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Envoy is committed to building for safe workplace re-openings

Just last week, it was announced that 1 in 5 Americans in the working class are now unemployed, a number that keeps rising as workplaces remain closed. Though some people are able to do their job from home in the meantime, let’s be clear: just because some people can technically work from home doesn’t mean they want to, or that they’ll be good at it. The sofa isn’t as comfortable as it used to be, there’s noisy construction outside, we’re forced to homeschool kids, our Internet isn’t nearly as good as we’re used to… not to mention the lack of a proper monitor and the amenities of the workplace. The mindset separation between “work” and “home” is now completely missing, and our weekends are spent not relaxing, to our own detriment. On top of this, there’s a staggering amount of folks that even if they wanted to work, cannot, as they need access to specialized equipment at their warehouse, factory, or lab. Simply put, there’s a lot of pressure to go back. Reasonable or not given the pandemic that’s still ongoing, this pressure will only increase with each day people are stuck at home.

Here at Envoy, we’re fortunate enough to have our products in over 14,000 of the world’s most forward-thinking workplaces. This has really given us a unique opportunity to observe how the biggest and best companies in the world are thinking about their ‘return to work’ plans. We’ve dug more and more into the issues they’re facing and realize there’s a lot we can help with as people go back, in whatever fashion they plan for.

The thing that’s clear from our customers is that this can all only be done safely if everyone participates and does their part. And for that to happen, we need to build products and institute protocols in an experience-focused, user-centric way. If things are overly burdensome, lack strong consideration of privacy or simply come off as authoritarian, they will not get adopted and the workplace won’t be as safe a place for everyone. Period.

People want to know they can go back to a safe workplace where they won’t get sick. Systematizing cleanliness for everyone coming into the workplace and while working there will be key. This means ensuring folks are surveyed before they leave home and that they confirm they’re healthy when they arrive at the office. It also means making sure that social distancing continues to preserve a safe space around them in their place of work. Accurately counting everyone – employees, vendors, and contractors – will be critical to protect against overcrowding. And ideally, people want to know if they’ve been in a meeting or sat near someone that was later discovered to be sick. Data will be critical for safety.

Personal mobile devices will become even more important to our lives and our work. People will use their phones to replace the ways they had previously interacted with things at the office. They will use their phones to check into the office, claim a room, or even for things like reporting hand sanitizer running low. Especially for that last example, office facilities staff will be counting on everyone’s participation to report health and safety problems. They won’t have the time (or funding) to personally keep an eye on everything. This is why it’s critical to build products people will actually want to use. Getting the employee’s buy-in will actually positively impact the future workplace and make it more collaborative. This is a future we can all get excited about and one that has innovation at the forefront.

Building the safe workplace and helping with safe office re-openings is now Envoy’s #1 priority. Admittedly, we’re only at the beginning of the process of companies returning back. Cases of COVID-19 are still growing in many areas, so not every industry and region will be ready at once. And certainly not for 100% of employees. But whatever the rollout that fits companies best, we want to make it clear: Envoy will be here to help you navigate this return back and help you do it as safely as possible.

— Larry. CEO, Envoy.  5.4.2020