The workplace has gone through many changes over the decades. But little has impacted our workplaces in recent history like COVID-19. The pandemic has forced organizations into a balancing act – protecting the physical and mental health of employees and their families, while simultaneously trying to keep their operations running successfully.
Employers are now scrambling to implement the most effective approaches to protect its stakeholders – and technology seems to be, once again, coming to their rescue.
Redefining the Healthy Workplace
Technology has done an amazing job at enabling remote work, and there is a plethora of tools available to help with collaboration, productivity, and much more.
But what about when remote work isn’t possible nor desired? It is worth taking a step back and redefine what a healthy environment looks like in our new reality before getting into the technologies available for healthy workplaces:
1. Physical safety
Regardless of your personal feelings about the pandemic, you must provide an environment that promotes safe practices designed to physically protect your employees. Promoting a physically safe space is also crucial to minimizing the risk of transmitting the virus to employees’ homes, families, and community.
2. Mental well-being
The past few months have proven to be mentally draining. We’ve been bombarded with stress from many sources, such as fear of illness, fear of loss of employment, and even the anxiety from a complete change to our routines.
This mental exhaustion is taking its toll on employees, and creating an environment that encourages mental health has become more important than ever.
Reflect on what may be causing your employees the most stress and gather the information you need to start implementing the right policies.
3. Financial health
It’s futile to implement dozens of security and health measures if employees are unable to perform their tasks effectively and efficiently – at least enough to ensure your business maintains its financial stability. It is crucial for leadership to take control of their finances and provide transparent communication to reduce the mental burden on employees.
4. Maintaining your Employer-of-Choice status
A workplace isn’t considered healthy and sustainable without its ability to attract and retain top talent. Organizations are under the microscope more than ever, and the actions your organization takes today can have a huge impact on your image of being an employer of choice.
Technologies for the Healthy Workplace
Despite the new challenges, amazing innovations have risen throughout this all. But first, there’s an important element that shouldn’t be ignored nor sacrificed during your mission for a healthier workplace: employees’ data and privacy.
Do your due diligence to ensure you aren’t intruding on employees’ right for privacy and the protection of their personal data. Question your suppliers and read the fine print to validate that data collected is used solely for its intended purposes, is never divulged, and is treated and disposed of in an ethical and responsible manner.
That said, here are some ways you can leverage technology to create your healthy workplace:
1.Thermal cameras and other sensors
While not 100% preventative, thermal cameras can be used as an additional safety measure. Combining them with facial recognition technology and other detectors can also enable you to detect threats and better contain risks quickly and effectively.
2. Wellness questionnaires
Pre-built and customizable questionnaires designed to assess the physical and mental wellbeing can prove to be invaluable with their vetted questions, built-in reminders, automatic delivery, and advanced reporting.
Such questionnaires can even help you comply with government requirements and allow your employees to self-screen before coming into the office, helping limit transmissions and reducing risks of exposure.
3. Protocols, reminders, and notifications
Despite hours of training, it is likely that the panic resulting from an alert or incident can leave a person stressed, anxious, and unsure of how to proceed.
Technology can help you implement, re-enforce, and communicate best practices and protocols by integrating tools that deliver targeted information when triggered by an incident, allowing people to respond to high-risk situations more effectively, leaving little room for human error and minimizing exposure.
4. Integrated HRIS technologies
Implementing several new protocols, policies, and procedures is bound to create logistical nightmares and inefficiencies throughout an organizations, especially among larger firms.
This is where using technologies that integrate with your Human Resources Information Systems can turn your operations from a chaotic mess to a well-oiled machine.
5. Design technology to ease communication
You can also leverage user-friendly design technologies that allow you to create clear, concise, and attention-grabbing content to better communicate best practices and recommended procedures. Build posters, guides, stickers, and other reminders to help re-enforce health behaviors.
The technology is available at your fingertips, so explore options and provide an environment that is not only physically safe, but that also supports your employees' mental well being, and most importantly, ensure that you do all of this while protecting your employees' basic rights for privacy.
You can, always, contact us for more information at [email protected]
The content from this blog is courtesy of Yuri Emond, Product Marketing Manager- IN-RGY. Best-In-Class Human Capital Management Solutions.