Top of mind for many employers and HR leaders as their hourly teams get back to work is how to improve safety, communication, and flexibility. Those that endeavor to address both health concerns and economic volatility will be better equipped to transition employees back to work, adapt to uncertain market conditions , and build a strong foundation of communication and collaboration that will serve them well when we’re on the other side of this crisis.
Touchless tech and the resurgence of BYOD (bring your own device) will be essential as hourly workers return to the workplace. Mobile and cloud tools can help reduce the number of employees that typically occupy the same physical space at the same time, and reduce the frequency employees have to physically interact with the same devices each day. These digital and mobile tools also increase the speed of information consumption and decision making, which is essential when circumstances and needs can change on a daily or even hourly basis.
1. Contactless Time Clock
Social distancing is here to stay—at least for a while—and workplaces need to rethink processes that unnecessarily put a lot of employees in the same physical space at the same time, or require employees to physically interact with the same devices multiple times a day.
One way employers are improving safety is by switching from a communal time clock to a contactless or personal time clock. Employers that switch to a mobile BYOD time clock are able to put a time clock in every employee’s pocket. These apps can prevent early clock-ins and use geofencing to ensure employees are clocking in where they should be.
2. Touchless Temperature Checks
Measuring body temperatures before a shift is an effective way to detect a health concern before it impacts other employees. The notion that employers would engage in broad-scale temperature screening of employees would have once been essentially unthinkable. But the realities of COVID-19 are changing the workplace, at least for the time-being.
With the encouragement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and some state and local governments, and in light of the blessing of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), more employers are now considering the implementation of daily temperature screening before employees enter the workplace.
3. Assisted Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who may have come into contact with an infected person. Subsequently, those that may have come into contact with an infected person are informed. Allowing them to make informed health decisions for themselves. Employers can then also make informed decisions to keep the workplace safe. It is one of the ways workplaces can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help keep the workplace safe.
If an employee gets sick, an employer needs to understand who that person worked with or came in contact with over the prior 14 days. Hourly workplaces can use employee scheduling and time tracking software to review shifts and time punches that overlap with other employees. In some cases, they can create a report that provides a list of employees that may have come into contact with the sick employee.
4. Team Communication
The speed of information consumption and decision making in the workplace is key right now. Workforce engagement is critical to adjusting to a rapidly changing health and market environment. Workplaces that operate on a workforce management platform see 60% of their shifts are covered or confirmed within 24 hours.
Mobile workforce management experiences also drive high engagement among employees. For example, the most effective platforms report 85% weekly engagement among employees using it, and over 55% daily engagement. This level of engagement dramatically speeds up information consumption, and action by managers and employees.
5. Flexible, Self-Scheduling
One way businesses are adapting to uncertain conditions and uncertain customer demand is by adopting self-scheduling. Workplaces that use self-scheduling resolve scheduling and coordination issues 20% faster than those that don’t. That’s a big deal while workplaces adjust to uncertain customer demand and market conditions.
“Flexible self-scheduling” is the term used when a manager defines scheduling needs based on demand, but allows employees to select, trade, and fill shifts themselves. Allowing schedules to be created faster, with less effort, and gives hourly employees more control over their work life. Flexible self-scheduling isn’t new. The approach is heralded as the future of work and drives better outcomes for employers and more engaged employees .
Flexibility, autonomy, and employee empowerment is a competitive advantage. It’s also key to survival and revival in uncertain environments. Businesses must be able to flexibly fill shifts based on near-term needs. Increasing or decreasing capacity within uncertain environments of demand is critical. This is then compounded by those that are adapting to untested workplace operations like delivery and curbside pickup.