As of July 2019, the U.S. had one of the largest construction markets in the world with almost 700,000 construction companies. From HVAC techs and electricians to delivery personnel and IT professionals, field service companies employ hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe.
COVID-19 has put a halt to many of these operations or significantly reduced them. Depending on where your company is, your state or locality may have strict guidelines for stay-at-home restrictions or none at all.
If your construction or field service company is among the more restricted, here are some ways you can return to work in a way that keeps your employees and customers safer as the economy begins to reopen.
When Can Companies Return To Work?
With so much conflicting information from news outlets and social media platforms, it’s important for companies to stay informed about their local regulations.
As of this writing, most states in the U.S. have either adopted/enacted COVID-19 related legislation, have pending legislation, or both. Be sure you get your information from an official state or local agency.
As a rule, currently, only “essential” workers are required to go to work and there is no set date for an official opening of the economy. The U.S. DHS CISA has an ongoing list of essential workers that are critical for infrastructure. This list includes construction and field services, and those who service them.
What Precautions Should Be Taken?
The health and well-being of your workers is essential anytime. Coming out of a pandemic like COVID-19 makes it more so.
On one hand, many of ClockShark's clients will have heavy workloads to get caught up on. But, jumping head-first into these workloads without planning can cause your workforce to become infected. This can lead to fewer workers and greater expenses in the long run.
Follow these guidelines to ease back into the workflow.
Create A Common Mission for Better Teamwork
Coronavirus has made the majority of us reevaluate what matters most. Now is a great time to get your crews and teams together to form a strong, vision-based mission that’s rooted in being the best.
Start your emergence from COVID-19 with a company commitment to the importance of controlling the spread of this illness.
Get everyone within your company onboard with rules and guidelines to increase the chances of a successful relaunch.
Stay Informed and Share Information
Since most of your construction or field service workers are not in the office, you’ll need to start using smart communication tools to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Keep your supervisors and managers armed with information such as:
- Local COVID-19 case numbers (active, recovered, critical, etc.).
- Increases or decreases in cases where employees must travel for work.
- Any cases discovered within your organization (don’t reveal names without their permission).
- Updates on COVID-19 risks, treatments, or preventative measures. An informed workforce is a stronger one.
Use Progressive Strategies
HBR did a revealing study that showed what types of companies succeeded after the Great Recession. They narrowed them down to four categories:
- Prevention-focused companies
- Promotion-focused companies
- Pragmatic companies
- Progressive companies
Progressive companies were 37 percent more likely to “roar out of the recession.”
These companies reduced selective costs while balancing it with investing in their future. Consider the services you need vs. the services you don’t when reopening, and drop those that don't contribute to your company's efficiency.
Meanwhile, adopt new technologies, policies, and procedures that will serve to enhance your operations now, and in the future.
For example, ClockShark’s time tracking technology streamlines operations with multiple functions and features.
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If you adopted work-from-home practices during COVID-19, this type of technology can help you continue to provide your employees with flex work and remote work options without disrupting operations, post-quarantine.
Save time, money, and resources using GPS tracking, payroll integration, and communication platforms between teams, administrators, and supervisors.
This kind of technology gives your people the ability to get more accurate reports, change schedules, complete payroll, and more, quickly and easily from home.
Customer service is a driving force for the success of today’s organizations. Whether you have techs in the field or crews on a job site, the experiences of your customers are important for your success.
For field services, research found that “customers are more likely to select a provider that can track their field service technicians.”
In fact, 96 percent of those surveyed said they would be either likely or more than likely to hire a company that tracked their technicians.
Develop and Enforce Workplace Safety Policies
Your workers can’t abide by safety rules and regulations if they don’t have the required tools to do it.
Actively Encourage Sick Workers To Stay Home
Workers who are at an elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19 should be told to stay home if they begin to show symptoms. If they are exposed to known cases of the virus, tell them to stay home.
The CDC makes the following suggestions for returning to work. Choose the ones - and add any more - that you feel are most suited to your organization:
For Workers With Fever/Cough
Stay home until three days have passed since they’ve had a fever and at least seven days have passed since they first experienced symptoms.
For Workers With Confirmed Cases With Symptoms
Stay home until they no longer have symptoms and have had at least two negative COVID-19 tests.
For Workers With Confirmed Cases Without Symptoms
Stay home for at least seven days since their positive COVID-19 test and they have no additional illnesses.
Provide Preventative Measures and Guidelines
Make sure employees have the proper supplies to maintain hand-washing hygiene and can work while practicing social distancing of at least six feet apart.
If having hand-washing stations is not an option, provide them with hand sanitizing solutions for both vehicles and worksites.
For shared tools at worksites, provide sanitary wipes, and require each tool to be thoroughly sanitized after each use.
Stay On Top of Employee Health
You can’t be everywhere but you can use technology to monitor the health of your workers. Provide field workers and supervisors with thermometers and require them to take their temperatures when they clock in and out during the day.
With solutions like ClockShark’s Clock Out Questions, you can ask important questions like, “Did you come into contact with any COVID-19 cases today?” or “Are you feeling any symptoms of COVID-19?”. Your workers will have to answer these questions before they complete clocking out which helps you monitor how they are doing.
You can take preemptive action if necessary to protect other workers - as well as your customers - from possible infection.
COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of millions of lives but your business can come out on top with the right policies and procedures in place. ClockShark is a powerful, cloud-based time tracking tool that allows you to be more successful and competitive as we emerge from this pandemic.
Experience for yourself the benefits ClockShark has to offer with a free, 14-day trial with all of ClockShark’s features. You will see for yourself that being progressive, is as simple as trying something new that is proven to increase productivity, accountability, and operations.should be told to stay home if they begin to show symptoms. If they are exposed to known cases of the virus, tell them to stay home.