Beyond COVID-19: What It Will Take for Workplaces to Keep Moving Forward

The global pandemic has caused an unprecedented shift for organizations which will have a lasting impact on business operations going forward. Despite the challenging circumstances, organizations are the ones carrying the burden of responsibility for safeguarding their employees from unnecessary risk and potential exposure. They are responsible for preventing outbreaks in their facilities by ensuring they have acted in accordance to best practices and done everything possible to prevent them.

Companies of all sizes have been forced to reimagine how their workplaces function, how employees interact with each other, and how we move forward with day-to-day operations for the foreseeable future. The drastic implementation of new measures and the restructuring of how we use spaces has been a daunting task – even on a small scale.

Further to protecting employees and meeting the legal obligations of government mandates, companies need to consider the massive risks that a COVID-related incident would have on their business operations. According to Statistics Canada, more than 50% of Canadian business have lost at least one-fifth of their revenue due to COVID-19.

While the pandemic has introduced health and safety obstacles for organizations of all sizes, it has been particularly challenging for major national and international corporations who can have thousands of visitors and contractors moving through their facilities on any given day. For companies with a broad footprint, this massive volume of traffic in their buildings would be overwhelming to manage without systems in place to implement large-scale changes and to track and manage individuals in each location.

This is particularly true in major operations such as manufacturing, food industries, and other essential industries. Any incident in any part of this supply chain could be devastating and would result in having to partially shut down operations and temporarily reduce on-site manpower due to quarantine mandates. This is a potential disaster for operations, supply chain, revenue, and not to mention the most important – employee safety.

In many essential businesses, products move from manufacturing facilities to warehouses, then to distribution centers where logistics companies move them further to their next destination. Meanwhile, each of those facilities can have thousands of employees and contractors moving through them each day – But how do you protect your employees and products throughout the supply chain? How do you screen a massive number of individuals, and keep track of them for contact tracing in the event of an incident?

Implement automated systems.

Simply put, companies must pivot and change how they handle daily interactions, because this new normal will be around for a long time to come. In order to implement a viable long-term solution for the workplace, it is crucial that organizations implement systems to automate the processing of everything – and everyone – moving through their facilities.

And we must place that burden on technology – not on our people.

We need to put technology as our first line of defense in the workplace.

COVID-19 has magnified the need for organizations to have a system in place that is able to verify, monitor and track all individuals who have had contact with their workplaces. In this new normal, having a system for tracking individuals is no longer about modernizing the workplace – it has become a crucial part of safeguarding your workforce and business operations.

There has never been a bigger fundamental change in recent history that impacts our workplaces so much.

With automation at the core of my business, my team was in a strong position to help our clients pivot their daily operations in order to have more control over who has access to their facilities. When COVID-19 started impacting businesses, we were able to quickly help our clients implement new policies and measures, and enable them to screen visitors and contractors in order to assess their level of risk – in many cases, exceeding the existing government mandates that were in place at the time.

At iLobby, we are working to redefine the modern workspace and create automated processes for a fully integrated environment. Through systems and processes, we are automating data collection, tracking, and real-time reporting to help safeguard workplaces against the threat of COVID-19.

Going forward in this new normal, companies will continue to see an increased need for greater control over safety in their facilities. From essential business meetings, to on-site contractor projects, we must reimagine how we’re managing who has access to our facilities. Automation, smart solutions, and secure tools will help us achieve this.

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