Jab on the job: Pandemic response is changing the role of employers

  • Eric Swift
  • Solutions
  • Crisis Management
  • 2021
October 20, 2021

Pandemic response: A healthcare worker vaccinates an employee.

Small and large businesses alike are looking toward the future and are hoping for the economy to reopen as quickly and smoothly as possible. High vaccination rates will be key.

The world’s biggest workflow challenge to convert vaccines into vaccinations has brought employers to the front line to drive the pandemic response effort. With more employers and governments now requiring employee vaccinations as a condition of work or office reentry, employee access to vaccines will become critical.

Australian employers are taking guidance from new directions outlined by Minister for Health Greg Hunt to be able to vaccinate their employees at work. The COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Partners Program is set to transform offices and warehouses into vaccination centers.

Why vaccinate at work?

Bringing the jab to the workplace can be beneficial to both employers and employees. People want to feel safe when they go to work. No one wants to worry about a colleague's vaccination status while trying to do their job. Vaccinating at work can create ease and convenience for workers by making appointments more accessible.

For employers, this offers a chance to help employees in a practical way—with the added benefit that some uncertain individuals will feel encouraged by seeing their colleagues get the jab. It’s no surprise the Business Council of Australia has described the move as “a no-brainer.”

Workplace vaccination centers are expected to play a significant role in Australia’s path back to normal, with the government estimating that between 1 million and 1.7 million people will be vaccinated this way, reports the Australian Financial Review. This approach will be essential for reaching the national plan of vaccination rates above 80%.

But, with vaccinations coming to the workplace, businesses face challenges of how to operate and organize employees.

The technology imperative

Vaccinations are fast becoming the norm in professional settings. Qantas, Virgin Australia, and Deloitte Australia have already introduced varying rules requiring workers to be vaccinated, and organizations such as Woolworths have committed to vaccinating their employees.

These new requirements are expected to be effective in quelling future outbreaks, relieving pressure on healthcare systems, and minimizing future disruption to the economy.

Technology will play a key role in managing how we keep teams and workplaces safe. Solutions that are simple and seamless and that empower workers will be required. Vaccine management software is readily available for businesses and should be considered now. These solutions make vaccination scheduling and certification easy in a trusted and secure way.

Leading global businesses have taken steps that organizations can learn from. NTT Data, a global IT services company headquartered in Tokyo, joined a workplace vaccine program to vaccinate all its employees in Japan. With the right software in place, the company was able to build the vaccine reservation, reception, and management system in only two weeks, creating a seamless and efficient experience for employees and administrators.

As vaccine management evolves, it will be crucial for businesses to be able to store and organize vaccine-related data. This will enable employers to have easy confirmation and assurance of the vaccination status of employees and to manage any exceptions—such as individuals who can’t be vaccinated for medical purposes. 

The path back to normal

As workplaces reopen, employees are concerned about their health, their privacy, and the of ease of doing their work. Business leaders are looking for ways to balance these issues in a trusted and secure way. Uber, for example, has embraced Safe Workplace applications to reopen its global offices while supporting employee health and safety.

Vaccine requirements in some workplaces appear to be here to stay. It's integral that businesses do all they can to support our path back to normal. For many, this will involve embracing the rollout of vaccinations in the workplace and new policies and systems to keep teams safe. By ensuring the right, readily available tools are in place, businesses can support this important task with minimal disruption to operations and their employees. 

Learn how ServiceNow helps businesses reopen with confidence.

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