Tools to Support Workers and Improve Delivery of Essential Services

Remote workers need effective collaboration tools to support them wherever they are and make it easy to assign tasks, collaborate, communicate, meet, schedule meetings and share documents.

Cloud-based collaboration tools can improve efficiency and lower costs, enabling government workers to improve delivery of services and fulfillment of agencies’ missions.

Seamless processes ultimately benefit recipients of government services. The same robust tools that help agencies’ employees do their jobs — email, collaboration on work products, file management and videoconferencing — also make it easier for constituents to schedule appointments, apply for permits and licenses, comply with pandemic-monitoring programs, etc.

Case Study: Iowa Department of Corrections

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Iowa Department of Corrections made the difficult decision to discontinue in-person visits at state prisons. Eager to offset the impact of healthcare policy on prisoners’ well-being, the department arranged for no-cost video visitations.

Using a Google site created to manage visits, family members and friends can click on the name of a facility and the name of the prisoner and choose an available time slot on a Google calendar. The system confirms that the applicant is on the prisoner’s visitation list, generates an email confirmation and arranges for a 30-minute Google Meet videoconference at the appointed time.

 “Google’s mission statement is to make things as easy as possible, to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible, and useful, and it’s essentially the same thing when you think of these collaboration tools,” said Jeff Brown, Strategic Business Executive at Google Cloud.

Case Study: Eagle County, Colorado

In Eagle County, Colorado, health officials took steps to reduce transmission of the coronavirus and limit its impact on the region’s healthcare system. County officials set up a Google site and a Google Form to capture symptoms of residents concerned that they might have contracted the virus. An epidemiologist reviews the information, arranges a video consultation or telephone call, collects more information, and continues to monitor the patient, taking appropriate action if their condition changes.

Whether working remotely or in the office, government employees are more efficient and effective when supported by a secure, robust set of integrated, cloud-based collaboration tools.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent report, “Recovering From COVID-19, State and Local Governments Embrace Virtual Collaboration Tools.” Download the full report here to learn more about how agencies can provide productivity tools in support of mobile government workers.

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