Updated: 2 days ago
Why is visitor management important?
Managing visitors is important as it improves the customer journey, workplace efficiency and safety. Post-pandemic Facilities Managers face four main challenges when it comes to keeping both staff and visitors safe in the workplace.
React, Respond, Recover and Re-engineer; but what does that mean for Facilities Management and for a touchless visitor management system?
Transform your visitor entry management system to touchless.
A Touchless Visitor Management System that delivers a safe workplace, cost reductions and a workplace experience upgrade are a few weeks away.
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:
Home working has become both the interim and, for some, the long-term answer to production levels staying optimal.
Video communication has grown from 25 million active users every day to 200 million active users.
Travelling to work has been impacted as the Government advise the country to avoid using public transport where they can.
Lockdown and social isolation have become the norm, depriving people of the social interaction that as humans need.
Applying caution and checking the personal safety of every external contact have become the norm.
Sanitising hands, workplaces, surfaces, safe distancing and mask wearing have now become part of our everyday lives.
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. However, 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 reception visitor management solution 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 Systems and Services rather than tape, screens and signs that will be in the basement in months?
Upgrade your workplace safety with a touchless visitor management system that saves money.
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.
Meeting Room management, utilisation and scheduling is a key feature of Condeco, where they offer a cloud-based solution on Microsoft Azure and have all of the key features that you need. For those looking for desk management and future workspaces booking requirements, Condeco Software provides a perfect solution.
Safe distancing and vendor management solutions provide cleaning, workplace management, floor plan control, capacity control and added contact tracing from their meeting room scheduling software over to their desk management solution.
Desk management solution is ideal when half of a building the space is out of use (safe distancing) and a phased return to the office needs to be implemented.
A key feature of Condeco is that it has a large installed base of hundreds of thousands of seats, with the detailed requirements that enterprise clients need.
The software is surfaced in a tidy APP that adds “future-proofed features” like the ability to find a colleague who you want to collaborate with, signal your working from home.
The same vendor can be used for room and desk and they have moved to a far better commercial model, charging by number of users, which means the previously premium price tag now has a better value taste to it.
A Facilities Manager’s Dream - Manage your workplace yourself
No delays, open and close desks yourself in minutes, the software manages who has booked into each desk, providing them with effective communication throughout the process.
When Vpod reviewed the software, we found that the most useful features were:
Admin access to closed areas, select seats that are opened or closed.
Users have an intuitive APP that manages home or office status with the desk booking.
Cleaning and sanitisation vendors have their own access to desks that require cleaning/sanitisation.
Facilities departments only pay for the sanitisation of desks that have been occupied by a new occupier, saving money.
The cost of the software is covered by an occupancy-based cleaning and sanitisation regime.
As an FM manager, you can now deliver re-engineering the workplace initiatives while the workplace is quieter.
Link visitor management to room and desk booking to achieve the ultimate track and trace system.
A slick journey from an Outlook Meeting invite, 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.
So why is that important to that team of Facilities Manager, IT team, HR, Corporate Real Estate and Covid Committee? Why? Because they now pass down an integrated link to Visitor Management partners like Vpod with its Vgreet 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 kiosk, with motion sensors and voice recognition removing any surface contamination risk.
A touchless visitor management system connected to Condeco transforms the workplace experience and safety, with visitors pre-registered, touchless check-in and a decongested reception area.
Wow a slick invite that achieves so much more than just a better visitor management experience
A visitor invite that can be branded, customised and creates an impressive impact:
- Not just a calendar reminder.
- A map and directions to help get to the office.
Host contact details in case there is a delay.
And much more.
Touchless Express Check-in in your visitor entry management system?
Express check-in QR code in Vgreet’s visitor entry management system:
- In 7 Seconds you’re checked-in, the host notified by SMS and email.
See the kiosk that recognises you approaching. That scans the QR code to help you check-in - right below
Vgreet from Vpod
Express Touchless check-in
- A Virtual Receptionist to help, if you need it.
- A virtual reception upgrade to your workplace that is instantly safer with no need for screens or hazard tape.
A touchless digital check-in that decongests a reception
Vgreet is far more than hardware, its software application links to many visitors and guests' services. Its visitor entry management system moves the reception first impression into the digital era instantly.
