“You can still clock-in”: Tech-y ways to overcome COVID-19 disruption


businesses using workforce management technology during coronavirus outbreak

Tech

By Loren Webb

The coronavirus outbreak has already prompted enterprising businesses to use their existing workforce management technology in innovative new ways.

The unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on peoples’ daily work and personal habits has been the catalyst for the businesses we work with in Australia and overseas to find new functions for our technology.

We are hearing about how they are using the platform to help communicate with their employees about safety measures, shift changes and team morale at this difficult time.

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


Health and safety issues are top of mind. Employers can use workforce management technology to enter and monitor safety processes such as staff’s COVID-19 test results and to monitor staff’s self-isolation expiry 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 we originally created to ensure workforce compliance with industry regulations, certifications and visa working restrictions.

Leave management is another important issue. As a growing 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 be able 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.

Before you put this technology to work in your business, it’s important to ensure your provider’s product is compliant with Australia’s complex industrial awards and allowances rather than being designed to default to overseas employment regulations.

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 roster.

 

Facing unprecedented trading conditions, businesses will be keeping a close eye on profitability. Tanda has introduced a Live Wage Tracker that allows them to make early cost-saving decisions based on reduced demand.

Live Wage Tracker updates on wage costs every 15 minutes and 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 daily, and sometimes amended overnight, it’s vital that businesses are able to make rapid cost-saving decisions based on demand.

Working from home? You can still clock in– Tanda’s Remote Clock In allows staff to clock in via their mobile phones, 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 working world may be permanently impacted.

Once the virus is contained and we return to business as usual employees may be saying, “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 sanitising frequently touched surfaces, even report on interactions with potentially unwell customers so that good records are kept.

Also, employers can easily communicate changes to the business. They can message individuals or entire teams, sharing key updates and important documents like training files or new health and safety policies or 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 us, at the very least in the short-term, a new way of operating, but technology that already exists can help businesses keep on top of the “the new normal” of managing a workforce.


Phil Johnson is the senior workforce success executive at Tanda. Tanda is a solution for workforce management, profitability and compliance. Founded in Australia in 2012, Tanda is now a global organisation assisting more than 6200 businesses and their 300,000+ employees with rostering, attendance, labour insights and workforce success.

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