In my previous blog, I explained what are the core considerations businesses need to evaluate when developing an appropriate COVID response. In this concluding blog, you will learn why automating and optimizing your business is imperative for a safer, more cost-efficient workplace.
Automate and optimize
Automating and optimizing are essential in reducing the cost and risk of the virus. This is done by monitoring density in offices while supporting active navigation to lower potential risk. This can also be automated by using thermal imagery cameras to detect compliance with policies on social distancing and mask wearing.
Contact tracking automates and reduces the manual effort required in contact tracing, where contact tracing requires interviews about people and locations, contact tracing looks to use currently available data such as access logs and workforce scheduling to understand and model risk. In addition to existing sources, we’ve advised our clients with new approaches to contact tracing, such as:
- BLE applications and smart tags to trace interactions between individuals and between individuals and locations/equipment
- GPS-based approaches to model locational risk in open spaces
- Camera-based analytics to detect proximate interactions.
These solutions help companies with larger groups, particularly those in less formal spaces, to significantly reduce the manual effort of contact tracing by continually providing a mechanism to understand interactions and inform individuals of their personal risk. When combined with the self-certification and digital channels, these help to more actively manage the workforce and significantly reduce the HR costs associated with response.
For offices, the challenge of density tracking and management is crucial and understanding how to physically plan offices to support social distancing is key. Our Smart Office supports social distancing requirements, enabling people to move around offices without producing accidental clusters and enabling office disinfecting processes for meeting rooms and desks to be automatically triggered. While some approaches use PoE (power over Ethernet) that may require walls in offices to be remodeled or have batteries that last only a year, our solution was designed to only require batteries to be placed once every seven years. This makes it a solution that will not only work for the pandemic, but will seamlessly transition to BAU to allow a greater degree of office management in a post-COVID world, something we feel will be important as mixed models of working between home and office become more normal.
As new ways of working develop, the companies that understand these foundational elements and implement them will best be able to establish new working practices that attract and retain talented staff. The modifications to employee engagement monitoring and shift and location scheduling will give companies flexibility with their staff and more precisely understand people’s needs. When combined with approaches such as Smart Offices, recruitment, staffing, retention, operations, and engagement go up.
Retain the value; decommission the costs
At the end of the pandemic, elements such as quarantine processes, testing and contact tracing will need to be decommissioned quickly and efficiently. The planning for this starts today in the way that the solutions are built. It also starts today in planning for what you want to retain. It is Capgemini’s view that the process elements of COVID will be decommissioned but that the data and analytics around workforce scheduling, space and density monitoring, and above all, the data sharing of employees and facilities information will transform how businesses plan environments and work patterns for their staff.
To receive a COVID operational readiness assessment, please contact Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.