Workplace track and trace has lift off?

As many countries gradually begin to emerge out of lockdown, technology companies are clamouring to produce bespoke track and trace systems for the workplace.

Government mandated track and trace systems are working with varying levels of effectiveness around the world - with South Korea appearing to lead the charge while the UK is trailing somewhere miserably round the back. Reasons for these differences are numerous, and often political, but also largely hinge on factors like tech infrastructure, logistical planning and attitudes to privacy.

In the workplace the benefits of tracking have long been touted and often theoretically aligned to all kinds of personalised IoT services such as bespoke temperature settings in meeting rooms. To the cynical, these often just looked like ways to keep tabs on what staff were up to, but the reasons these plans have not reached fruition to date, are largely the same reasons that government-level track and tracing systems have proved unsuccessful.

Now the Covid-19 crisis provides an excellent reason to get track and trace up and running at a workplace level. This has many advantages for organisations as it provides an ultra-local way to help contain the spread of any infection, could offer additional peace of mind to employees - and thus act as a sort of advertisement for best-in-class companies - as well as minimising staff absences to reduce economic fallout from the crisis.

Not surprisingly, since the pandemic began - and even more so now lockdowns are easing - technology companies have been pivoting to provide these solutions. Broadly, these tend to fall into a few different categories, namely: self-assessment tools; wearables to reinforce social distancing; and physical office solutions. Semi-medical equipment, like thermal scanners, also sometimes get included here, as they can be employed at a company level. However, these are not covered in this article.

 

Self-assessment tools

Self-assessment tools sometimes integrate with HR solutions and provide employees with the chance to fill in relevant details on how they're feeling, their medical history or relevant skills.

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