RESET is an approach and an analytical platform for using the disruption as an opportunity to make fundamental shifts in business, while managing the immediate tactical risks.

Even before the pandemic, businesses were incrementally testing remote workplace ideas taking advantage of digital innovations and growing demand for flexible work policies. Such incentives were aligned with rising rentals and overhead costs associated with maintaining large office spaces. COVID -19, however, has abruptly changed this incremental strategy. What was gradual transformation, turned to a risk mitigation exercise to rapidly limit onsite physical proximity between staff. The incentives have altered from productivity improvement and employee satisfaction to business continuity and safety. This is overwhelming, specially for businesses that have to depend on physical presence of large part of it’s workforce. It is a tricky balance to resume business activities while maintaining safety by reducing person-to-person exposure.

Our motivations are based on the following manifesto of change.

Define the transition goals; do not plan for eliminating risk

Let's get real; it is not possible to entirely eliminate the COVID- 19 risk at workplace. There are many known unknowns and inconclusive guidelines as to how the infection spreads. Also, there are uncontrollable factors both in and outside the office space, which makes accurate predictions of risks challenging.

In the immediate term the question then is - How can we manage the risks systematically to avoid random disruptions of business? In the unfortunate case that someone is infected, how do we determine the level of risk the organization faces? Do we close the entire facility or partially quarantine spaces? How do we maintain the most critical tasks for business continuity?

We will need to evolve the decision rules to systematically balance risk with business continuity in the "New Normal".

RESET uses social network algorithms to understand the pattern of exposure from physical proximity in workplace to determine

  • Activities and working relationships that can be managed remotely
  • Hours of physical proximity required for business critical tasks
  • The cost-benefit of reducing number of work hours at office
  • The infrastructure preparedness required to adjust to the changes
  • The spatial density to maintain safe working distance
  • Facilities limitation plan
  • Plan to optimize maximum number of staff at a time
  • Identifying high-risk individuals
  • Computes and notifies staff with elevated risks when someone is infected

Self-organizing teams

Individuals and teams are best suited to decide for themselves, based on their perception of risk, the potential of moving to remote work. Since employees are shouldering the risk on behalf of the business, leadership should facilitate teams to plan their own transitions, while the organization adapts it’s policies accordingly.

RESET supports team planning to decide

  • The work hours between pairs of employees and clusters that can move online
  • How critical tasks will be managed that require onsite presence
  • The contingencies incase someone falls sick or is in elevated risk category
  • Managing cross functional tasks

Prepare for tactical change with an eye on the bigger picture

Transitioning to the new normal isn't a one shot exercise. The biggest unknown question looms large - is this shift permanent or transient?

Tactical decisions needed to minimize COVID-19 risks are also opportunities to learn, adapt and design your own new normal. It is important to keep ears to the ground and understand the different dimensions of a remote or hybrid workplace. The leadership, culture, performance, facilities management will simultaneously have to evolve.

RESET enables tracking the different aspects of change for continuous learning and improvement

  • The changes required in the current organization networks, relationships, teams to align with the new normal
  • Behaviors and cultures that shape the transition
  • Maintain cohesiveness between remotely distributed teams

Organizational transparency is key to adoption of change policies

Perceptions of staff might differ on what lies ahead for the business and their own future. During such uncertain times, sentiments can oscillate between hope and anxiety. A big part of crisis management is to provide timely information to facilitate a collective understanding of the situation and the individual risks involved at the workplace. At the same time the organization needs to be mindful of privacy concerns about individual health status to avoid additional emotional stress and stigma. The need is to create an environment of transparency and commitment for adoption of change measures taken by the organization.

Through RESET, organizations are able to provide data driven insights to communicate the complex transition process as it happens

  • RESET enables data collection from variety of sources
  • Dashboard that can be shared across the organization at different levels
  • The platform notifies employees when individual risk status is elevated
  • It anonymizes personal information while communicating about the risk

One size won't fit all

The pandemic will impact employees differently depending on variety of factors, like demographics, income, mode of transportation, residential zones etc. Communications and engagement should empathize with the individual status and conditions.

  • Reset identifies unique situations that organizations can develop strategies around