There are options to help with your return to the office, enabling you to communicate to your employees and visitors that:
Employees are safe; the reception is not a hazard area, filled with people queuing, reception staff and guards behind screens, hazards signs.
Employees are confident that they can pass through without any unnecessary risk to themselves.
The receptionist can be relocated to a back office to answer the Vgreet or to fulfil other tasks.
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.
A Virtual Reception Team to enhance my touchless visitor management and cut costs
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.
Virtual reception teams enable flexibility, allowing the receptionist to be located in the same building, nearby or remotely. Vgreet’s products based on video call routing enable the Help facility inside Vgreet to respond instantly:
Vgreet costs a fraction of a single receptionist monthly costs, and any staff turnover costs.
A reception area instantly becomes a pandemic safety zone, decongested with no employees at risk, as visitor's check-in becomes a touchless process and reception teams are now remote.
Any budget that was to be spent on plastic screens, signs and tape, let alone security has now been saved.
The New Normal
- Phase three
The New Normal for Facilities Managers and Visitor Management -The workplace will never be the same!
Upgrade to a touchless visitor management system to save money and upgrade safety.
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:
Those that drive change, efficiency, pushing the frontiers of the digital world, will stay ahead of change, setting standards and “the bar”.
Those that “just keep up” followers of change, adopting new things fast, but not “pushing change” they will have to recognise a good initiative fast, before it’s forced on them by quickly educated, workplace experienced engineers.
Those that lag, will find themselves replaced by outsourced Total FM service companies, not the slow-moving goliath companies of today, but fast, software and platform-based companies.
The first wave of change will be pandemic driven. As video adoption was to home working, safety and efficiency measures will drive a visibly safer, increasingly digital workplace.
Anything that has safety at the fore, improves productivity and cuts cost will be adopted fast.
Single reception situations will be replaced with centralised and digitised options to remove cost and contamination though visitor entry management system.
Costs relating to reception staff will reduce, in addition to 25-30% loadings on single reception staffers for holidays, sickness, training and peak periods. These savings will go into digital visitor management system.
Safe receptions will emerge with digital check-in kiosks.
Remote reception teams will save hazard tape, screens, sign costs that would have otherwise gone to the bin or basement in 6-12 months.
Like home working, once the approach proves better and safer, there will be no going back.
Safety first HR, Legal and FM teams will try the digital answers of video routing from kiosks to remote teams, either in a back office, central office, or specialist concierge service.
Digital Visitor Management Systems
Reception teams will be moved to safer, more positive environments.
Move reception teams to a back office, centralised resource or completely outsource whilst upgrading safety.
Touchless visitor management processes
Simon Cohen demonstrates Condeco Integrated to Vpod at ISE 2020. Yes, integrated visitor management systems exist and can upgrade your workplace instantly.
Take safety and speed in visitor management to a new level. Watch the video.
Re-engineering the workplace experience will transform the visitor management process - Phase four
Data collected during the return to the office will shape the future. Fast media and advertising companies, driven by a pandemic induced collapse in advertising spends, have signalled the change first:
An immediate switch to home working followed by a rapid reduction in any head office space in city centres has enabled one company to shed 1 million square feet in seven months.
Covid-19 committees in phase one saw this coming, adding technology quickly in phase two to optimise the use of the space they had and at the same time collecting the data to right size their corporate real estate.
Depending on the company type and employee make up, many companies will transition to smaller HQ’s with satellite or near home bases, where teamwork and collaboration will be the mantra or the reason you use an office.
However, the re-engineering once the costs have been taken care of, will go into making the workplace experience “intuitive and superb.”
Offices will be places to either work away from home and concentrate, meet colleagues to brainstorm and socialise or impress customers.
As such, they will have to justify making the effort to actually go there, as turning up to collaborate is an invite or a click away from most of their teammates on Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
Facilities Managers that forged frontiers in the first three phases will become Workplace Engineers, continually re-engineering the workplace using data and digital tools.
The new Facilities Managers - “Workplace Engineers“
Workplace Engineers will use connected systems to drive the change to an intuitive workplace. Business technology will start to catch up with consumer technology.
Does your building need siloed systems that do not connect?
Transform your workplace with connected systems that transform safety and the experience, whilst reducing costs.
The Connected Workplace
The future workplace will be driven by workplace engineers comfortable with data and customer journeys.
