Updated: an hour ago
The pandemic has made a significant impact on the workplace, highlighting the importance of creating a connected workplace that improve workplace efficiency and productivity. But what is connected workplace? What impact it has on visitor management?
In today's blog, we will cover the following topics:
What is Connected Workplace?
A connected workplace is an intuitive, informed and intelligent working environment. Connected workplace means bringing a digital experience to both of your visitors and employee by increasing workplace productivity and manage visitors with a visitor management system that talk to each other.
It’s a simple but vital concept: on grid or off grid.
Off Grid Workplace
In an “Off Grid” unconnected workplace, the workplace experience is unproductive and involve many manual procedures. Many Facilities Managers and building operators are plagued by unconnected systems.
For example, every meeting in Office 365 has a meeting host and the guests. The data sits there serving no real purpose, except the meeting attendees, who may not know how to get to the building or how to access the meeting room.
What's even worse, in the current pandemic climate, visitors have no idea if the building is COVID-19 safe. How long it’s going to take to access the building? or what processes they should follow when they arrive?
On Grid Workplace
In an “On Grid” connected workplace, multiple visitor management solutions connect and inform each other, making the work environment intuitive, informed and intelligent.
The visitor management in a typical Microsoft Office 365 Teams oriented workplace will serve to illustrate “Off and On Grid” in the connected workplace. Today in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the acceleration of the world into the future, as if someone pushed the “fast forward button”. Today’s workplace is challenged at the very root; do we need a physical workplace?
Barclays boss: Big offices 'may be a thing of the past'
We doubt it however, one thing is for sure, they’ll be different!
Four Challenges in the Post-pandemic World
With the huge accelerated shift to work from home, and remote meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams equivalents. People are questioning the need for the physical office and more how large those offices should be; will we see smaller satellite offices?
Right now, companies are learning to survive the environment that the pandemic has delivered:
Keeping the company and its employees productive is key. Looking forward that means not just home working; satellite offices and making HQ fit for functioning as an office should be a key priority.
The first touchpoint when visiting a building is key. Questions about touchless procedures, employee safety in reception, decongesting the reception to enable safe distancing and track and trace are likely to be endless.
However, there are two fundamentally different approaches of visitor management procedures to adapt to the current global crisis. The short-term approach that involves tape, signs and screens is temporary, costly and has the additional advantage of re-assuring every employee and visitor that the workplace is not safe. The long-term visitor management approach involves getting technology to help with pre-registering visitors, screening and self-certification on arrival, express check-in with contactless and touchless processes, all with minimised transit times.
A Safe Workplace
Business needs to ensure better employee experience to bring them back to the office. Desks that are safely distanced, with desk-booking becoming the norm to capture track and trace data and enable sanitisation after every new desk occupant. Vendor management of this process re-assures the cleaning processes and the ability to “self-manage” the floor layout, with spaces available in the event of changing guidelines or an incident.
Organisations must deliver clear communication to key workers and employees as to what to expect when they arrive to work. The communication must deliver a strong message of psychological safety and wellbeing, with people at the core, whilst observing government guidelines.
You’ll be relieved to know we’ll point you at some safe options for dealing with all four in the next section.
Tough Challenges of Connecting Workplace for Facilities Management
The Facilities Manager and Covid-19 committee are struggling to handle four conflicting objectives, which to make matters more interesting, change with every government guideline. There are two major challenges that are taking more manual processes and cutting down your workplace efficiency.
1. Scheduling meetings and Booking meeting rooms in two systems
Exchange and Room Directory has the ability to schedule meetings, understand resources like people and rooms and meet with the all-important Azure cloud-based, Teams virtual meeting service.
Coupled together, these options create a powerful set but siloed approach. For example, if an employee books a meeting in outlook, who knows whether they require space, a Teams connection, and more importantly the people they invited? The employee is left to their own devices and that’s not exactly corporate responsibility at its best.
For Microsoft Office 365 clients (80%+ of Enterprises) there is a fantastic option available that can connect workplaces, making them “On Grid”. At the same time delivering a far better ‘visitor management safe’ environment through a connected workplace solution.
Condeco adds attributes to the meeting room that Microsoft do not store or understand in “Room Directories” such as seat distances, floor plans, room capacities, attendees, touchless room check-in with RFID, cleaning and sanitisation.
2. Booking your meetings and informing your reception team
Does your reception team know who is coming to the office without you informing them?
