Xerox announces app to track remote employees

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Xerox on Thursday announced its Team Availability App meant to track employee accessibility and location.

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The workplace solutions company said it is critical for employers and work leaders to know where and when employees are available to manage a flexible work environment as coronavirus lockdown ease and people return to work, according to a press release.

"Managing a distributed workforce during a continued pandemic presents unique challenges no organization has experienced before," Xerox Executive Vice President Joanne Collins Smee said in a statement. "Organizations need to know who is available and where so they can make better decisions when allocating resources and work."

A man wearing a protective face mask looks at his phone while walking in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia, April 10, 2020. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

She added that the Team Availability App "provides real-time knowledge to managers with distributed employee populations."

The Team Availability App can be set up in hours and comes wih privacy protections for data, according to the release.

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Xerox is requiring all employees to use the app to conduct daily health checks as the company plans to reopen offices. The app requires users to log in with their work emails and confirm that neither themselves nor any family members have experienced any coronavirus symptoms within 14 days before they indicate whether they are working remotely or in the office.

Team Availability App/ App Store screenshot

U.K. health system Imperial NHS Trust was the first organization to pilot the app, the press release said.

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"It's important for a healthcare provider to know which caregivers are available when to support patients, and that's even more critical in a pandemic," Linda Watts, joint clinical systems program manager at Imperial NHS Trust, said in a statement.

She added that the app was "deployed at lightning speed," and NHS "got updates from staff on their availability in real-time," allowing the organization to make sure its "patients were covered."

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