Using tech to track employees during the coronavirus pandemic

As businesses around the world scramble to get the ball rolling with their operations during these unprecedented times, they are turning to tech to find smart solutions to increase productivity whilst minimising the risk of exposure to the coronavirus for their employees.

Whilst most companies have elected to keep their employees safe by working from home indefinitely, others, in contrast, are looking to bring their employees back into their desolate workspaces. This has been true for many industries, including manufacturing and logistics, where working remotely is not an option for employees and workplace surveillance has already gained a momentum for many reasons.

Surveillance technology has been making its way into workplaces for quite some time now, mostly as software that monitors employees’ activity on computers to measure, amongst other things, performance of employees and ultimately the productivity and efficiency of a businesses. However, surveillance technology is now being explored for monitoring problems that did not exist before the breakout of the virus.

Estimote, the leaders in location and proximity solutions, are endorsing an improved way of mapping the movement of objects (including people) with the aim of increasing productivity and efficiency for businesses.

Estimote is hyping up its wearable beacons to battle the spread of the coronavirus. Notably, this includes the introduction of an analytics package that will help businesses to pinpoint several factors important to keeping the spread of the virus under wraps. The new analytics package is capable of drawing attention to high-touch areas of workspaces (by red-flagging areas that require additional cleaning), showing when employees disobey workplace social distancing rules, and also helps to identify individuals who need to quarantine after a colleague has tested positive for the virus.

Of course, with every upside there is a downside. Surveillance technology comes with other complications relating to ethics and privacy, but that is something we are not going to unpack here.

Still, we are interested to see how the use of surveillance technology evolves in Africa during these times (and after the threat of the pandemic has disappeared) and we will make sure to keep you in the loop!

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