COVID-19 Innovations and the Economic Impact
COVID-19 has burst the world economy bubble. It is now estimated that 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the onset of the virus. To put this into perspective, the unemployment rate has not been this high since the Great Depression. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 52-week range consisted of 18,213.65 as its low ─ 29,568.57 as its high. This equated to a 38% drop in the market. This is the largest drop recorded in the history of the Dow Jones.
Necessity, Mother of Invention
With the economy in dire need of resuscitation, re-opening the economy is vital. Innovators are essential in developing solutions that adapt to fit the landscape of our new normal. Many innovations are focused in the fight against the virus. Some provide tangible tools to prevent the spread of the virus. While others help people communicate, network and adapt to our everyday work life.
A few innovations that reflect both ends of the spectrum…
Modular Treatment Rooms
To circumvent room shortages at hospitals, HGA designed The Strategic, Temporary, Acuity-Adaptable Treatment (STAAT Mod™). Experts manufactured these critical care negative-air-pressure isolation room for easy shipping and on site assembly.
Contact Tracing App
Apple and Google recently released their first version of the COVID-19 contact tracing app. Each company designed their app to alert people when they come into close contact with someone who has tested positive. The goal of the app is to reduce the spread of the virus. The data is recorded under an anonymous ID. If/when a person starts showing symptoms and/or test positive for the virus the information can be shared on the app.
Hotspot Traffic Indicator
Similarly, companies that use mileage capture software to reimburse mobile employees’ business mileage can leverage the data gathered from their employee’s captured travel. Should an employee find themselves exhibiting symptoms, or in a place associated with a COVID-19 outbreak, employers can look at the date and time of their presence there. With the gathered information, decision makers can offer solutions that maintain the safety of its employees, customers and prospects while ensuring the employee can continue their role capacity remotely over the next two weeks.
South Central Railway developed a robotic device for hospitals named Rail-Bot or R-Bot. The device has sensor-based features that reads the body temperature of patients and notifies staff of any changes. The device uses infrared technology and provides information in real-time with audio and video communication.
Social Distance Sensor
SmartEagle Distance Sensor uses optical sensors to measure the number of people in a room and how far apart they are. The sensor sends out an alert when people are closer than 4.5 feet from one another.
Heat Cleaning Software
Ford launched their heat cleaning software to help keep police officers safe during the virus. The software heats vehicles up to 133 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. The intense heat disinfects the surfaces in the car from the virus by over 99%.
Building Heat Map
John Deere developed a building heat map that helps identify high density areas within a building where people are likely to gather. A connected app notifies responsible parties in real-time.
Protective Tools and Gear
Deere’s group of engineers have created a variety of solutions for the fight against COVID-19. For office spaces, they developed dividing screens for computer workstations. For the public, created behind the ear mask straps and 3D-printed face shield clips designed to protect non-medical workers. Also, Deere deployed their “no touch” door opener that allows users to grasp door handles with an angled hook. For factory workers, companies deployed removeable PVC covers for hand carts to prevent workers from grabbing unsanitized cart handles during assembly.
Salesforce developed Work.com, an online tool that allows companies to check their “reopening readiness” from a single dashboard. It manages the safety and wellness of workers returning to the office. The software enables employers to survey their workforce and get insights into wellness data by geography and office location. The goal of the software is to help businesses reopen offices safely, train employees while providing best practices.
With event cancelations across the board, the pandemic hit Tito, an Irish online ticketing technology company, hard. To overcome this challenge, Tito created Vito. Vito is a one-stop shop for e-conferences. It brings events online by facilitating live streams and recordings, incorporating agendas, invitations and sponsors offers.
VirBela developed virtual workspaces for companies that connect your workforce online. Workspaces are set-up to host immersive events, meetings, classes, and other gatherings, where workers can meet in a different way.
Remote Work Reimbursement (RWR)
Remote work reimbursement programs reimburse remote employees for their mobile devices, internet and home offices. Employees should receive a customized amount reimbursement depending on the geographic location of the employee. Many companies use a flat stipend approach to reimburse their remote workforce. This one-size-fits-all cocktail provides neither a long-term or cost-effective solution. The cost of living for an employee in San Francisco is not the same as one living in Omaha. The employee in San Francisco should receive a higher reimbursement to match the higher cost of living.
Making the Most of the Current Situation
COVID-19 has made a 180 degree turn in our lives. But, with this drastic change, companies have stepped up and created innovative solutions. These solutions include preventing the spread of the virus, manufacturing devices to save lives and creating tools to adapt to our new work life. According to our Remote Work: A New Advantage Report, an estimated 30%-40% of workers will continue to work remotely full-time after the pandemic ends. If your company plans on having employees work from home full or part-time, RWR is the solution. If you are interested in learning more about our Remote Work Reimbursement program, click here! Or you can contact our sales team today!