The growing number of coronavirus infections makes more companies switch to remote work. Today, many people in Poland are working from home to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This is very important. But can the employer actually monitor the employees who perform their tasks outside the office? Definitely! TIMATE offers a solution which enables remote work monitoring.
The recommendations of physicians and government officials are clear: if you can, stay home as long as you can. What about work? Pursuant to Art. 3 of the Act of 2 March 2020 on specific solutions for preventing, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and related emergency situations, an employer can instruct the employees to switch to remote work.
This new regulations provides entrepreneurs with a wide spectrum of options regarding decisions about who works outside the company premises and for how long. Employers can instruct employees to work from home any number of times, they can call employees back to the company, they can return to the remote work mode again and they can also reduce or prolong the remote work period. This will be possible until 4 September 2020 when the effective period of the Act (180 days) will expire.
Can the employer somehow monitor the employees who do their work remotely? This particular form of collaboration must be based on mutual trust and the responsibility of the employee. There are numerous temptations at home and we often do the job less effectively when no one is watching over our shoulder. Is there any way that the employer can optimize the company operations during the coronavirus threat? How to avoid losses for the company and reduced performance by employees in the remote work mode of operation?
A tool assisting in the remote work management
The Polish company TIMATE has a tool for the remote work management. How does it function?
This tool is a smart card which collects information about the employer’s motion. It is fully reliable when it comes to analysing the use of the working time, employee safety, information about the employee location, task delegation and – most importantly in this particular case – recording the progress of remote work. The card can be used to confirm task performance when employees are on the company premises and when they go on a business trip or work from home, says Sebastian Młodziński, TIMATE’s CEO.
How is this done? The employee uses the task list on the smartphone and chooses the next task to perform. By placing the card against the phone and using the NFC technology, the employee confirms the start and the completion of the task.
TIMATE records the time devoted to the task on condition that the employee has the card on. When the card is placed against the phone, the location is recorded, i.e. the place where the remote work is performed, based on GPS, explains Sebastian Młodziński.
Photo: TIMATE card
The card also has the employee’s task schedule preloaded, so if it detects that the employee is not at work on a given day, it will ask for reasons of this absence. The card owner can choose one of the options on the screen (remote work, business trip, sick leave) or any other option predefined in the system.
Photo: TIMATE card reading – remote work with geolocation
Data from the cards of employees who are not on the company premises are recorded and the employer can access them instantly. This allows for monitoring attendance and reasons for absence on a regular basis.
If not remote work, then what? How to ensure the employee safety to the maximum?
Unfortunately, working from home is not always an option. Even during the pandemic, some people simply have to be there on the company premises due to the nature of their duties. How to make sure they are 100% safe? Again, TIMATE can be of assistance.
When the location function is on, the system can point to the location of the card holder (in a room or in a section of the building). When there is a confirmed case of the COVID-2019 infection in the company, the employer uses TIMATE to easily determine which employees had contact with the infected person and who needs to be quarantined, explains Sebastian Młodziński, CEO at TIMATE.
The cards also have the SOS button which ensures immediate notification about threats. You see someone is feeling ill? You press the SOS button on your card. You are feeling unwell yourself? You get help with one button.
Photo: TIMATE card’s SOS function
When the temporary quarantine is necessary in the company, the system will enable ongoing verification of the movements of the quarantined persons. Each employee who has the card is visible in the system, so managers can see and monitor the locations of all employees. In consequence, they can react immediately if the quarantine rules are not followed.
The pandemic is resulting in many changes for both employers and employees. They need to adapt to the new situation and try to cope with it effectively. Remote work can become a permanent mode of collaboration in Polish enterprises. Innovations which are available on the market can ensure that remote work will be as effective as the work performed on the company premises.