Protect and empower your employees to return to the workplace with Microsoft

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Protect and empower your employees to return to the workplace with Microsoft

Recently, I wrote another blog article entitled ‘Get your employees back to the workplace – safely and with confidence’ . I talked about how a lot of employees were left with no choice but to work remotely over the last six months and it’s only more recently that organisations are looking at how they can safely get employees back to the workplace. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. It’s a worthwhile, quick read.

A step towards normality

A lot of employees have enjoyed working from home. No long commute, lower outgoings through savings on fuel and work lunches, plus the practicality of being able to look after children while school was out. On the flip side, many employees have yearned for that proper face-to-face social interaction that you just can’t get through video chat. So, it was great to hear that, now, businesses are being asked by the Government to encourage employees to return to the workplace, to help create some level of pre-pandemic normality.

In my last blog, I touched on some of the challenges in re-opening workplaces and ensuring that employees can return safely and confidently. In this blog, I will remind you of some of these challenges and go into detail about how Microsoft’s Return to the Workplace solution with its various applications.

Key Challenges

  • Knowing when it’s safe to re-open – especially for organisations with multiple, sometimes international site locations
  • Being able to react quickly – having both the information and tools at hand to quickly make informed decisions regarding re-opening, re-closing, employee safety, etc.
  • Learning as you go along – having fast feedback loops in place to learn and apply lessons from each site
  • Giving employees the confidence to return – it’s all well and good re-opening a workplace but if your employees don’t feel safe, they won’t be happy or productive
  • Managing locations once they’re reopened – controlling the number of employees returning and keeping abreast of local outbreak information and the wellness of your own workforce
  • Providing key stakeholders with timely and accurate information – executive leaders, facility managers, employees and their managers, plus health and safety leaders all need to be kept in the loop with what’s happening.

How Microsoft’s Return to the Workplace solution addresses these challenges

1. Location Readiness

Location readiness consists of three dashboards (System at a Glance, Facilities at a Glance & Employee Activity), accessed through PowerBI that help quickly determine the readiness of different locations and efficiently manage their safe reopening. Using a variety sources of reliable data (World Health Organisation, WHO) you can access key metrics such as the number of new COVID-19 cases per day to determine whether your location is suitable for reopening.

Interactive maps (which you can filter by region) provide vital updates, gathered via reliable sources such as WHO, on the current infection and fatality rates in your facilities location as well as insight as to the reproductive level – how fast the virus is spreading or decreasing.

Within the location readiness feature, you can also check and report on the readiness of all facilities using the Facility at a Glance dashboard. You are able to identify the stage each facility is at (eg, Closed, planning, initial return, etc), support local managers with checklists to move facilities through each phase, and track and monitor metrics based on each facility’s capacity and usage.

Additionally, business leaders can also report and compare daily information based on employee sentiment and attestation.

2. Workplace Care Management

Workplace Care Management allows managers like you to monitor and track the health and safety of your employees across facilities and locations. Using a four-step process within the Workplace Care Management app Health and Safety Leads are able to effectively manage employee cases in accordance with your company policies.

Should one of your employees inform you or test positive for symptoms you have a ready to use set of criteria to manage them back to the workplace through investigation, monitoring and resolve. Business leads are then able to track employee wellbeing through each stage of the process and across all locations via a dashboard.

3. Employee Return to the Workplace

The Employee Return to the Workplace app empowers your employees to self-service through a specifically developed PowerApp. The app gives each employee the ability to remotely check the reopen status of their workplace to be reassured that they can return safely. Satisfied that the facility is safe to return to the employee can check-in to obtain a day pass for access to that facility and book a space.

Upon booking a space each employee is required to accept your company’s terms and conditions, then review and agree the list of symptoms to confirm their pass. Once you receive the pass you are able to cancel should you become unwell or no longer need to return to the workplace.

The good thing is that the app will also let you tell your employer if you don’t feel safe returning to work via the homepage.

4. Location Management

Also referred to as the Facility Safety Management app, Location Management helps facilities and health & safety leads to monitor the status of each facility in order to remain open safely. This feature supports needs such as monitoring occupancy levels, the demand for health supplies, the effectiveness of safety processes and procedures, as well as other facility-related best practices of facilities management.

Business Leads have easy access to real-time information about their facility in a Facility manager dashboard via PowerBI. There are three tabs within the dashboard that monitors the facility (readiness, capacity & usage), Virus spread (new cases and the infection rate) and Employee Activity (App usage, employee sentiment and the number of passes granted).

How DXC can be of help

We understand the challenges businesses are facing and the need to return to come sort of pre-pandemic normality. Our own organisation has had similar challenges and we’ve successfully supported our own team to return to the workplace safely and with confidence using Microsoft technology.

If you would like to discuss implementing any of these solutions and need support please feel free to reach out via our contact form.

Join our Return to the Workplace webinars

We are running a few webinars that provide an overview of the solutions mentioned above, 17th or 24th September register here.

We have also developed a handy factsheet that you can download.


Blog Author: Paul Saxton, CTO DXC Microsoft Dynamics Applications


DXC Technology

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