While many workers found themselves at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, essential employees were forced to maintain regular working schedules. Yet, the daily functions of their worksites needed dramatic changes. Workers were concerned about their safety on-site and questions around working conditions were top of mind. In addition, many companies found themselves in charge of not just one office, but all workers at large institutions across multiple sectors and regions worldwide. These businesses needed to implement new health and safety procedures that could be deployed en masse while adhering to regional restrictions. As well, new systems were required to track COVID risk, exposures, and ensure social distancing measures were being followed.
We knew that in order to maintain essential site functions new tools were required to ensure worker safety. Tjene began by implementing the IBM TRIRIGA Workplace Services app for our client, a large American Pharmaceutical company. This app helped notify employees when they could return to the workplace and showed them which spaces were available for use. We also added a COVID Testing Schedule application where employees could submit available times to get an on-site COVID test.
Our next step was to implement a Return to Office Request app which allowed employees to request specific days to come into the office. The submission form included a COVID questionnaire, to ensure anyone coming into the site was properly screened.
From there, we added the IBM TRIRIGA Reserve app, where employees could book desks, meeting rooms, and other amenities directly through Outlook in a list or floor plan view. They could easily see which offices were open and which were not, alongside any open-status documents they would need to access before going in. With new restrictions on capacity and social distancing, our Secondary Location Admin tool helped employers assign employees to a secondary workstation if needed. Their primary workstation would still be tied to their profile, so the employee’s initial location could remain the same, if and when things went back to normal.
Finally, the AI-powered Watson Assistant chatbot made it easy for employees to find quick answers to common COVID-19 questions such as, "Do I need to wear a mask?" or "Is my building open this week?". Users can communicate with Watson through voice or text and the tool can be integrated with both Slack and Microsoft Teams. They can also find a room or desk by simply typing, “Find me a room/desk” further improving social distancing measures.
Thanks to our apps and tools, staff were able to return to offices quickly, while feeling confident there were measures in place to protect them. Daily health checks and on-site testing helped employers minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposures. Strategic booking and reservation systems also helped offices stay safe, operational, and compliant with local pandemic restrictions.
Within the first two days of using the Covid Testing Scheduling application, 1,500 bookings were made. These bookings could be made across offices, cities, and time zones, to ensure employees could access specific office data while remote. The app also made it easy to ensure social distancing among staff who were returning to work. With all of these tools on hand, our clients saved time, increased productivity, and pioneered a safe return to work experience.