As the world continues to adapt to the “new normal”, industries are having to think of new and inventive ways to keep their usual processes running as smoothly as possible, for both employees and consumers. Now more than ever, we are relying on technology to keep us safe while out and about, whether this is through apps being developed for restaurants and bars, to easing the transition from working in an office to working at home.
There are a huge number of technologies helping us get used to living in the pandemic era. Here, we’ll outline three industries that have been hugely helped by technological advancements.
SAP for Environment, Health, and Safety Management
Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) management became even more crucial during the pandemic, as businesses needed to ensure that their premises had been thoroughly cleaned. It was, and remains, crucial for companies to have up-to-date knowledge of their stock, stock as supply chains have been damaged by lockdowns around the world, which has had a knock-on effect on the number of cleaning products (such as bleach and antibacterial gel) being sold to consumers.
Many businesses also needed to reassess their own health and safety risks, regardless of the industry. The risk assessment process varies from company to company but generally involves identifying any potential hazards in the workplace, from checking environmental factors to ensuring equipment is working correctly. Now, however, employers also need to be vigilant about the risks of coronavirus in the workplace to ensure employee and customer safety.
Larger businesses with multiple departments may struggle to keep up with this new risk assessment manually, but software is available to help keep these assessments up to date and monitor any risks. Perhaps the most commonly used is SAP EHS management, which allows businesses to safely and “proactively identify, analyse, and mitigate environment, health, and safety risks”. This means that any risks can be immediately identified and corrected before any significant damage can occur. However, SAP software is notoriously difficult to understand, often requiring businesses to hire trained SAP specialists to manage.
Bluetooth-enabled tech for track and trace
In order for some level of normality to remain intact, many businesses adopted a ‘track and trace’ system in order to alert any visitors to potential Covid outbreaks. This included manually recording the names and contact numbers of each visitor or customer, while being GDPR compliant. However, this can quickly become cumbersome for businesses who are constantly in contact with new people, such as employees in large companies who need to work in close proximity, such as warehouse staff. Contact Harald simplifies this process with the use of Bluetooth technology, ensuring businesses aren’t limited to their own IT infrastructure and technology skills.
The system works by issuing everyone with a unique contact card, with information remaining encrypted and secure. The bluetooth tracing technology keeps track of everyone you come into contact with — this includes anyone you have been within six feet of someone for at least two minutes. If you test positive for the virus or start to show symptoms, the system will notify everyone who meets that criteria, instructing them to get tested and remain in isolation until the test results are returned. This system is much easier than manually keeping track of contact information, without having to rely on Wi-Fi, phones, or IT installations.
Video conferencing technology
Speaking face to face offers benefits that you can’t get over email or instant messaging, including picking up on non-verbal cues, like body language, which makes up between 70 and 93% of all communication. It’s also easier to convey the appropriate tone in what you’re saying, which may be more easily lost in a written message, while keeping users engaged in what’s happening. However, the lockdown forced businesses to change their typical working behaviours, making remote working mandatory around the world. Video conferencing made face to face communication possible without putting anyone at risk.
In just one week in March — when global lockdown measures were first introduced — was a reported 62 million video conferencing app downloads globally. The most popular option, Zoom, skyrocketed in revenue as a result of the pandemic, reporting 169% growth in the three months ending April 30th. This only continued to grow since then, with the company expecting revenue between $685 to $690 million by 2022, as more companies begin implementing remote working on a more long-term basis. This has also had a number of benefits for the businesses themselves, including increased productivity and an improved work-life balance.