Small businesses can use office automation to increase worker productivity. This article covers the criteria for choosing effective automation...
Why a Visitor Management System Is Vital in a Hybrid Workplace
Not only does a visitor management system cover for work-from-home employees, it can also keep your workplace free of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
- While there’s no telling if companies will choose full-time work from home or office work schedules, more than half of workers prefer a hybrid system split between working from home and at the office.
- A visitor management system is crucial in such a work schedule as it handles all visitors regardless of which employees are physically onsite at any given time.
- Visitor management software ensures worker safety as they don’t have to interact with visitors physically, and it minimizes the number of people present at the workplace on any given day.
- Similarly, visitor sign in software keeps an itemized log of all people in the building for easy contact tracing. Additional health screenings include temperature checks and thermal scans.
Businesses are slowly got back to their feet, even amidst the continuing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy is bouncing back from the worst pandemic to hit the US since 1918. That brought a real head-scratcher for HR departments–get workers back to the office or stick with work from home (WFH)?
At the heart of the pandemic, companies embraced innovations such as visitor management systems for many reasons. These included protection receptionists and other admin personnel from unnecessary contact with visitors. Plus the contact tracing abilities offered by cloud-based visitor logs.
Workers are heading back to the office. However hybrid workplaces, versus full-time in-person offices, are gaining momentum. A recent survey by Stanford University researchers suggests that 55% of workers prefer a hybrid workplace. If your organization is moving towards a similar setup, this guide reveals why your hybrid workplace will benefit massively from a visitor management system. But first…
What Is a Visitor Management System?
No one can predict whether businesses will stick to work from home or heading back to work in the office over the long term. The trend points towards a hybrid work schedule where workers spend alternating days working from home and the office.
Major companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google will allow their workers to take advantage of hybrid working models.
No matter how many, or few, employees are on the premises on a given day, customers, vendors, interview candidates, delivery people, and everyone else who enters your reception area still need taking care of. And that’s where a visitor management system is important. A visitor management system is a software hub providing solutions for handling, tracking, monitoring, and recording visitors’ information.
The platform will help your organization automate and streamline the visitor check in process. Visitor management software can take care of identification and security procedures such as capturing visitor names, date and time of entry and exit, capturing digital signatures on legal documents, issuing visitor badges, sending reception notifications, and arranging employee escorts.
Why Is a Visitor Management System Essential for a Hybrid Workplace?
Receptionists and Other Admin Staff Won’t Always Be There
In a hybrid environment, most workers will spend some time away from the workplace. That includes your receptionist if you have one, or the admin staff that, pre-COVID, filled that role (likely reluctantly.)
When the receptionist is away, your visitor management system takes over their tasks, ensuring a great visitor experience regardless of in-person staffing. Visitor management software will ensure all guests are greeted and connected with their host promptly.
Moreover, modern visitor management solutions, including Greetly, are cloud-based, which means admins can modify their configuration and their review visitor logs, for one branch of your worldwide footprint, even while working from home.
Ensures All Visitors Are Handled
While your employee work schedules may be hybrid, your reception software works 24/7. It never needs to take a break. No restroom breaks, no time away cleaning the conference room, and no meetings.
Even when your reception personnel are on the premises, visitor sign in software acts like an accomplished sidekick for front desk staff. As software can handle simple check in tasks faster, leaving the more complicated jobs to the human team.
Some visitors will never return to the level of comfort they had in the good old days. You know, 2019.
Visitor management software makes all of your guests feel like VIPs. The self-check in nature eliminates unnecessary interactions and health risk exposure for employees and visitors as it takes over the tasks of some employees. This reduces the number of people needed in the workplace at any given time. Moreover, it will take over some human tasks, decreasing human contact between workers and visitors.
Some visitor management systems can take the temperature of every employee or guest, depending on your needs and preferences. This helps minimize entry by people who might have COVID-19 or other illnesses. In turn, you reduce sick days and maximize employee productivity.
What’s more, the touchless visitor management platform will integrate with your visitor appointment software to schedule entry for visitors, or it can utilize other technology to provide seamless integration.
Despite visitors checking in with their own smartphone devices, this software has all of the features of using a check in kiosk. That includes taking visitor photos, printing badges, scanning driver's licenses, capturing signatures on legal documents, and sending realtime reception notifications.
Reception software generates a cloud-based visitor log. This records everyone who visits the facility, giving you a comprehensive electronic log of all visitors, including the host they came to visit. The information recorded includes the date and timestamp of when the visitor arrived and when they departed your facility.
Should someone become ill, you are able to trace who they were likely to be in contact with, reducing further personnel contamination.
A visitor management solution is inexpensive to implement -- it costs less than your daily cup of coffee. It will prove cost-effective in the long run. That’s because you can cut down on the number of visitor escorts, front desk staff, and security personnel operating the cameras and entry points to identify visitors.
In addition, most of the tasks will be automated and cloud-based, so there’s no need for specialized personnel to maintain and keep the system running. Admin can be handled in the cloud and no technical skills are required to run the software.
What to Look For in Visitor Management System for a Hybrid Work Environment
Touchless Visitor Check-in
Select a system with contactless operations. Sure, digital devices that require input from the visitor, such as sign-in kiosks and keypad entry buttons, are great for security, but the pandemic has taught us otherwise.
Aim for a platform with touchless processes to deter disease spread. For example, links sent to visitors' smartphone or QR codes to scan that allows guests to initiate and complete the entire sign in process without interacting with reception personnel or shared kiosks.
The best visitor management solution should include health screening. Select one that can take temperatures and supplement that with thermal scanners inside the offices to ensure everyone remains within the approved limits.
It should also have a customizable visitor intake process so you can capture any health screening questions that keep your office healthy and compliant. Make sure it can capture responses to a health questionnaire and eSignatures confirming that answers provided were accurate.
Data Privacy Compliance
The software will handle a ton of personal data from employees and visitors, so you need a platform that complies with laws relating to data storage and deletion policies.
Easy to Use
Since visitors will interact with the software, opt for a platform with an intuitive user interface that every visitor will interact with easily to maximize visitor adoption. Easy to use applies to your staff as well. Reception software should be easy to configure. Viewing and download visitor reports should be simple and should not require special training.
Since your digital receptionist works 24/7/365, make sure you get that level of support.
Conclusion – Touchless Visitor Management Is Vital in a Hybrid Workplace
Since workers seem to favor a hybrid workplace, a visitor management system software that handles entry to the building is a crucial addition. That’s because workers will not always be there to serve customers, something the platform can handle effortlessly.
This isn't just a convenience. Reception software will enhance workplace safety as it reduces contact between employees and visitors. Moreover, it keeps a timestamped movement log of visitor movement, ensuring effective contact tracing when needed.