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Most employees want to return to work, but not to business as usual.

Seventy percent of people plan to work in the office at least 3 days a week, but 55% want physical distancing and more cleaning, according to a recent Gensler survey.

As an HR leader, you play an important role in implementing policies and workplace software that keep employees safe.

Follow these guidelines and check out Teem's software to support a safe return to work.

1. Implement wellness checks

A visitor management system that requires all employees and visitors to check in daily — and complete a short wellness check or self-assessment upon arrival — discourages sick employees from coming in. Per the CDC, employees should not have:

  • Tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days or be awaiting results
  • A body temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Symptoms of COVID-19, including fever or chills, cough, or shortness of breath

2. Devise a plan for contact tracing

Make it clear how employees should notify you of a positive COVID-19 test and how you will notify others while protecting their privacy. That should include:

  • Who employees should notify if they test positive
  • How you will identify with whom they had close contact (defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more)
  • What employees should do if they have been exposed but are not showing symptoms (work from home or a “comparable setting” and practice social distancing for 14 days)
  • What employees should do if they are showing symptoms (quarantine for 14 days)

3. Increase the distance between workspaces

Ensure workspaces and chairs are at least six feet apart, or add barriers when this is not possible. Be sure to consider:

  • How you will limit capacity in conference rooms (we'd recommend a conference room management system)
  • Whether you need to reconfigure common areas to prevent overcrowding
  • How you will reconfigure the flow of traffic in entrances/exits, hallways and stairways

4. Update hot desking protocols

Unassigned desks don’t collect personal clutter, making them easier to clean. They also help you use space more efficiently when you have fewer employees in the office.

But 19% of employees are worried about sharing workspaces, according to the Gensler US Work From Home Survey. Update your protocols for hot desking, including:

  • Using a desk reservation system
  • Requiring employees to wipe down surfaces after each use
  • Adding lockers, coat racks, and closet space for employees to store items

5. Revisit company policies

To keep employees safe now and allow for greater flexibility after the threat of COVID-19 has subsided, you will need to update policies such as:

  • Your remote work policy (including when it is acceptable to work from home and what hours employees are expected to be available)
  • When business travel is appropriate and what precautions to take
  • When employees are eligible for federal leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • What additional employee benefits you will offer for people experiencing hardships, such as mental health counseling

6. Use an employee app for internal communication

Considering the average employee receives over 100 emails each day, an announcement about an office closure due to COVID-19 might be easy to overlook. Use a mobile app to send notifications they can’t ignore, such as:

    • When each office or department is returning
    • Where employees can find personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks
    • What to do if they feel unsafe returning due to health concerns

Bring employees back - Teem Blog

Teem’s new Return-to-Work Starter Kit makes it easy and affordable for companies of any size to return to work fast.

It’s a complete package of return-to-work technology that includes visitor management, desk booking, room scheduling, and a mobile app for one affordable price.

Help employees return to work safely with user-friendly workplace software and technology.

Get the Starter Kit.



Teem by iOFFICE provides enterprises with space scheduling and management, workplace analytics, building, and campus wayfinding, and visitor management to help cultivate workplaces that fuel productivity, efficiency, and creativity.

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