The data will be used to drive new insights which will point to opportunities to do two things:
Drive efficiency - increasing productivity and reducing costs.
Engineer and improve the workplace experience - to ensure the workplace is as productive a workplace as the home, co-working office.
The days of you going to the office and feeling less productive will be over. The resources you need for every task will be designed into the workplace. Diary appointments will be made with the type of space and colleagues in mind. In order to deliver the very best experience, work types will be scheduled by space and resources and people will be assembled or recommended to you.
A re-engineered visitor entry management system could take two routes:
Journey 1 starts in Microsoft Outlook. A host invites visitors to a meeting, Office 365 synchronises with Condeco, whose visitor management module passes the visitor details into the visitor management system Vpod. The visitor gets a great invite and a touchless check-in using the VPod visitor management tool.
Journey 2 starts at the invite. A visitor follows the map details on the invite and arrives at reception, where motion detectors tell the Vgreet system they have arrived and voice recognition prompts them to check-in. One scan of a QR code enables a pass to be printed and they are given details of the meeting room and floor they need to go to.
Here the workplace of the future will enable “all workplaces” to have a safe workplace, with invites to a meeting flowing from Microsoft Office 365 or Condeco Software to Vpod.
This was launched at ISE 2020. Click here for the video.
Secure your workplace by adding every visitor on every office 365 outlook invite automatically to your touchless visitor management system.
Visitors follow the journey in reverse, the invite allowed them to follow the directions to the correct building, a touchless check-in is achieved with motion sensors and voice recognition, they simply “check-in” a scan of the QR code on the invite.
A pass is printed, the host is notified by SMS and Email, and the visitor is told which room they are in and the meeting starts on time.
Add express check-in to your touchless visitor management system to make the workplace safe and enable your meetings to start on time with instant host notifications
The Connected Workplace exists in visitor
management systems today
This is not the future, customers who saw the service launched at ISE in February 2020 have ordered the solution, and are taking delivery today, making their receptions safe, the visitor journey touchless and decongesting busy reception areas in the future.
Meeting Rooms will check you in automatically.
Reception kiosks will offer high security express check-in for visitors.
Employee services will offer desk booking and day locker intuitive reservations, book one and a locker is offered on the same floor.
Genius Bars will be self-service with room, desk, locker, canteen, coffee, and much more.
Visitors will receive superb way-finding and QR code-based invites, triggered by meeting room invites, from outlook.
Hosts will receive check-in alerts to pick their guest up and lifts will be summoned to the hosts' floor.
For those concerned of the visitor management system price :
Kiosks will be paid for by reception efficiencies, meetings that start on time and the productivity gains, or lost receptionist cover time, reduced staff infection rates and sickness cover.
Real estate will adapt to the room and desk bookings adjusting heating to cater for floor loads via smart building integrations.
Desks that are pre-booked will check you in as you approach the building, sending lifts to pick you up and text messaging you your locker details, with QR code enabled unlocking system.
Intuitive Self Check-in
Motion sensor lights enable meeting room self check-in
Connected workplaces become intuitive removing the need for RFID cards
Vgreet from Vpod has a number of integrations that fall into two principle types illustrated to the left
A digital visitor journey is made possible with integrations into Condeco and from Condeco into Microsoft Office 365, systems most enterprise clients have or should consider.
Demand from customers foreseeing the future is for Genius bars offering employee services from weather, taxi’s, tube information to booking meeting rooms desks and day lockers.
Seven-second security express check-in which is completely touchless.
With upgrade options, facial recognition, barrier pass printing.
As well as guest services from travel, taxi, to room wayfinding directions.
Vpod Vgreet simple connected processes that make the visitor entry management seamless and efficient, stripping out costs.
Upgrade your reception and visitor management system to secure a safer, upgraded workplace that costs less to run.
Facilities Managers must observe the four visitor management challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to the workplace:
Facilities Managers will become Workplace Engineers, those who are comfortable with data and are able to enhance the customer journey will excel in the industry. Workplace Engineers will use connected systems to drive the change to an intuitive workplace.
Vgreet from Vpod can meet the needs of the new normal workplace to deliver a touchless visitor management system; enabling touchless kiosk entry and seamless visitor experience, creating a lasting impact upon the visitor. Employees will feel safe and secure at work as they use offices for collaboration and meetings.