For more than a year, the world has reacted to and adjusted for COVID-19. Now, with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and individuals and companies can start moving forward and planning for a new normal. As companies in all industries have undoubtedly been affected, employers remain cognizant of various issues as offices and facilities reopen and employees return to work. At this critical juncture, it is important to recognize that guidelines and best practices are still evolving. Local, state, and federal regulatory agencies have issued protocols and guidance related to vaccination verification, indoor occupancy limits, break-out infections and contact tracing rules and notifications. This challenge is shouldered by multiple departments – Human Resources, Legal, Facilities, and Security have to work in unison and play different roles. Even the executive suite is worried if the right tools and resources can be applied effectively while supporting the needs of employees – to help them feel confident and safe returning to the traditional workplace.

For leadership and administration, the challenge is to make use of existing assets like HR Systems and physical security systems to automate the process, and provide ‘touchless’ operations while adhering to corporate, state, and local compliance. They need to provide employees a simple, intuitive and secure way to share information and upload documents. The Return-to-Work lifecycle needs to be a thoughtful solution that is human-driven and technology-supported to easily submit only the minimum required information without a clunky, confusing process.

A comprehensive solution is needed with technology that is easy to set up, flexible to change, and adapt as fast as the COVID variants are changing. It must also integrate with existing investments in HR, Physical Security, Notification (email, SMS) systems.

Here are the five most important things to know in order to return to work with confidence.

  1. It’s all about the data

You should be leveraging the data in your existing systems – especially HR, Contractor Mgmt, and Physical Security Systems – to simplify when and how you will bring workers back to the workplace with efficiency and priority. Heath/safety and vaccination compliance should be tied to your physical access control system for easy reporting and access provisioning. Vector Flow’s built-in data connectors provide a holistic approach to address your companies’ needs as they re-enter the workplace.

  1. Make it easy for your workers

Empower your workforce with simple self-service tools that help them work safely, confidently, and productively. Ideally, they should have access to an app that lets them check-in, self-screen and upload vaccination status before entering facilities. Daily worker attestation takes 10 seconds or less with the flexibility to be done over a phone or tablet. This makes it easier and better for workers, leading to less worker apprehension and a much higher rate of your solution effectiveness.

  1. Implement location readiness

This allows facility managers and task force leaders to determine the readiness of their facilities and efficiently manage their safe reopening by making informed decisions using critical factors like COVID-19 infection rates, occupancy trends (historic vs. current), vaccination rates of employees, and safety supply availability.

  1. Notify and communicate

With so many departments needing information to make timely decisions, exception-based notifications and alerts will be needed to support a wide variety of administrators as well as provide ongoing communication and access notifications to the average worker. Real-time notification reduces risk and increases the quality of service. Transparent communication to workers builds trust and confidence that returning to the office is not just what someone is being told to do but what a worker wants to do – be in a safe and protected work environment with creativity and productivity among colleagues and peers.

  1. Trace infection and contact possibility

Most state and local governments require contact tracing in the workplace. And even if that requirement doesn’t exist for your organization, most companies will do it to reduce the risk of infection, provide transparency to workers and maintain the momentum of bringing more workers back to the office. Intelligent contact tracing data gives you the ability to measure, monitor, and support a safe and confident reopening.

These ingredients combine for the foundation of your ‘recipe’ to bring workers back to the office, reduce your cost and risk, address compliance and reporting and build the confidence and trust of workers that their safety and security is job #1.

Give people the confidence to meet in person, as needed, with this pre-built solution from Vector Flow designed to protect and streamline the entire process of reopening the workplace.

By: Kyle Elliot, VP of Sales | September 2, 2021