Return to the office and visitor management

Updated: Jan 26

This blog reflects on some of the key learnings from Worktech 2020 on the return to work challenges that enterprise businesses are currently re-engineering.

Firstly, those sessions reviewed the stark reality was that no one had the answers? Loads of experts, some hunches, but no answers.

Why would that be?

A really stark fact was the "equality" of turning up in the same size box on whatever virtual meeting platform you use, no longer who has the loudest voice but a world of inclusion, equality where everyone had input.

What was really funny was Doug Lowrie, Workplace Experience Director, Wx hit a really interesting point what was silent on linkedIn was the Top Tips for managers to manage in a more virtual world. (loads of how to work from home but almost nothing on managing a disrupted workforce)

George Semeczko, Technology and Infrastructure Consultant, Scotiabank hit another key point, Commercial Technology has finally caught up with or closed the gap on consumer technology, particularly in Teams, Zoom, Pexip world of virtual meetings.

The best session for me by far was the team from Scotiabank who when talking through their new Ecosystem style of working explained their focus, to put the employee and their needs at the centre of everything they decided to do, heavily supported by data.

This resonated for me as a person who believes strongly in "solving the customers problem" and you'll always be somewhere near relevant to those customers.

So here I'm going to propose an idea to all those still trying to work out the future of the workplace, which is to grasp three/four things as a guide to helping you determine what to deliver to "your customers" of the workplace, all of which were derived from reviewing the worktech 2020 .

Takeouts from Worktech 2020

  1. Make the customer the centre of your thinking and goals: The employee and The visitor

  2. Make data rather than "opinion" your decision driver

  3. Use technology to digitise the journeys and workflows to help deliver "the experience" to your customers.

  4. Ask really hard questions, like "Why do I need to come to the office?" "Why am I travelling to the office when I can just click and be there?" "How is the office adding value?"

  5. How are we going to stay relevant as a workplace, given the flux in what is perceived we need from the workplace?

  6. Invest in change management time and effort and START with the Leaders and Managers in helping them understand what they need to change in a distributed workplace landscape/team.

  7. Regularly survey the different types of user to find out if you're delivering what they need and if the goalposts have changed.

  8. Publish the findings and the plan

  9. Manage communication intensely

  10. Challenge the "ownership" of any workplace strategy" to ensure its owned by folk who care about the end customer, the visitor, the contractor - not just about the bottom line!

For me, as the workplace and home, the consumer and commercial world's merge this is about:

- Safety, wellbeing first, when Boris first announced the lockdown and "mentioned mental health" I thought he gone soft.

Now 9 months on, I know first hand how its been a struggle for most of us and therefore psychological safety for me is key. Just being able to communicate you have made the workplace safer with something other that tape, signs and screens is crucial. And here is where we can lend a hand, digitising the workplace, having less manual, touch filled processes is a huge step forward. Read more about touchless visitor management

Several Worktech 2020 panels debated the need for three space types ie Home, near home and the office, and you just cannot control someone's house or "near home location" so having digital process that can be rendered anywhere is key.

Scotiabank mentioned the creation of Eco-systems and for us at Vpod that's key, combining solutions so that 1 + 1 does not equal 2 but 3! We have hand-picked partners that add value to our visitor management kiosks snd help digitise some of the workplace challenges we see can be re-engineered.

Full Microsoft and Condeco enhanced Visitor Management

If you have office 365 and Condeco why re-key all the visitor detail into some visitor management system when a simple API feed can let that data flow and create a superb digital workflow. Microsoft Visitor management using Office 365

The "Elastic Digital Reception"

Why try and tackle variable visitor numbers with fixed numbers of staff - with the vague hope you going to deliver the best, consistent service - your just not going to, hence the partnership with Moneypenny and the "elastic reception" is born. On demand PA's available with a simple voice command "help". PA's that know the building, have access to the digital workflows and can deliver a great service remotely.

Digital Reception services - Re-engineer your front of house

In our next blog we will reveal how you measure the workplace, collecting data from multiple sources so that you can collate data from:

  • Visitor management systems

  • Badging data

  • Access control systems

  • Workplace scheduling tools

  • Building management systems

  • Sensors

  • Interactive maps

  • HR systems

  • Active Directories

Pooling the data into instant access dashboards with triggers that tell you when "exceptions" need to be acted on.

Giving you instant service level feedback, so that your not as good as your last visitor feedback response but measured against ALL feedback!

So till then, I bid you a very happy New Year in 2021!

Learn our techniques of efficient visitor management for returning to office

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