The Changing Dynamic of Work: Reopening Your Office

How we work has rapidly changed over the last few months. As you look to reopen your business, creating a health and safety plan is imperative for your employees to feel safe and comfortable as they head back to their workplace. Find out how to prioritize the health and safety of employees, visitors, and customers with some helpful guidelines as you navigate reopening your office.

The Decision to Return

Making the decision to return to work may not be an easy one. Start by creating a return to office task force with representatives from different departments throughout your company, be sure to include someone from HR and operations. The task force objectives should be to map out your plan and to create a timeline for reopening. This plan should include what needs to change within your office i.e.: how employees, visitors and vendors enter the office, seating assignments, protocols for shared spaces, new safety guidelines and if your office reopening should take a phased approach. Once you have your plan in place communicate your reopening approach to employees, landlords, vendors, partners, and customers.

Navigating the Reopening

One of the most important parts of navigating any business reopening is how to ensure a safe environment for employees, visitors, and vendors entering the office. Investing in a touchless health screening solution with health attestations such as Return to Work Essentials is a great way to ensure workplace safety from your doorstep. With a greeting at the entrance that includes a standard QR code, the user simply scans the code with their mobile device to kick off the process. This includes a required health screening form with a series of questions and an optional liability waiver business owners can use to protect themselves from unwarranted litigation. Upon completion of the form, either a red screen denoting entry denied or a green screen meaning approved for entry will appear granting them access after a final temperature screening.

Maybe you have previously invested in a cloud-hosted Enterprise Content Management solution before or during the COVID-19 pandemic, so you and your employees have access to business critical information no matter their location, in the office or working remote. This same solution that helped your business continue on as usual when you were remote can also help you as you return to the office by utilizing web forms to collect and create a touchless screening process.

Staying Compliant

It is important to review the CDC recommendations on reopening, as well as taking into consideration input from the  ADAEEOCOSHA and HIPAA guidelines. Also, you should review your state and local issued orders. Many states are requiring or encouraging temperature screenings before employees are permitted to enter the workplace. Any information obtained from such screenings must be kept confidential in accordance with applicable law. Using a solution like Return to Work Essentials, where all temperature readings are stored in a HIPAA compliant repository, can ensure you are safeguarding personal data and your business stays compliant.


Of course, having a process for reentering the office is one of the most important pieces of your plan but it is not the only piece. Your reopening plan should include policies for wearing masks and additional PPE, or what to do if someone becomes ill and how to report it. The changing dynamic of how we work could require making updates to your company policies (company handbook, time off policy, confidentiality, etc.) and even your mission statement. If those documents are stored in an ECM solution, updating, and saving the different versions of these documents are even easier.

Contact Square 9 today to get more information on how we can help you return to work safely and securely. Return to Work Essentials is an affordable, easy to use solution that supports the reopening process for organizations ensuring they take the right steps to maintain a healthy and safe workplace.

NOTE: The Information enclosed is guidance from Square 9 Softworks and additional organizations large and small including the CDC, ADA, EEOC and OSHA. It is meant to help you plan your own reopening, tackle potential challenges, and make the best decisions for your business.

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