Touchless Visitor Management System during COVID-19

Updated: May 31, 2021

Post-pandemic Facilities Managers face four main challenges when it comes to keeping both staff and visitors safe in the workplace. We introduce four phases React, Respond, Recover and Re-engineer to react to the pandemic. In today's blog, we will cover the topics:

What is a touchless visitor management system?


A Touchless Visitor Management System eliminates human contact at your reception by automating the visitor check in process, delivering a safe workplace, cost reductions and a workplace experience upgrade.


How to keep your visitors safe?


  1. Reduce the time at check in with visitor pre-registration. Visitors are pre-registered and they have signed self-certification for visitor track and trace before the arrival.

  2. Enable a touchless sign in. A touchless visitor management system with motion sensors, voice recognition, and temperature scan can simply sign visitors in with a scan of the QR code while checking in.

  3. Automate your visitor management process. A pass is printed by your visitor management system after visitor signing in, the host is notified by SMS and Email, and the visitor is told which room they are in and the meeting starts on time. No human contact is involved.

But how can these approaches benefit Facilities Management? With 35% of British and 40% of Americans viewing businesses that do not adopt touchless technology negatively, we see the need of touchless visitor management at your reception area not only for the office safety, but also a chance to a more intuitive workplace with FOUR PHASES - Let's explain how we can react to pandemic with four phases to implement a Touchless visitor management.


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Touchless Visitor management challenges: Deliver a safe workplace
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The four phases of pandemic response do not require four different solutions.

 

The Covid-19 impact - Facilities Managers “React Phase


The React phase is very much about dealing with the emergency; reacting to its threat and understanding the new challenges. The reaction to this phase is now clear and will have a long-lasting impact as businesses adapt to:

  • Homeworking

  • Video communication

  • Travelling to work

  • Lockdown and social isolation

  • Applying caution and checking the personal safety of every external contact have become the norm.

Facilities Managers have been included in Covid Committees to support the response during the react phase with most resisting the opportunity to erect screens, hazard signs and place safe distance footsteps around buildings.


How have they adapted in the react phase?


Meeting Rooms have been closed down in many offices, which can cause disruption for employees. Meeting rooms can be made safe with digital services from companies that specialise in enhancing Microsoft, to book and manage meeting rooms like Condeco Software who enable:

  • Safe distancing with instant room capacity management changes.

  • Vendor Management of Cleaners, sanitising rooms post use.

  • Touchless check-in to meeting rooms.

  • All in readiness for the return to the office.

Visitors have been advised to make “essential only” visits, creating a need for a safe visitor management system that creates a safe distance between visitors and staff, either in a back office or virtual reception team, supported by touchless visitor management systems and technology to manage visitors via a remote office.


This approach helps limit the risk of staff becoming infected with the virus, while still providing a great visitor experience to those attending the building.


Safety becomes paramount

How much safety can be introduced with digital visitor management system and Services rather than tape, screens and signs that will be in the basement in months?


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Workplace safety measures is crucial to getting people back to the workplace.
 

Return to the Office “Respond Phase”


As many companies began a “return to the office” trial, many have now returned to a “pause phase” as per Government guidelines.


Whilst frustrating for some, it has bought companies valuable extra time to put in solutions that are not “react only” solutions, but allow them to seamlessly move from a React stage, through the Response, into the Recovery phase and deliver an answer for the Re-Engineering Phase in one move.


It is important for the Facilities Manager, IT team, HR, Corporate Real Estate and Covid Committee respond to this opportunity, but how? From a facilities viewpoint, there are many challenges that involve the other stakeholders at different stages. In many businesses, these stakeholders all contribute to the sign-off stage, making it crucial to ensure their viewpoints are satisfied.


Many challenges for facilities management teams are:

  • A safety-first solution that can be communicated to employees who have to sign off on their workplace being as a safe place to return to.

  • Challenges are multi-dimensional and start from the beginning of organising “the choice” of where to work from be it home, near home offices, satellite offices or the HQ.

  • The HR team are keen to Communicate a “safety first” message wherever employees work and in order to comply and adhere to government guidelines take a cautious, home will be the default whilst preparations take place.

  • The design of every existing workplace, home or HQ, will consist of a layout that complies with government guidelines; however, it has to also emphasise to every employee that the workplace is safe.

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An easy visitor management tool that facilities managers dream of!

How do we adapt to the respond phase?


Once the immediate emergency is under control, crisis teams are able to respond to the situation at hand and come up with a plan to recover from the crisis. In the case of the pandemic, the response was guided by Governmental legislation and regional directives that were in force locally. Organisations will:

  • Introduce work from home policy

  • The development of new online communication tools

  • Workplace risk assessment and action plans

  • Amendments to commercial contracts; new deadlines or commitments

  • Rotas for management and maintenance of empty buildings

  • Review and changes to current budget spend

In the respond process, working together in a crisis team to respond to different aspects of the pandemic can hugely benefit each department and the business.

The help of technology: Vpod and Condeco

Touchless technology that reduce transmission risks will accelerate in the post pandemic world, visitor management systems can automate the visitor sign in process, integrating with desk and meeting room booking system.

A slick journey from an Outlook Meeting invites, populating host and guest details in your visitor management system!

An integrated digital solution, Condeco work closely with Microsoft to ensure that visitor management enters the “new normal - the Recovery Phase” era and is also equipped for the “Re-engineering phase”, where the workplace must deliver a seamless and safe experience for employees.


