Coronavirus has altered nearly everything about the way we work today. And for many businesses, this is the perfect time to reevaluate your visitor management system.
While keeping your workplace safe typically meant ensuring building security and cybersecurity, over recent months that has expanded to include protecting employees from health risks, too. After all, if there’s anything we’ve learned from the rapid spread of COVID-19, it’s that proper preventive measures can save lives.
Today, many of the largest U.S. companies have established new health and safety procedures, such as keeping a digital record of all guests for contact tracing, creating self-screening surveys for employees to complete before coming into the office, and creating wellness checklists. Return strategies must address not only the health of the workplace, but also how to make it a smooth transition for everyone. A good visitor management system plays a foundational role in that.
For decades, front desk receptionists have been tasked with keeping track of everyone who comes and goes. They are your human gatekeepers — greeting and identifying visitors, announcing their arrival, and restricting access to certain areas when necessary.
But the classic way of relying on a single-point-of-failure is no longer enough to protect your organization. After all, receptionists often have other duties and many things competing for their attention. That’s especially true now, when visitor management could mean logging detailed information about each guest for contact tracing purposes. Paper sign-in sheets don’t allow you to capture this in a secure way. They’re also easy to lose. If you need to know who was in your workplace two weeks ago, you may have gone through a whole stack of sign-in sheets since then — and you might be out of luck.
You might also have contractors and others who need access to your building but lack the necessary credentials, such as a keycard.
Before COVID-19, you wouldn’t have thought twice about having front desk personnel checking in packages, handling food deliveries, and personally greeting each individual that arrives.
This can result in a backlog of traffic in your lobby, which can increase the risk of spreading airborne viruses. Even shared surfaces such as touchscreens, need to be frequently sanitized to mitigate risks.
That’s why the idea of touchless check-in has become so appealing. Employees can pre-register guests and send them a welcome email with all the information they need when they arrive, including a QR code they can scan to check in.
A digital visitor management system also allows you to securely track the names and contact information of everyone who checks in so you know who to contact in the event of a potential exposure to COVID-19.
Some workplaces have even begun using their visitor management systems to manage all daily check-ins, including employees, for contact tracing purposes. And employees are increasingly expecting this — in a recent PwC survey, 35% said they wanted their employer to notify them if they are exposed to COVID-19.
Most unauthorized visitors (like solicitors) are a harmless nuisance. Although workplace violence is rare, the threat still looms. In recent years, there have been several high-profile incidents of mass shootings, including a former employee who killed 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal building in 2019 and a brewery employee who gunned down five co-workers at the Molson Coors campus in Milwaukee in February. The Molson Coors shooting marked the 13th mass workplace shooting by a current or former employee since 2006, according to the Associated Press.
A visitor management system can restrict former employees and others who have been banned from your premises for making threats or causing disturbances.
You can set up a visitor security watchlist that connects with your visitor management system, allowing you to flag any restricted individuals before they enter.
Having to wait for 15 minutes in a crowded lobby is frustrating and doesn’t exactly give your guests a great first impression.
In addition to enhancing building security, improving your visitor management efforts increases the efficiency of your check-in process. Guests can simply scan themselves in or sign in within minutes. The system will create a photo ID badge for them and automatically send an email or slack notification to their host.
This frees up your front desk receptionist to handle other tasks while allowing your guests to get right down to the purpose of their visit.
Rethinking your visitor management system is critical — perhaps now more than ever. By implementing a reliable solution, you can protect employee health and safety, improve efficiency, and create an exceptional first impression for guests.
The best visitor management systems include features that make this easy, such as:
Our visitor management system is simple, secure, and integrates with mobile apps for touchless check-in. Ready to see a closer look? Request a demo today.