Resources > Blog > How To Manage A COVID Outbreak at Work
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many organizations have seen their workforce decimated by close contact between employees to the point where shutdowns of the actual business are necessary to maintain public safety. As a business owner, you mustendurethe cost of closure. As an employee, you are left without shifts or hours to work which can result in lost income for most.
The best thing to do, as a manager or leader of an organization, is to proactively manage potential outbreaks amongst managers or employees. With the help oftechnology, you'll be ready should an incident occur.Visualizing physical contact across your entire workforce with digital tools will eliminate chasing paper entries or calling staff late at night. See employee interactions, shifts impacted, and employee overlap shifts and times. All within a few clicks.
The best thing to do, as a manager or leader of an organization, is to proactively manage potential outbreaks amongst managers or employees. With the help oftechnology, you'll be ready should an incident occur.
The Evolution of Digital Contact Tracing Tools
Let's rewind two years. Contact tracing wasn't 'a thing' yet. We'd not experienced a global pandemic before. Our business climate rapidly changed and with that so did technology.
Utilities allowing you to trace physical contact throughout your entire organization have evolved tremendously over the last year. What was once a paper-and-pencil process can now be managed, in the background, using GPSdata on your phone or Bluetooth proximity data.
These apps – some released by tech giants like Apple, Google and Salesforce – will manage employee identification, notification to others who may have had close contact with the sick employee, and further manage the testing and quarantine process impacted team members. This helps to ease the burden on managers and business owners as they migrate to objective tools to help overcome a once-subjective tracing process.
However, many of the apps launched by Big Tech are not focused on the workplace or require large teams comprised of contact tracers who are trained in very specific processes. With functionality focused on the public or labor-intensive processes being too financially restrictive, small to medium sized businesses and teams were left with nowhere to turn. Until now.
Tipsto Manage Outbreaks at Work
With health and safety the most important factor in the office, it is critical that a fast, well-planned and thorough response plan be in place should any one of your team members get sick. Most organizations have layers of data in separate, disparate systems. Using these tips will help you maintain a sound plan before you're navigating an outbreak in the workplace.
1. Use A Contact Tracing Dashboard
The first step in managing outbreak is to begin using a contact tracing dashboard. This tool will help you track the employees you manage, and their respective shifts or hours worked – a critical dataset to have handy should someone on your staff get sick. Without it, you'd have to spend hours sifting through various schedules and time clock data and then compare that to all other employee data.
InSubItUp, this tool automaticallypopulates your employee time-and-attendance data. Whenmanagers are creating and approving worker schedules, and when employees are clocking in and out, they are all simultaneously building and moderating the contact tracing dashboard. One purpose-built view to help managers see who worked with whom, when. Simple as that.
2. Focus on Employee Overlap
The key to an effective dashboard is visualizing overlap. When did the sick employee work? Who did they work with? How long did they work together? Is the team that worked with them affected? Finding the answers to these questions can require lots of time. Ensuring you have a consolidated space where all this data lives is critical to a swift response.
SubItUp'scontact tracing dashboard compiles your shift data – even acrossmultipleteams and managers – to show you time-and-attendance flags (think, actual employee-logged hours). It will highlight dates and times when employees had shift overlap. You caneven see the duration of that overlap.
3. Reduce Risk with Quick Communication
The most well-managed outbreaks in organizations have one thing in common: immediate team communication. This is where a message center can eliminate delays or scheduling remedies.SubItUp'splatform stores employee contact information and then let's approved senders communicate with teams, employees, or the entire organization via email, internal platform notes or – if extremely urgent – even text message.
You should plan to communicate to the employees you've found overlapping immediately if one gets sick.Help them, through an interactive process, to take the necessary steps to get tested and rest, and then swap shifts in your schedule usingSubItUp'smanager override feature.
Employee health and engagement is paramount to a safe, productive team. These three tools can be manually created and updated – an ambitious undertaking. Using a larger integrated system likeSubItUpwill make things easier. Regardless of the platform, teams thatimplement these tools will be prepared when staff are sick,will be ready to proactively adjust schedules, and will have the added benefit of a happy workforce focused on employee and customer safety.
Explore more of SubItUp's Contact Tracing feature here:https://support.subitup.com/how-to-use-the-contact-tracing-feature.