October 28, 2020

Use CARES Act Funds for WFM Solutions?

Part 2 of our “Back to Business” blog series. Catch Part 1 here: “Getting Back to Business Safely”

As the end of 2020 approaches (mercifully), many organizations are looking for ways to make the most out of their CARES Act funding. Some of the most obvious uses of the funding are for things like covering payroll expenses or purchasing supplies to clean and disinfect the workplace.

If your organization already has these areas covered, why not use CARES Act funds to help you subsidize new technology that can future proof your organization?

Guidance on the CARES Act requires organizations to demonstrate how they are using these funds to make the workplace safer during the current health crisis. Implementing a technology-driven, comprehensive workforce management system that adapts to circumstances like COVID-19 can do just that.

TCP time clocks are fully integrated with our workforce management software and have numerous uses that could qualify them as an allowable technology expense for CARES Act funding. According to the Coronavirus Relief Fund guidance developed by the US Government, CARES Act funding can be used for “Expenses of actions to facilitate compliance with COVID-19-related public health measures, such as…

  • Expenses to facilitate distance learning, including technological improvements, in connection with school closings to enable compliance with COVID-19 precautions
  • Expenses to improve telework capabilities for public employees to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions”

Additionally, the Coronavirus Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions also clarifies that “…expenses associated with contact tracing are eligible.” Of course, it’s up to each organization to research and decide how these funds are best utilized, but the guidance documents are about as fun to read as the instruction manual for a lawnmower.

If it’s time to upgrade or implement a new workforce management solution and you are interested in using CARES Act funds to do so, we’ve outlined a few ways TCP can help you improve workplace safety in the COVID-19 era.

TCP Solutions To Help You Improve Workplace Safety

  1. Contact tracing
    Whether your workforce has been on-site through the COVID-19 health crisis or if you’re preparing to bring them back to the office, contact tracing is a new concern for all of us. Thankfully, everything in the TCP system has location reporting, which can greatly assist in contact tracking efforts in the event of a positive test result amongst your workforce. Most of our customers have employees clock in at the location where they perform their work, which makes contact tracing simple. Managers can easily look up when and where the employee clocked in and who else may have been in that location at the same time. Additionally, our MobileClock app uses Geofencing and Geolocation for location tracking.
  2. Thermal Sensor for temperature tracking
    TCP’s newly released, award-winning Thermal Sensor time clock attachment allows you to perform touch-free temperature checks on employees as they enter the workplace and stop potential health risks at the door. While it was previously illegal to take employees’ temperatures at work, that law has been suspended for the current crisis. The Thermal Sensor can help you track trends and identify anomalies in employee temperatures in a way that is fully compliant with HIPAA and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  3. Daily health check questions at clock in
    By now, most of us have had to answer a series of health questions as we enter a doctor’s office, school, hair salon and countless other locations. All TCP time clocks can be set up to ask a standard or customized set of health questions to users as they clock in. While this feature is included with the Thermal Sensor, it can be added to any TCP time clock device.
  4. Touchless operations
    TCP offers touch-free badge-reader attachments to enable employees to clock in and out without touching the time clock. As a “common surface” time clocks can be a source of germs, and anything you can do to cut down on the use of common surfaces or areas of people traffic, like clock in/out areas, will help make your office a cleaner, safer place. For a true, touch-free experience, we recommend deploying our Thermal Sensor with our Proximity Reader, which simply requires employees to wave their badge in front of the clock for quick clock in or clock out.
  5. Real-time notifications
    With the ability to track and monitor employees for health risks, comes the need to ensure that information makes it back to management. TCP software is highly configurable and allows real-time notification of anomalies or other concerns, such as failed temperature checks or reports of possible COVID-19 exposure. Don’t put your workforce at risk by relying on after-the-fact notifications, configure your solutions to be as action-oriented as you are.
  6. Stagger shift to help avoid lines
    Your organization may already have the technology you need to help mitigate many health risks, but if your employees line up or congregate around a single time clock, that creates a health risk of its own. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends organizations stagger shift start and end times and break times to avoid crowds gathering around a time clock or break room. If all else fails, deploying more time clocks or even TCP’s new MobileClock app may offer the right solution for your company to keep the lines to a minimum and your workforce safe and productive.

Finally, if your organization is still relying on manual processes, including germ-ridden paper timecards that get passed from person to person, TCP technology can have a profound impact on your workforce management processes.

In terms of using CARES Act funding for workforce management technology, we urge you to research the terms of the Act is how they relate to your situation. Usage of the funds varies depending on if your organization is a member of the public or private sector, and your current scenario; however, these funds must be used by December 30, 2020.

Speak to a TCP Sales or Account Executive to learn more about how TCP technology may help make your workplace safer.