, protect, respond, and prepare the recovery for COVID 19. No single entity or single country initiative will be sufficient. We need everyone.”
So far, some tools have come in handy in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
These tools are needed in the following sectors of the economy:
- Supply chain and logistics
- Collaboration and productivity
- Software support and security
- Research and development
- Finance and accounting
- People and recruiting
Here are some of the tools that different companies have come up with to help fight COVID-19 and restore the world to a new normal:
- Option #1
This social distancing and contact tracing solution uses Ultra-Wideband Technology and is specifically made for enterprise organizations.
It works by providing your employees with valuable information on any infected person they have come into contact with. With this information, employers can take action regarding these at-risk employees to maintain safety, confidence, and productivity.
These wearables are compact, comfortable, and rechargeable. They can be used anonymously and passively to determine the proximity of an individual, as well as their frequency and how long the workers spend together. This provides privacy and security.
The sensors need to be real-time, so you have to plug them into wall outlets to completely cover your workspace. The data collected in the cloud allows for a rapid response and identifies other employees who are at higher risk whenever one of your employees gets infected.
The system requirements include Android, iPad, iPhone, and SaaS.
- Option #2
The second option provides solutions for visitor management, workforce management, presence control, access analytics, and social distancing monitoring.
These services help to manage the exposure of your workforce and customers to COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.
It uses a converged approach to combine implementation with Enterprise Business systems. It enhances and automates your workers’ safety, security, and compliance.
For instance, to ensure the monitoring of social distancing, it turns the access card of your building into a brilliant social distancing solution.
- Option #3
The third option is another easy to use contact tracing and social distancing tool that helps people to safely navigate the workplace during this pandemic.
Using Ultra-Wideband technology, this system allows the badges to accurately measure proximity. It does this without using location beacons or any personally identifiable information. This is more accurate than Bluetooth (BLE).
After fully charging the badges, you will not have to charge it again for two months due to the outstanding battery life.
Additionally, the system also provides social distancing reports that enables you to identify PPE risks proactively. It does this by flashing and vibrating when wearers are too close to each other.
This device comes with an apparel clip so that it can be worn on a shirt collar or shirt pocket.
smartspace is the best way to create a new normal in workplaces. Using the latest Silicon Valley technology, this amazing tool provides instant device-to-device alerts and traceability to reduce the risk of personal contact in controlled business and community environments.
It ensures social distancing by triggering a warning when two people are closer than 6 feet to each other.
Seguro LLC focuses on customer satisfaction, innovation, and integrity to offer outstanding technology and service in the form of this amazing contact tracing and social distancing tool.
smartspace is highly valuable for CEOs and business owners who are eager to grow their ROI after the prolonged shut down of their businesses due to the outbreak.
Here are some outstanding features that make smartspace the best tool for fighting COVID-19 digitally in the workplace:
- It also uses ultra-wideband technology and is accurate within 4 inches. This makes it the most accurate of its kind.
- The device integrates both hardware and software to ensure that social distancing protocols are followed.
- You can download the smartspace app on any Android or iOS phone.
- Also, the real-time data from all interactions of the smartspace wearers within a particular controlled area is downloaded to the app.
- It helps to guard your workforce and mitigate risk by tracking interactions and utilizing the data to determine who has made contact with an infected person.
- It is compact, just a little larger than a credit card. Therefore, wearing it while continuing with duties is not stressful or inconvenient.
- You can enjoy a ten-hour battery life before the device needs to be recharged again, so you won’t have to charge it every day.
- It saves energy by running on Bluetooth Low Energy. The device connects to the phone using Bluetooth.
- The smartspace app is straightforward to use. Administrators can use the analytical data to track the devices that came within 6 feet of each other and who an infected person is likely to have made contact with long enough to contaminate them. This makes it easier to manage risk and trace contacts.
- This exceptional technological solution does not require any additional hardware.
- One of the best things about this unique product is that it is not meant only for COVID-19. As a tracing tool, it can be used to trace flu as winter approaches, as well as serve other traceability processes.
Your workers need to feel safe going to work, and this is why you need to equip them with smartspace.
With social distancing and lockdown measures in effect in most countries, more people are relying on the internet for advice and information. Hence, governments are deploying efficient digital technologies and tools to help contain the outbreak.
It will take resilience, coordination, collaboration, a fighting spirit, discipline, and serious thinking to beat the coronavirus.
Above all, you will need a smartspace device to ensure the safety and productivity of your workforce.