Technology

You can still clock in: Technology offers ways to overcome COVID-19 disruption

By Phil Johnson

Apr. 16, 2020

time and attendance, HR technologyThe coronavirus outbreak has prompted enterprising businesses to use their existing workforce management technology in new ways.

The unprecedented impact on people’s daily work and personal habits has been the catalyst for the businesses we work with to find new functions for our technology.

Innovative organizations are using the platform to help communicate with their employees about safety measures, shift changes and team morale during this difficult time.

The following are issues that businesses should be prepared for over the coming days, weeks and months and how workforce management technology can assist.

Health and safety issues are top of mind. Employers can use workforce management software to enter and monitor safety processes such as their staff’s COVID-19 test results and to monitor the staff’s self-isolation dates so they know when it is safe to allow them to return to the workplace.

This is an innovative use of a function that was originally created to ensure workforce compliance with industry regulations, certifications and visa working restrictions.

Leave management is another important issue. As a large number of people are required to self-isolate, businesses will see a dramatic increase in requests for all types of leave. They will need systems in place to handle this influx of applications.

Workforce management technology allows for easier approval of shifts and timesheets, along with the power to add and edit staff leave and add manual allowances.

Shift equity is something many employers will want to focus on. A platform can be used to equitably share shifts among staff as a fairer alternative to dropping staff members off the schedule.

Facing unprecedented economic conditions, businesses will be keeping a close eye on profitability. Workforce.com has introduced a live wage tracker that allows employers to make early cost-saving decisions based on reduced demand.

Our live wage tracker provides an update on wage costs every 15 minutes. If this data is connected to point-of-sale technology, businesses can track exactly how they are performing throughout the day and use the data to make staffing decisions. Especially when government directives are being made frequently, it’s vital that businesses are able to make rapid cost-saving decisions based on demand.

Employees working from home can still clock in via Workforce.com’s remote clock in, which allows staff to clock in via their mobile devices, to clock in and out multiple times to account for the distractions of working from home, and to list their activities performed.

This pandemic will speed up the adoption of remote work technology and employers are on notice that the workplace may be permanently impacted.

Once the virus is contained and it is business as usual, employees may be asking, “Why do I have to come into the office every day, I’m just as efficient from home?”

Can your business keep up if people want to continue to work from home? Some businesses are using this time of reduced demand to ensure they have the right processes in place for a flexible workforce.

Maintaining team unity is more important than ever. A chat function is a good way to check in on staff morale, set up reminders about sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, and even report on interactions with potentially unwell customers so that good records are kept.

Employers also can easily communicate changes to the business by messaging individuals or entire teams, sharing key updates and important documents like training files, new health and safety policies, and opening hours.

Because chat messages are easy for all team members to see in the app, employers and managers can also use this platform for important things like saying happy birthday to a team member or reminding them to clock out if they’ve forgotten to do so.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced upon employers and employees a new way of operating, at the very least in the short term. But technology that already exists can help businesses keep on top of the new normal of managing a workforce.

Phil Johnson is a senior customer success executive at Workforce.com. He is part of the global team assisting more than 6,200 businesses and their 300,000-plus employees with scheduling, attendance, labor insights and workforce success.

About Workforce.com

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We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

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