Traditionally, a visitor logbook was a series of handwritten sheets of paper. Visitors would enter their name, who they were visiting, the day and time and then add their signature. In today's modern office, the visitor registration and the sign in sheet has gone digital. Smart offices have turned to an eReceptionist to track who comes into your office or co-working space, when they come, who they are there to see, and why they are there.
Why is a Visitor Logbook Important?
Tracking visitors in and out of your office has multiple benefits. Luckily and likely you do not think about this often, but first is your safety and the safety of your teammates and colleagues. Second is the reason you are there in the first place, the productivity of your business.
Let's start with safety and security.
- Maintaining a log of everyone who's in your office will clue you in to people who are there who shouldn't be there. It can help avoid the uncomfortable situation of an angry ex-spouse showing up and creating a scene. And even worse, a nefarious individual from inflicting harm on an individual. A visitor sign in sheet may even prevent entry to those seeking to do mass harm.
- If your office or co-working space needed to evacuate--in case of fire or chemical spill, for example--how would you know everybody is out? Keeping a log of everyone who's entered is the only way to make sure everyone has exited.
- Security isn't just about personnel, but also the important work you do. Many large and high tech companies require visitors to sign a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, before entering the facility. This document should be stored with the visitor logs.
- Sometimes visitors are given access to equipment in your office. Having a record of their entrance and exit can help prevent maltreatment of equipment or even theft.
A visitor log can also help with efficiency.
- Memories fade over time. A visitors log gives you a data driven reference for how often you receive guests and why the visit. This allows you to effectively use space management software. As office space is often one of your biggest fixed (and long-term) expenses, now you are armed with information for planning, reporting, and keeping track of utilization.
- You also might want to keep in touch with visitors, whether an interview candidate, partner or customer. Visitor logbooks can store this information for future reference. Deliveries should also be tracked in a package log.
- Visitor logs can be useful for getting company reviews--either in the actual office or as a future contact for a review. Customer testimonials can be a powerful tool for converting leads into customers.
Digital Visitor Log vs. Pen and Paper
Businesses have been using some variation of pen and paper visitor logs for years. In the past, this wasn't just the most affordable option, it was the only option. Many businesses are now capturing visitors' signatures directly in their digital visitor log book with an eSignature app.
- A traditional paper and pen visitor sign in sheet can be lost, stolen, be spilled on or just crumpled. In addition, handwriting can make the log book difficult to read.
- A traditional paper and pen visitor log book becomes a public document that any visitor can leaf through--including competing vendors, clients and salespeople who visit the office.
- A front desk sign in app and digital log book requires eliminates worries about legibility.
- An Android or iPad sign in app can capture visitors pictures during the check in process. Say something goes missing, or you just need a refresher about what your client looks like, now you have a reference.
- All digital check-ins are stored in a secure digital visitor log which can be downloaded manually or via Zapier. It cannot be viewed by the public.
- Admins and other reception personnel can now engage in more meaningful tasks since they no longer have to police the front desk.
Componets of a Digital Visitor Log
- Visitor first name
- Visitor last name
- Reason for visit (meeting, interview, delivery, facility tour)
- Visitor photo
- Visitor signature, if desired
- Check in day and time
- Check out day and time
- Employee or host they are visiting
Every company should have a visitor logbook to protect its people and its information. It is also helpful in deploying people to be most productive. The world is moving towards automation, and your organization should explore a digital visitor management system with an electronic visitor logbooks to increase usefulness and the confidentiality of their information.