Zoho launches BackToWork to help companies return to the office safely

Throughout the pandemic, Zoho has offered free or discounted software to help companies remain productive as their employees transitioned to working from home. Today, it’s launching a mini-suite of products designed to help businesses that need to return to their workplaces to do so safely.

“There are businesses that can’t function with the whole work from home model,” explained LSP Chandrasekhar (LSP), Zoho’s Canadian evangelist. “For example, there are people who are delivering things for you – shipping and freight forwarding companies, logistics companies. The sanitation workers, everybody’s out there, volunteers, they’re out there. So we asked, what can we do from a policy standpoint or a tool standpoint to give them the right set of tools so that they can adapt themselves and have a safer workplace?”

Zoho’s response is a set of tools collectively dubbed BackToWork. It’s free for the remainder of 2020, then will cost US$2 per user per month. It is available in five languages (English, French, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic), with Spanish, Portuguese and German coming soon, and can be integrated with HR platforms such as BambooHR and Zoho People, and with directories such as Active Directory and Zoho Directory.

BackToWork consists of six major modules:

  • Safe Entry: Lets administrators define multiple buildings and locations and control access to each facility based on factors like employee wellness and travel history. Companies can specify the number of employees and visitors that are permitted in each facility, or even each area of a facility, and the wellness score required; additional people are denied entry. It features a contactless end-to-end check-in system using generated QR codes.
  • Employee Wellness Assessment: Companies track workplace wellness by defining self-assessment, safe entry, and travel policies. Employees (and visitors, if necessary) can securely and privately submit a wellness questionnaire reporting travel history, recent medical history, and other pertinent possible exposure information, and the company defines what “wellness score” is required to access each facility. Frequency of questionnaire completion is configurable. Each company controls its own data, and administrative policies can be established to ensure questionnaire data is deleted in a timely manner to preserve employee and visitor privacy and comply with privacy laws.
  • Maintenance and Assets: Companies define and manage assets and supplies from laptops to hand sanitizer, as well as building maintenance requests, in this module. Repair/replacement requests can be approved and assigned in the app. For example, if meeting rooms need sanitizing after use, the requests can be managed here.
  • Admin Control Panel: Gives a 360-degree view of workplace data in pre-configured dashboards. This is where administrators add and manage employees, define what wellness scores are required for admission, and define roles for tasks such as approvals and emergency contacts.
  • Volunteer: If the company has volunteer programs such as blood drives, this lets them be defined and volunteer members recruited and managed.
  • Communication: Materials such as announcements, FAQs, best practices, policies and safety documents can be shared with employees and managed in the Communication module.

Advanced customization of each module is accomplished through the company’s low code/no code application platform, Zoho Creator.

All functions except the admin components are available on the Web, iOS or Android. Administration, however, is through a progressive web app only.

Zoho is not stopping there. Additional modules in the works include a travel management module and integrations with popular videoconferencing platforms, starting with Zoho Meeting.

Zoho BackToWork is available now.

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Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree.

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