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Workday, IBM Partner on Return to Work Solution

Workday and IBM today announced an expanded partnership to help customers navigate the coronavirus pandemic and associated return to work strategies,  the two companies say.

The integrated solution leverages Workday Adaptive Planning, Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), and IBM Watson Works. The solution will help companies weigh decisions that involve when to return employees to the workplace. Moreover, the platform connects employer data to entry privileges, and aligns social distancing protocols with facilities management, the companies said.

Workday and IBM Partner to Accelerate Return to Work

As organizations begin to address how to safely bring employees back to the workplace, they must consider a myriad of factors, including health, local guidelines, governmental policies, employee sentiment, facility readiness, and supply and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), according to the statement. Every organization’s situation and strategy is unique, and must be mapped to their specific facilities and workforce requirements, and balance workspace demand by location and site against the supply of reduced facility capacity.

The Workday and IBM solution includes dynamic data from multiple sources that address these complexities involved in continuous planning, according to the statement.

Specifically, the solution can help customers:

  • model site capacity and evaluate employee roles and eligibility for return to the workplace;
  • model scenarios to plan the demand for workspace against supply, given reduced site capacity based on health and safety guidelines; and
  • model prioritization of the return of workers based on job roles and eligibility, the companies said.

Mitigating COVID-19 Risk and Monitoring Trends

In addition, the new solution can assess community risk and workplace readiness by identifying COVID-19 trends for each business location as well as where workers live. This enables site leaders, HR leaders, and workforce and workplace planners to use data-driven insights to help make decisions and plans around facility re-openings.

The joint solution also can evaluate workforce sentiment by using data on workers' preferences, sentiments, and concerns, gleaned from survey data and their preferences for work location such as on site, work from home, or hybrid, and then model those scenarios, the companies said.

In a prepared statement about the partnership, Kshitij Dayal, general manager, planning products, Workday. said:

Kshitij Dayal, general manager, adaptive planning products, Workday

"Today's CHROs are now challenged with managing the complexities of integrating real-time site and worker data in a way they've never needed to before, moving workforce planning from strategic to mission critical nearly overnight. Combining the power of Workday—including Workday Adaptive Planning to create comprehensive plans and models—with IBM Watson Works can help accelerate customers' return to workplace planning with a sustainable solution to balance workforce and workplace supply and demand in the ever-changing world."

Added Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D, general manager, AI applications, IBM cloud and cognitive software:

"Keeping employees safe during the return-to-workplace process is of critical importance to business leaders across industries. By partnering with Workday on a joint solution, we're extending the capabilities delivered by Watson Works to help customers gain greater agility to respond to ever-changing working conditions and evolving business needs. Together we are helping organizations overcome the complexities involved in continuous planning to ultimately improve workplace readiness."

Workday and IBM have a longstanding business relationship, and IBM ranks among the world's Top 10 Workday deployment and IT consulting partners, ChannelE2E reported in 2019.