So why is an integrated solution so important for the Facilities Manager, IT team, HR, Corporate Real Estate and Covid Committee?

  • Someone at Condeco started with a customer-first mindset and imagined a better workplace, where the meeting invitees, in the outlook invite, populated Condeco, whether they were keyed into Condeco or Microsoft.

  • They now pass down an integrated link to Visitor Management partners like Vpod with its Vgreet Touchless Visitor Management System.

  • Ok, that clearly cuts out some re-keying, but why is it so important in the Response Phase? The data passed has the visitor's name and email, enabling a new type of invite and pre-registration process.

  • CLUNK, the penny drops, you mean I now know who is coming into the office, before they get there, employee (Condeco Desk & Room answer) and visitor or contractor - precisely!

  • To HR and Legal teams this is heaven, their own adherence to government guidelines, plus employee safety, have just been answered in one integrated solution, that exists today.

  • IT GETS BETTER - The invite to the meeting carries the ability to pre-register and express check-in via a Touchless Vgreet visitor management kiosk, with motion sensors and voice recognition removing any surface contamination risk.


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Remove cost and deliver a better workplace experience

How does Vgreet touchless visitor management system work?


You can be more ambitious, your visitor's journey should not be limited to their entry to the building and the journey go beyond a basic visitor management system. The journey starts even before arriving at your office.


Vgreet touchless visitor management system connected to Condeco which transforms the workplace experience and safety, with visitors pre-registered, touchless check-in and a decongested reception area.

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An invite that saves time, re-assures with Google maps

1. Receive an invite that can be branded, customised and creates an impressive impact:


Wow a slick invite that achieves so much more than just a better visitor management experience.

  • Not just a calendar reminder.

  • A map and directions to help get to the office.

  • Host contact details in case there is a delay.


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A QR code facilitates Express Touchless Check-in

2. Express check-in with QR code


3. Host get notified by SMS and email


In 3 Seconds you’re checked-in, the host notified by SMS and email.


4. Direction to your meeting room


You get an interactive indoor wayfinding map on Vgreet's kiosk which show the direction to your meeting room, you will never get lost in the building.


Read more about our visitor management tool of wayfinding


5. On-Demand Digital receptionist

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A virtual receptionist whose onsite can be the answer

Not only your receptionists can assist the visitors through video call, but Vpod's partnership with Moneypenny means a remote receptionist has full access to your visitor management system to help visitors.


Read more about how Moneypenny's digital receptionist work here.





The cost of a touchless visitor management system


Does visitor management system free option really exist? Research shows that a free visitor management system does not exist. Facilities managers might ask about the cost, you can find answers from Vodafone's return-on-investment of £80k in year 1 and £175k in year 2 with Vgreet. However, the questions are not just about the price but its impact in uncertain times.


Vgreet visitor management system offers more than touchless visitor signing in, its software integration links to many visitors and guests' services that manage an end-to-end visitor journey. It moves the reception first impression into the digital era instantly.


Any Facilities Team feeling the cost-cutting or other pandemic induced pressures will recognise the digital service of Vgreet as far more than a short-term Pandemic answer.


reception management system value proposition

The cost of ineffective visitor management

  • People familiar with the costs quote £2,900 every time you lose a receptionist: time to recruit (£1,000) training (£1,000) uniforms (£900).

  • A single person reception costs 25-30% more than their salary, as you have holidays, sickness and peak time manning levels to cater for.

  • A full costed single receptionist in London can therefore cost £42,000 a year, way more than the base salary, NI and employers contribution.

  • What if I want my visitor management system integrates with other systems in my building? A visitor management app often can't achieve this goal.

Learn more about saving cost with Vgreet's visitor management system


 

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The new normal deliver a safer workplace

The New Normal - "Recover Phase"


The New Normal for Facilities Managers and Visitor Management -The workplace will never be the same!



It’s very clear from research, whether you were impacted by the pandemic for six months or more, people have now recognised that many fundamental elements have changed forever:

  • A video first communications age has arrived and that has a huge raft of change implications for wherever it is you will work next.

  • Communications speeds will grow rapidly as visual communication aids faster comprehension speeds (images & body language, tone of voice now supplement words that went in an email or conference call) and the speed you collaborate and execute, will provide a competitive advantage, to those that master it.

  • Fibre speeds will rapidly adapt to the fact that 80% of network traffic is now video. HD video packets are 10 to 30 times heavier on bandwidth especially if data is being shared. As the networks adapt, the speed you will be able to work and options of places you work from will increase.

  • Productivity initiatives will be readily adopted and technology will continually be driving the workplace efficiency levels higher and higher.

  • The pace of change with faster fibre and 5G will enable productivity levels to increase again.

  • Every workplace will need video-equipped desks, booths, huddle spaces, and smaller meeting rooms.

  • Desk space will be at a premium, in high demand, will be where employees complete work without interruption.

  • Large central city HQ’s will shrink, making way for satellite offices, home working, co-working, with more productive teams, and travelling less.

  • Socialising in the workplace will become far more common, to offset isolated home or remote working.

  • The Digital Services age will start with “interconnected systems” sharing data to make the old “dumb workplace” intuitive.


For the facilities manager, the pace of change will be relentless, they themselves will split into three camps: