May 14, 2021

Back to business – why the UK’s productivity depends on quick, pain-free COVID-19 testing

As current COVID-19 restrictions ease, businesses are making plans to get their teams safely back to work. After more than a year of uncertainty, companies are ready to rekindle the collaboration, productivity and creative spark that comes from working face-to-face. But employees aren’t so sure. 


Recent survey results published in HR Magazine reveal that more than half (57.9%) of UK staff are afraid to return to work due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Businesses have a legal obligation to cut workplace coronavirus dangers through prescribed measures, including risk assessments, social distancing, improved ventilation, face coverings and frequent deep cleaning. Despite these controls, workers want more concrete assurances.


The missing piece is peace of mind – and companies will need to go the extra mile to earn employee trust. Frequent, quick and pain-free testing can fill the confidence gap and fast-track the return to regular onsite working. 


The business-wide benefits of testing   

Around one in three people with COVID-19 don’t show any symptoms, so twice-weekly testing of your workforce can safeguard your colleagues and the wider public – and avoid the financial hit of shutdowns and staff absence. 

Implementing a rolling testing programme helps you take charge of your return-to-work timeline, bringing your entire team back sooner. By proactively isolating positive cases, you can reduce spheres of infection and act quickly to prevent outbreaks, downtime and disruption. 

For your workers, testing can also be an indicator of company values. The pandemic has heightened staff expectations of health and safety, and teams are looking to employers to take every possible preventative step. The question is, if your employees don’t feel protected, will they be productive? Workforce screening – or the absence of it – could cause a subtle but significant shift in colleague attitudes, motivation and engagement. 

An unsustainable system? 

While there’s a clear appetite for extra controls in the workplace, getting employees on board with regular testing could, in reality, prove challenging. The existing screening set-up – powered by government-supplied rapid antigen kits – presents several barriers to staff buy-in: 

  • Most lateral flow tests are painful or uncomfortable, causing users to gag, tear up or sneeze (a particular issue if they’re infected). 
  • The current tests can deliver false positives. This means that, even if an employee has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the past but are no longer infectious, they will still need to take time off to isolate. 
  • Test outcomes are registered directly by staff into the gov.uk portal. This makes it hard for companies to drive accountability and build reliable snapshots of infection rates.   

Spot COVID-positive employees before they’re infectious 

To make workplace testing successful – and speed our route to reopening – it has to be fast, pain-free and, crucially, proactive. Right now, screening generally happens following the onset of symptoms; a colleague feels unwell and carries out an invasive throat and nasal swab. By that time, COVID-19 carriers are likely to have already passed on the virus. 

But what if you could pinpoint positive cases in your workplace before they become highly infectious? It’s now possible to screen for the virus in minutes using a fast, comfortable test that’s as easy as brushing your teeth. The new generation of ultrasensitive, on-the-spot tests uses a single saliva swab to detect the virus as early as day three to four of infection – a day or two earlier than most other screening methods. 

From hassle to habit – transforming the perception of testing 

Lateral flow tests have evolved, and so should the way we view them. To accelerate our return to face-to-face working – and all the benefits it brings – twice-weekly COVID-19 screening needs to become a hassle-free habit. 

By making the process speedy, straightforward and accessible, you can normalise testing within your workforce – just as face coverings, social distancing and good hand hygiene are now a natural part of employees’ everyday routines. The innovative KnowNowTM test, for example, allows staff to take an effortless saliva swab, prepare their sample and see their result in 15 minutes. Details are logged on a purpose-built app, creating a personal digital screening record that can be used to gain access to your sites. So you can be sure only non-infectious employees are heading to work. 

With confidence in the health of your team, you’re free to open your doors to more staff and customers and recapture the possibilities of in-person interactions. 

Try the KnowNowTM test for free in your business 

COVID-19 will always pose a threat, but with the right testing tools, companies can take back control – even in the face of a third wave. Alongside the vaccine rollout and other essential risk reduction measures, regular screening can build a secure, productive working environment and get employees on site sooner. 

The KnowNowTM test was developed in the UK and delivers accurate results within minutes. Based on patented technology, it’s the only rapid COVID-19 test that can identify whether someone is infectious to others from just a saliva swab and is future-proofed to recognise any viral variants. 

The test can help any business – from logistics and manufacturing to food supply and professional services – cut the risks and impact of COVID-19, boost employee trust and place face-to-face working safely back in reach. 

Request your free KnowNowTM sample pack here and learn more at knownow.com


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