The Elastic Reception Service

Updated: Feb 16

In today's blog, I will introduce the concept of "Elastic Reception" and why we need it adapt to it during post pandemic. An Office Reception Checklist is also written for you to get ready for the post pandemic workplace.

Post pandemic, the workplace will not be the same. One outcome of the pandemic is that it has accelerated changes that were creeping along the adoption curve:

  • The explosion in Teams and Zoom consumption

  • The work from home necessity, propelling a hybrid working culture

  • The death of presenteeism - we hope, where people in the office scored psychological commitment points.

  • Resizing offices that require a long commute

  • The rapid growth in near home co-working offices in satellite locations

  • The review and expansion of secondary city offices for satellite collaboration centres

  • The pressure on the office to be a productive place that beats the home or co-working office.

  • The rapid adoption of digital transformation tools by businesses to catch up with the consumer trend and close the gap.

What is Elastic Reception?

One of the last bastions of "old world" is the front of house reception management model. It is fundamentally flawed as you have a fixed number of staff and therefore visitor throughput and volatile visitor traffic flows that are unpredictable.

At traffic peak times, your reception will be occupied by answering phone calls, administrative support, and welcoming your visitors.

At other times, your reception team is wandering around, being paid the same salary but the reception management is not ideally efficient.

That's why we've introduced the concept of an 'elastic reception' service - to efficiently deliver the best customer service at all times under unpredictable visitor traffic flows.

The predictability issue of your reception management can be transformed easily now with digital visitor pre-registration to deliver the best reception service. Pre-registration functionality can deliver huge benefits; transforming a once reactive reception into an intuitive one.

Where does the elastic reception service come in?

Vgreet visitor management kiosks immediately add digital efficiencies in your reception management with:

  • Pre-registration

  • 3 Second Touchless Check-in

  • Delivering in a single kiosk up to 20,000 visitors a month capacity

There are two ways of delivering peak traffic efficiency to your reception service:

  1. Add Digital Capacity to supplement front of house team members

  2. Extend the digital capacity to your reception service with "elastic" Exec PA call answering service with a simple voice command

Read more about our partnership with Moneypenny virtual receptionist here.

Reception service in multi-purpose reception

The benefits of upgrading to a elastic reception are:

  • The capacity flexes to your visitor profile

  • Changes the delivery model completely

  • With just two moves

However, it goes a lot further than that, as the elastic digital reception service can now move into standardising other front of house use cases:

  • The unmanned Reception

  • The single person reception

Reception service in unmanned reception

The unmanned reception could be a remote location or satellite office.

Once you start to think about the your Elastic Reception Service for your reception management, you will be reviewing your Flexible Working or Hybrid strategy for Real Estate across your portfolio.

The trend is that secondary cities and towns, particularly those with strong fibre bandwidth services are now being re-tasked as Collaboration, Teamwork and Customer Management Centres.

The traditional reception service would be accessing the building by ringing the bell in an unmanned reception. Or, being greeted by a security guard who is obsessive about rules and lists, and that is your first impression!

Now you can add digital visitor management kiosks to not just improve the first impression and productivity of team members but reliably introduce a standard visitor management policy.

Reception service in single person reception

It's not just the previously unmanned locations, the reception management at a single person receptions is fraught with single point of failure issues.

Supplementing digital visitor management resource makes enormous sense, given the list of things you are now expected to deliver consistently.

Office Reception Checklist for Return to Work

Use this office reception checklist in your return to office planning. Make sure your reception is not exposed to the following risks. Installing a Vgreet digital visitor management kiosk at your reception can help you reduce or remove these challenges. Some of these items will need the support of other departments, such as Legal, Finance, HR or IT.

Compliance Risks

  • GDPR risks - ensuring existing visitor management systems are fully GDPR compliant

  • You set your visitor data automatic purging to ensure compliance

  • Regular visitors opt in to facial recognition

  • Fines - social distancing at your reception, PPE and other COVID enforcements

  • Health and safety enforcement orders and spot checks

  • Employer 'Duty of Care'

  • NHS Track and Trace self-isolation (encouraging an employee to come into the workplace and not self-isolate means an employer can be fined over £1000)

  • Remove the risk by using digital visitor management

Read more about how to stay GDPR compliant

Risk Assessments

  • Visitor Data Security

  • Auto purge visitor data after X days

  • Congested reception contamination risk

  • 'COVID-Safe' workplace risk assessment

  • Health and safety executive risk assessment

  • Review existing risk assessments if changing office layout/furniture to allow for social distancing, to minimise hazards around the workplace

  • Remove by adding Vgreet capacity

Read more about risk assessments.

Technical Risk

  • Visitor blacklist management

  • Standard within Vgreet

  • GDPR

  • Auto delete visitor emails so you do not have GDPR issues, standard within Vgreet

Employee Risk

  • Visitor Self Health checks

  • Customise your pre-registration invite

  • Visitor Track and Trace

  • Track visitors in the building on days when "now isolating staff were in"

  • Visitor reception processes (touchless)

  • Ensure Touchless express 3 second check-in with a Vgreet Visitor Management Kiosk

  • Visitor reception contamination through congested receptions

  • Remove the whole risk of a congested reception by adding rapid check-in process with Vgreet, having the capacity to check-in 2,500 visitors a day!

Reputational Risk

  • Your reception relied on tape, screens and signs

  • Turned the reception into an emergency zone

  • Created the opposite of psychological safety for your returning employees

  • Whistle blower risk; you're the one the tabloids will get a photo of, in your reception with staff or visitors queuing.

We suggest with that scary list of RISK you assess your Visitor Management readiness NOW as it usually takes 6 weeks for your customised solution to be configured and signed off internally and then ordered.

A simple set of useful calculators are below:

It takes 20-30 minutes to carry out a simple digital assessment and see where your tailored gains are, risks you can eliminate, visitor experience gains, Book your risk & experience health check here.

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