Contact Tracing for Business Explained

The global pandemic has had a tremendous impact on businesses all over the world. A lot of companies, both big and small, were forced to close their doors for good because they couldn’t recover. 

Governments across the globe imposed strict restrictions and lockdowns for the people and businesses alike, so that they could try and prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Unfortunately, lockdowns didn’t help as much as everyone thought they would, and the lack of revenue during those lockdowns has greatly crippled many companies. 

Once the situation has improved a bit, a lot of companies rushed to open up for business once again so that they stay afloat during those trying times. However, returning to work in the midst of a global pandemic is very risky. 

That’s why governments came up with the contact tracing solution that would help companies identify infected employees early on and allow them to track everyone that employees were in contact with. 

While government solutions received a lot of scrutiny, companies came up with their own solution that was much more efficient. With that in mind, here are a few things you should know about contact tracing for businesses. 

What is contact tracing exactly?

As mentioned before, contact tracing is a technological solution that allows companies to track employee interactions. Those interactions are usually monitored via wearables, and the data is collected via mobile apps. In case one of the employees tests positive for COVID-19 or they start displaying any symptoms, the company can quickly trace everyone that employee has been in contact with. 

This allows them to isolate employees and prevent the further spread of the virus. That way, even if employees get sick, the company won’t have to halt operations entirely, provided they are able to contain the situation before it gets worse. Since these solutions are developed by professionals, companies are, indeed, able to act quickly enough, thanks to the reliability of both devices and data. 

While the pandemic still rages on, it’s of the utmost importance for companies to be able to contain the spread of the virus among employees should someone get infected. Although many employees work remotely, there are still people who must come to the office. Remaining operational and worrying about the virus would be next to impossible without contact tracing. 

How does contact tracing work?

Contact tracing wearables and apps collect data when employees are in close proximity to each other. In most cases, wearable devices utilize Bluetooth contact tracing technology or GPS geo-targeting. When employees approach each other, an automated logging feature activates itself and records data. 

Some devices have a manual logging feature that allows employees to log contacts with non-personnel during work, such as suppliers, business partners, delivery drivers and so on. Last but not least, employees can use their apps to report that they are not feeling well. That way, the company can react without having to wait for positive test results or for other symptoms to develop. 

Should you be concerned about employee privacy?

Employee privacy is one of the most important factors for employee satisfaction. Every company knows this, and they try their best to respect that employee right. However, when such devices enter the equation, one can’t help but worry if such solutions are invading employees’ privacy in one way or another. 

Fortunately, these technological solutions don’t track employee whereabouts while at work nor do they track them while they’re not on company premises. The only thing these devices track is whether or not an employee was too close to another employee and when. Employee privacy remains intact while companies maintain tracking of close proximity interaction between employees. 

Do you really need contact tracing?

Whether or not your company should opt for a contact tracing solution depends on your needs and the size of your business. If your company is a startup with ten or so employees, you probably won’t need contact tracing. 

However, if you have more employees and they have to come in contact with each other frequently, such as regular business meetings, accepting goods from delivery services, managing warehouse inventory, and so on, then you should strongly consider opting for this solution. 

After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have financial concerns about this solution, you should know that contact tracing works perfectly fine with mobile apps only. There’s no need to implement wearable infrastructure unless you absolutely need to. 

For example, the case where mobile apps wouldn’t be viable options is when employees aren’t allowed to have mobile devices due to safety concerns. In such cases, wearables are pretty much mandatory. Even then, this solution does not require you to alter your company’s infrastructure too much. The majority of operations are handled by your service provider. 

Contact tracing technology proved to be invaluable in both preventing the spread of COVID-19 and in allowing companies to remain operational during the pandemic. Without this solution, it would be very difficult for companies to wait the pandemic out in hopes they’ll be able to survive until the crisis is finally over.

About the Author:

Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. As a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog, he enjoys writing and providing insight of the industry based on both practice and theory.

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