Bring Employees and Customers Together, Safely

A playbook for managing COVID-19 testing protocols and validating entry to events and workplaces.

January 31, 2022

Managing Workplace and Event Safety Today

The pandemic has been a humbling and challenging time for all of us. Our aim with this playbook is to share our successes and learnings on how we brought our employees, customers, and communities together safely. In a world of constantly changing health conditions, it is important to consider how to safely connect and collaborate in-person.


While this playbook is just one of multiple resources we used to bring our stakeholders together, it is meant to share the most valuable workplace and event health and safety insights we gained about best practices during a rigorous, year-long planning process. By putting this knowledge to work in 2021, we were able to host thousands of in-person attendees at two Dreamforce events and as of February 2022, reopen 84 offices around the world.

We acknowledge that this was a moment in time. We didn’t – and still don’t – have all the answers. Like everyone else, we’re learning as we travel through the various phases of an extraordinary and ever-changing public health crisis.

Our guiding light during this unpredictable, uncharted series of events has been to follow a medically-informed, science-led strategy -- even as new virus variants emerge and the science itself changes as more knowledge is gained. Whether creating guidance for hosting events or reopening the office, a flexible, science-based approach has enabled us to adopt appropriate workplace and event health and safety protocols whenever new challenges are thrown our way. As you review this playbook to consider hosting your own event or safely bringing employees into the workplace, please keep these considerations in mind:

  1. Recognize that dealing with an ongoing health crisis is a team sport – with science as the new team member. Holding in-person events at our Dreamforce conference and sending employees back into the workplace would not have been possible without the close collaboration between our CEO, Chief People Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Legal teams, Security, Epidemiologists, Real Estate team, Chief Marketing Officer, and countless members of our health and safety teams, external vendors, and many other stakeholder groups. We planned everything together with informed eyes and minds.

  2. Understand that this is a retrospective playbook that remains relevant but may not cover every future COVID-19 consideration. Don’t look at our decisions as the be-all-end-all, but rather, view them as what Salesforce did at a single moment in time, with the most up to date science at the time, to manage in-person events and reopen offices during an ongoing pandemic. It will be useful to consider our methodology. How did we define risk? How did we develop a plan to mitigate it? Answering these questions for your own organization will help you create a dynamic plan for managing the health challenges of the future.

  3. Medical science and education are the keys to defining COVID-19 health and safety measures for any team. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we need to remain informed and follow the advice of respected medical authorities on matters such as vaccination, testing frequency, quarantines, masking, and other important safety protocols. At this time, regular COVID-19 testing remains the best way to stay one step ahead of the virus for our collective communities. Informed decision making and educating our communities to counter misinformation are fundamental. There are direct risks from the pandemic and there are many downstream effects we feel as a community.

Up Next: Chapter 1: Define COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Cross-Functional Team Leads

Your first step to event and workplace safety is to define, document, and communicate your plan.

In this chapter, learn how to:

  • Assemble a team of experts
  • Define what safety means to your organization
  • Implement testing and align with local vaccination guidelines
  • Evaluate hospital capacity
  • Define on-site protocols
  • Document and communicate the plan

About the Authors

Geeta Nayyar, MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer
Brent Hyder
Chief People Officer
Sarah Franklin
Chief Marketing Officer

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