contact tracing coronavirus
4 min read

How workplace scheduling software can enable contact tracing in your office

Do you have contact tracing procedures in place, in the event that one of your employees falls ill?

Do you have the ability to see which meetings they’ve attended, which desks they’ve occupied and which other facilities they’ve utilized?

Can you trace which colleagues they may have come into contact with, at what proximity and report on the various risk levels for each individual?

These are questions that many organizations are currently exploring as they plan a safe return to work amidst COVID-19.

In recent articles, we’ve been talking about how to enable social distancing in the workplace using desk booking software and floor plans and how to use smart meeting room management for social distancing in the workplace.

Now it’s time to touch on how Smartway2’s meeting room booking and desk booking tools can give you answers to these questions around contact tracing in the workplace.

How to produce contact tracing reports from your resource scheduling system

It stands to reason that resource booking applications are well placed to take care of contact tracing in the workplace.

As people book the conference rooms, desks, parking spaces, AV equipment and any other services they need, this data can be leveraged to help protect your people.

It’s a feature-set we truly hope you’ll never have to use.

Contact tracing for COVID-19 in the office – how it works

In Smartway2, if one of your colleagues falls ill, the system can identify precisely whom they may have come into contact with.

You can then run a report to help inform your communications activity, by recommending people whom you should contact as top priority, according to their risk level.

For example, say I’ve been diagnosed with Coronavirus. We simply run a report to trace my interactions. The report highlights some high risk colleagues, stating the reason why they’ve been marked at that risk level. Perhaps some were sitting in close proximity to me, or attended the same meeting as me in the briefing room. At a lesser risk might be those who were in the same office neighbourhood as me during the period in question.

Flexibility is the key when planning a safe return to the office

Depending on where you are in the world, you’ll be facing different timescales and nuances in policy. What’s more, policy is a moving target as governments grapple with a complex, fast-changing situation, relying on the latest research and modelling to make best guesses that inform our next move.

Many organizations are forming cross-functional teams – including Facilities/CRE, HR, IT, Communications and other Operational roles – to tackle fresh challenges that spring up with each new day.

No matter what industry, job role or country you’re in, we all have one thing in common: the safety of our people remains the number one priority.

That’s why the key word in all of this is ‘flexibility’. Not only has the Coronavirus pandemic accelerated the shift toward more flexible, remote working practices; it has also highlighted the need for flexible tools and processes.

A word on ‘extreme flexibility’ from Smartway2’s CEO, John T. Anderson

“We’re incredibly fortunate to be in such a strong position to help organizations who are struggling to come to terms with the scope of change that’s necessary to keep their people safe,” said John, when I asked him for his thoughts on ‘extreme flexibility’ and business agility amidst COVID-19.

“One of the key design principles we obsessed over when coding the product was flexibility. We wanted to be the first – and for some time to come, perhaps – the only, solution that can easily be configured to cope with any workflow.

“As a result we built a flexible rules engine. At the time we had no idea that it would be so well suited to helping organizations safely return to work amidst a global pandemic. That is a scenario I fully admit we did not plan for, but we are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference during these challenging times.”

More ideas for creating a COVID-ready workplace

To see these COVID-safe features in action – along with more strategies for social distancing, desk booking, meeting room booking, sanitation procedures and other ways to protect your people amidst COVID-19 – please watch this webinar: Planning a Safe Return to Work.

We’re here to help

If your workplace has specific requirements and you’re wondering whether we can help, please contact us now. Smartway2 has a uniquely flexible ‘rules’ engine that can be customized to suit almost any workflow, so chances are we can make it work without any custom coding or expensive implementations.

We’re here to help, as always. Stay safe!

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Jane Young

Jane Young

Last updated June 2, 2020