By Leon Gettler >>
THE BIG CHALLENGE for businesses now is bringing all employees back to work safely. It’s a huge challenge for businesses, particularly the larger ones with lots of employees.
San Francisco-based entrepreneur Amar Goel has come up with the perfect solution for business: an app called Safeter which ensures that employees are staying safe and keeping their colleagues safe.
The first offering from the app is to allow employees do a symptom check on their mobile app.
So before coming into the office, they would fill in a survey recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). They just have to answer some simple questions which would take a few seconds. Do they have any symptoms of coronavirus? Have they been travelling anywhere that has had significant cases?
The other thing that app handles is employee scheduling, allowing employers to determine who exactly is coming into work on any given day. That can also include cohort scheduling or group scheduling where, for example, a workforce of say 100 employees is broken up into five groups of 20 that can come in on scheduled days.
It also allows them to space out the number of employees allowed to use the elevator at any one time. The Safeter app allows for symptom checks for visitors.
APPLE, GOOGLE CHALLENGES
The relationship between Safeter and Google and Apple is complicated. Apple and Google are currently limiting the apps in their stores that can enable contact tracing.
While Safeter has contact tracing capabilities, which are valuable for employers, Google and Apple asked for it to be removed.
“I understand their concerns for sure,” Mr Goel told Talking Business. “They have privacy concerns and they want to make sure things are done well and people’s privacy is not exposed.
“But at the same time, there are a lot of employment issues around people’s health and employers need the tools to be able to manage their workplace.”
And in the future, there will be more employees saying they want to work from home two days out of three. The Safeter app will manage that for employees and companies.
“We’re helping when the person wants to come into the office. When someone wants to transition back into the office, let’s say, two days a week, how do we make sure we have enough social distancing and we don’t have overcrowding?” he said.
“I do think a lot of people will have a hybrid model going forward,”
Mr Goel said the app would be particularly helpful for companies dealing with liability in the post-COVID era.
“It’s important for companies to make sure they are (seen as) doing the right thing and helping their employees be safe, but then also, there’s some value in recording that from a compliance standpoint,” he said.
“There is a compliance and liability standpoint that employers want to manage.”
It would also be critical now for companies in which the human resources (HR) manager is now becoming the company’s health officer.
Mr Goel said the app takes the burden off HR managers and helps the safety teams that so many companies have set up.
Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.