IBM Watson

Five Things to Know About IBM and Workday’s Plan for Returning to the Workplace

Today, IBM and Workday, a leading provider of enterprise applications for human resources and finance, announced a joint solution designed to help companies begin the process of safely re-opening their workplaces. Here are five key takeaways from the announcement.

What did IBM and Workday announce?
The two companies, which have had a partnership since 2011, announced a new solution to help businesses and communities determine when and how to safely open up their workplaces during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The integrated solution, which will help plan, schedule and monitor a safe return, combines Workday Adaptive Planning, Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), and IBM Watson Works. It enables companies to develop their own reopening plan based on site- and company-specific data, and to constantly update that plan with new analysis and new trending data. It measures a complex set of factors on an ongoing basis and keeps employees well-informed as the return-to-work process begins.

Why now?
As companies begin to consider reopening, even in limited capacity, a number of complex and ever-shifting factors have to be taken into consideration—local health guidelines, government policies, employees’ sense of security, facility readiness and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). No two organizations are alike in their needs, facilities and workforce requirements, and this joint solution is designed to specifically tailor to the needs of each.

How does it work?
It’s made up of a number of successful products already in use. Its core products are Workday Adaptive Planning, which helps companies plan and model the return to the workplace, and Workday Human Capital Management, which provides worker and location information and helps companies measure and understand employee sentiment. These are combined with IBM Watson Works, a set of products that combines rich data, expert analysis and AI models to help companies navigate the many complexities in determining when and how to reopen.

What are some of the factors the solution measures?
Site capacity: Demand for workspace vs. supply, to prioritize who needs to be and who is eligible to be in the office.
Community risk:  COVID-19 risk in a business’s specific region.
Critical supplies: Availability of critical PPE including masks, gloves, and sanitizer.
Employee sentiment: How comfortable employees are returning to the workplace.
Site readiness and worker health: Sanitary conditions at the workplace and the health status of employees.

What are the benefits for Workday and IBM customers?
The integrated solution offers companies greater agility as they respond to ever-changing working conditions and evolving business needs. And it can help them unlock their workforce’s potential and return to productivity by safely returning them to work through the integration of enterprise solutions customers already own.