The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way we do business almost overnight. Social distancing and the new reality of smart health and safety policy in the workplace are changing business’ capacities to be productive. Across Canada most companies, institutions and organizations have been forced to send workers home and/or into isolation.
GPS technologies as a tool can help a business stay productive and be efficient. For instance, business owners with a GPS tracked fleet can afford to extend trust to their workers, and allow them to take company vehicles home. This allows employees to begin and end the work day at home, eliminating unnecessary contact with co-workers, in efforts to enforce social distancing and help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Allowing workers access to a company vehicle to take home can boost morale and encourage loyalty. Workers will no longer need to drive between a jobsite and the office, wasting time and fuel in the process. Instead they can do so directly from their residence, with the manager knowing what assets are moving, when and where.
Data is knowledge and location information provides many administrative duties automatically and can be provided via reports for immediate viewing, with one click. GPS tracking can also play a key managerial role in businesses that rely on workers being at various offsite job sites. Managers/operators who are no longer in the office, through GPS tracking, can know exactly when workers leave and return from a jobsite. In fact, a manager can know the location of staff throughout the day and easily determine time and man hours spent on that work site, or delivery route, etc. Having that information can mitigate employees who are taking extended breaks or otherwise not being as productive as they need to be.
Safety and social distancing policy may require certain workers to work in isolation, which can become dangerous. If an accident does occur or a worker becomes stranded, GPS trackers can instantly allow co-workers and/or managers know the exact location of the party in distress. This way help can be dispatched quickly and accurately. GPS technology can also be used as a tool itself to help employers know if workers are in fact social distancing. They can make business decisions (routing, suppliers, etc.) to make sure employees are staying safe and away from areas where social distancing becomes difficult.
Depending on how long this new reality of social distancing and working from home lasts, we may see major changes to virtually all business operations worldwide. Being able to track workers and not having them coming to and from a central office, could result in mass downsizing. Businesses may see cost savings in less office space and less parking space. Perhaps smaller central operations will emerge and in some situations full closures of main offices that have become redundant.
Tools will help as today’s business are under many varieties of stress, given the current socio-economic environment and new approaches to business under a social distancing regime. It will become increasingly important for businesses to find tools, services and strategies to help cut costs, keep efficient and stay safe. GPS tracking for vehicles is one of those tools.
Mark Reilly is director sales and marketing at Trackem, which provides real-time GPS location services.