Skip to content

Workday checklist for COVID-19

With the continued threat of COVID-19, Alight has put together a checklist of actions to consider for your Workday tenant.

Many organizations are adjusting their company procedures and policies to allow for remote working capabilities, extended leave and preparation around the anticipation of increased workforce absences.

These recommendations will help ensure that you can react quickly to the ever-changing guidance, keep your employees up to date and provide the tools your people need within Workday.

Incorporating time codes

Prioritizing the safety and health of your workforce might mean adjusting your organization’s regular operating procedures. If your workforce is moving to a virtual setting for the foreseeable future, ensure you have updated time codes to accurately capture this shift to work from home.

Your workforce with dependents may also find that their regular childcare services have halted, so it’s important to consider adding leave codes that can be used when your workers who are caregivers need to record time off.

Alight’s recommendation is to create a basic time off plan or leave type to track COVID-19 related absences. If new time entry codes or calculations are created, effective dating can be achieved via calculated fields. This will limit/restrict the use of these codes to a fixed period of time. Worktags can also be used to indicate/identify different locations of work/patterns to drive calculations.

When you have implemented these new time codes, make sure to distribute a quick communication throughout your organization to ensure your employees have the knowledge to correctly use them.

Updates to Absence configuration

Your organization may want to track or record absences related to COVID-19 for reporting purposes. If this is required, then you should consider the following questions:

  • Can existing absence plans be updated to include a reason of COVID-19?
  • Will new absence plans be required to track COVID-19-related absences separate to existing plans?
  • If new plans are required, can these be kept simple or basic instead of having a complex setup that could change with time?

Consider which approach works best for your organization, being mindful that any additional configuration could be required for a fixed period only, as well as the purpose of having to record this in Workday.

When you have implemented any new absence plan(s) or reason(s), make sure to distribute a communication throughout your organization to ensure your employees have the knowledge to correctly use them.

Updates to security roles

Ensure your organization is prepared for sudden leaves of absence or an increase in employees taking sick leave by adjusting your security roles so others in your organization can continue with their work uninterrupted.

  • Update security administrator groups to ensure there are backup administrators if your primary security administrator needs to take leave.
  • Update your business process security policies to ensure a security administrator can reassign inbox tasks.
  • Security administrators should familiarize themselves with the Reassign Tasks to reassign any steps in a current business process that may need to be handed off in the event of an employee absence.
  • Consider whether you need to assign more roles to your key HR resources (such as HR Partner) to ensure the key staffing transactions remain uninterrupted.
  • Consider whether using delegation is a valid option in your organization (and inform managers how to set delegations if it has not been used thus far).

Consider turning on Workday mobile

Workday mobile is a great option to enable employees to keep processes moving remotely and on-the-go as they continue to keep themselves and their families safe. Enabling the Workday mobile app on different devices is simple and compatible with any device, simply follow these steps below:

  1. Enable and add users to the following mobile domains in the system functional area:
    • Android: mobile usage
    • iPad: mobile usage
    • iPhone: mobile usage
  2. Enable single sign-on under Edit Tenant Setup – Security
    1. To enable single sign-on, update the Mobile App Login Redirect URL and Mobile Browser Login Redirect URL as required from your identity provider (IDP).
    2. Based on your company policy, enable Biometric Authentication, Mobile PIN Authentication, define PIN max/min length, PIN max failed sign-on attempts, and max mobile authentication age.
  3. Create or edit existing authentication policy to control how users will log in and use biometric authentication and mobile PIN.

Don’t forget to let your employees know Workday for mobile is available for them to use once active.

Sharing changes to company policy

You can utilize Workday Announcements to communicate important updates or reminders to your employees quickly and visibly in Workday. Below are some examples of what you may want to consider communicating.  

  • What illnesses are covered by benefits policy changes around COVID-19
  • Company guidelines on Workday remote
  • Employee obligations to report sickness to the company
  • Company guidelines and rules around sick leave
  • FMLA guidelines for review

Remind managers how to manage delegations

It is likely your organization is anticipating an increase in the number of managers needing to take time off over the next couple of weeks. Make sure your managers are familiar with how to delegate tasks in Workday, and that they take this action before any period of time off.

As delegations are most commonly used during holiday/vacation season, you may want to consider sending a reminder to all of your people managers to identify who they will delegate tasks to in the case of needing time off as well as instructions on how to do this.

Configure Mass Distribute Documents or Tasks business process

Introduced in Workday 30, the Mass Distribute Documents or Tasks will allow you to share a document or task with a large group of employees (maximum 20,000) via Workday. This tool may be helpful during this time if your organization has a need to send out a document or request that you want all or part of your workforce to see and have the employees to acknowledge your request. Some examples of documents or tasks you may way to distribute are:

  • A task to request employees to update their contact details
  • A task to request employees to update their emergency contact details
  • An update to time off policies
  • An update to health insurance policies
  • Changes to working from home policies

We hope this Workday checklist useful to you as your organization reacts to changing polices relating to COVID-19. We also understand that you may need additional support maintaining your Workday platform while your team’s focus shifts during this difficult time. Alight’s team is able to provide you the immediate support you need during this time and would be happy to have a conversation about how we can best help you. 

Related Insights


Improving financial forecasting in a post-COVID world

Deploying cloud financial solutions can be the difference between your organization thriving in your industry and just surviving.

Custom Workday report – Assess the impact of COVID-19

Download this complimentary custom Workday report from Alight that allows you to understand the impacts COVID-19 has on your employee population.