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Tips to Reopen Your Business Safely

Published October 05, 2021 (last updated June 6, 2022) - Head of Health and Safety

As Freedom Day beckons from what seems like the longest time in restrictions, business owners all over Australia and New Zealand are keen to open and reintegrate back into ‘normal life’ again. A life where we sat inside cafes to drink our coffee, a life where travelling to work was the norm, and team meetings were face to face.

Yes, the world is opening up again, but perhaps not quite as it used to be. There are new protocols we need in place, to keep our employees and the public safe, as we operate our businesses amidst a virus that hasn’t disappeared just yet. Re-opening is one thing, but keeping open our workspace, office, sites is what will be the ultimate key to success. In this post, we will look at what you need to consider on re-opening and tips on how to open safely.

Why Opening Safely is important

Any businesses surviving lockdowns is impressive, but sustaining operations post-lockdown is what will support and maintain your business growth. Even 1 confirmed COVID case entering your workplace could potentially shut down operations significantly. Knowing what your infection risks in the workplace are, deciding on control measures, and making plans for worst-case scenarios is crucial to opening safely.

What to Consider for Reopening Safely


Open communication between busy staff and business owners is vital during a pandemic hit workplace. Employees who can easily reach out to managers and colleagues to express concerns, from sudden health and safety worries to rostering to record-keeping, are the staff who will empower you as an employer in the fast-moving pace of COVID-19. Apps that unite your teams, allowing them to have quick easy conversations in real-time could help keep work moving forward while reducing the risk of the virus being spread between staff.

Wellness Checks

Consider how you will monitor your employee wellness in the workplace, will they fill out a checklist each day or shift? Monitoring symptoms in staff is a fundamental part of controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Could staff take turns to be ‘monitor’? Use technology to ask staff to log their wellness scores in a shared doc, or company software, or an app which would also serve as a record should you need it.

Keep it Clean

If you haven’t been in the workplace for months during a lockdown, then consider a ‘big clean’, some businesses are posting photos of the ‘big clean’ on social media to announce the big reopening. Which also serves to reassure customers and staff that their safety is a priority.

The ‘new normal’ requires new protocols for cleaning and infection control. Think about what (if any) physical objects are shared in the workplace, how to keep these clean and how to integrate this new regular cleaning. Read our e-guide for in-depth essential advice on re-opening.

Risk Assessment

Update your COVID-19 risk assessment. It’s easy to keep putting this off, but your risk assessment is going to be a valuable asset in re-opening, and importantly keeping your business open. Use the open dialogue you’ve had with staff, work out together what the risks of transmission in the workplace are. Develop ways to control these risks, implement measures and then keep a record of these measures. Review the measures regularly. For instance:  Are customers forgetting to stand behind the line to order food? Then consider moving signage. Keep reviewing your practices and keep adapting. Check out our BrightHR software, we have 100’s of Risk Assessment templates to make it simple to carry one out quickly and easily.

Record Keeping

Keep records. Keep Records. Keep records. Then keep some more records. In the new normal, keeping records is an important factor in infection control. Record which staff are in, and where, and on what days. If a case is found in the workplace, you will want to be able to quickly track and trace and close-down the infection. BrightHR app has the ability to track your staff shifts, either through GPS, or by staff checking in themselves with each shift. If an employee becomes infected, then as a manager you can easily check who was in and when, quickly at a glance on your phone. You’ll be powerfully equipped to quickly respond to an outbreak and stop it in its tracks.


Exciting as it is to be re-opening, remember it’s only exciting if we keep open! Re-opening safely is the road to staying open and thriving! We have produced a FREE in-depth e-guide that is an essential read for Businesses wanting to re-open safely! Download here

Call us on 1300 705 027 for free initial advice with HR advice you can trust. Ask to book in a demo of the BrightHR Back to Work Navigator

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About Employsure

Employsure is one of Australia’s largest workplace relations advisers to small- and medium-businesses, with over 30,000 clients in ANZ. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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