Keeping their staff members safe from potential infection has to be the top priority for companies as the Covid-19 lockdown comes into effect this week.

But a secondary, and no less important, consideration is keeping the economy afloat for the duration.

Millions of workers will be confined to their homes for three weeks, starting on Friday morning (27 March 2020), but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be productive, says Saucecode MD Graham Fry.

Organisations are quickly mobilising to comply with the new measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 23 March, where possible setting staff up to work from home if they haven’t done so already.

“The health and welfare of all staff members is obviously top of mind, but companies are also naturally concerned about productivity levels during the lockdown, and whether there will be a company to come back to on 16 April,” Fry points out.

Saucecode has developed an easy-to-use cloud-based tool that companies can use to give themselves peace of mind in terms of their remote workers, and which can help them maintain productivity levels throughout the crisis.

For the next three months, the South African company is making user licences for Tistro available for free.

Tistro is hosted in cloud, so it’s easy for organisations to get up and running quickly, Fry explains.

As soon as an organisation requests the free subscription offer, Saucecode will set up a profile for the company in the cloud.

The company will receive login details for their IT and management’s exclusive virtual space, from where they will be able to easily configure the granular system via as easy to use dashboard, monitor and interrogate the data.

A link to all staff in this remote working team is also supplied. Clicking on it will download the client agent on to their devices for normal desktop installation as per any application that one downloads,

Not further user intervention is required, and the logger will start logging into the company server.

“It really is that simple to set up,” Fry says. “Once the client agent is installed, the manager has visibility into what applications workers are using, how they are being used, and how much work they are doing in each.

“We can also help them to set up dashboards of which specific applications different staff members should be using during the day.”

Managers will immediately get visibility into the work happening on an individual, departmental and company level, so they can accurately track their businesses despite not being under the same roof as the remote staff members.

Saucecode will also provide regular reports for managers so they can ensure staff members are doing what’s needed to keep the organisation running productively.

“We want to stress that this is not at all about policing staff, or watching their every keystroke,” Fry points out. “However, good management practices demand that line of business managers know what’s going on in their departments, and part of this is keeping track of what staff members are working on. Tistro is not an exclusively remote staff management tool, but the productivity and efficiency of both remote and in-office workers can be monitored, measured and managed.

“Using a tool like Tistro isn’t a Big Brother approach, but an aid to good management.”

The Saucecode offer is for free Tistro subscriptions to the cloud-based service for companies or departments with more than 20 licences. The free subscriptions will expire on 30 June.

Fry adds that the tool is hosted in the cloud and is easy to scale, so it can be used by small companies as well as by major enterprises with thousands of licences.

To access the free offer from Tistro click on