Every meeting booking has a list of attendees and the old “off grid” method was for the system to figure out which of these were coming to the building and tell reception.
The “On Grid” connected workplace solution starts from Condeco authorising visitors from the meeting invite. It then passes the visitor log to Vgreet digital visitor management system. Without informing your reception team, visitor details and any changes are always up to date in the visitor management system. Saving manual procedures and immediately delivering a powerful “on grid" advantage.
Condeco’s unique exchange sync product enables all resources in Microsoft to be updated. It simply allows you to organise a meeting in Microsoft or Condeco (APP, browser, kiosk, or outlook add-in) and keep both systems updated in real-time.
A Connected Workplace Solution: Vgreet visitor management system
In an intuitive working environment, the best solution is to choose a system that integrates with your meeting room booking, access control system, and knew all your visitors before they arrived. While all the visitor data and visitor activities can be monitored, it also deliver a first-class visitor experience.
The four key elements to create a connected workplace which drives efficiency and productivity:
Condeco - Meeting room booking software that create visitor log from Outlook to populate Vgreet and Proxyclick
Relogix - Provide key data analytics on your building and visitors.
Vgreet kiosk - For a seamless check in experiene, integrate with all three software
Vgreet digital visitor management system will greet your visitors and impress them from before arriving at your building to finishing the meeting in 8 simple steps
1. Meeting booking in Microsoft
Hosts can book the meeting in Microsoft where you already had visitor's names and email. This procedure saves time and manual processes of rekeying the visitor details.
Read more about visitor registration with Office 365
2. Update visitor details from Meeting room booking to Visitor Management System
This procedure includes Condeco’s Exchange Sync which ensures all exchange visitor log data is accurate. Any change made to your meeting or visitor information will be updated in real time.
Then, Condeco’s visitor API feeds Vgreet visitor management system automatically. Visitor data from outlook populates Vgreet. No fingers involved!
Read more about Vgreet's software integration with Condeco and Proxyclick
3. Send out visitor invitation
Sending out meeting invitation to inform your visitors, the invite includes:
Host details they can save
A calendar invite to add the meeting to their diary
Useful information for the visit, such as visitor policy, meeting documents, etc.
You can brand and customise the invite. However, Proxyclick has made an art form of this which has loads of basic functionality. The first impression you get as a visitor is WOW, this looks organised and different.
This visitor management procedure is taken before you get to the meeting, visitors will be pleased with the detail information you provide.
The ability to add the calendar invite to your diary is a click away. A single click and if anything goes wrong you can deal with it in one call. But it doesn’t stop there.
4. Touchless Check-in
After arriving at the building, visitor's check-in procedure is simple. Imagine a 6-foot iPhone that’s got all your visitor information in. That’s “On Grid” visitor management in a connected workplace, and that’s Vgreet. Vgreet's voice activation and motion sensor technology sense visitor's approach, and guide them to check in with the QR code visitors received in their emails.
5. Pass Printing/ Security Access
After taking visitor's check-in picture , a visitor pass is printed for visitor's entry. Printing visitor pass is an important procedure in your visitor management as it helps you to identify the unexpected visitors or contractors.
In a connected workplace, you can manage your visitor's access control system on the same platform through Vgreet's integration with Proxyclick's market-leading access control properties.
Read more about Vgreet's access .
6. Host Notification
After visitor is checked-in, host gets instant notification by SMS or email, so they can welcome visitors in meeting room on time. This procedure eliminates the need of reception staff calling to inform the host of visitor's arrival.
7. Show Direction to the Meeting Room
This procedure makes sure your visitors don't get lost in the building after checking in. Vgreet's kiosk show an interactive indoor map, showing visitors the directions to the places they need to be.
8. Monitor visitor activity and the usage of the building
Within Vgreet, the Relogix solution aims to provide key data analytics on your building and visitors. You can collect, gather secure, and disseminate the information you need. Monitoring your building usage and visitor activity can secure your building and enhance workplace efficiency.
Just in 8 simple steps,
Your visitor gets everything they need
You create a great 1st impression without putting more effort in.
The seamless check in with Vgreet
The check-in process for visitors are simple. Imagine a 6-foot iPhone that’s got all your visitor information in, that’s “On Grid” and that’s Vgreet visitor management system.
Visitor approaches the Vgreet and motion detectors cue in the first question: “want to check-in?”
A simple yes and the scanner lights up
Scan your QR code
Your host gets notified you have arrived
Take your check-in picture
Temperature scan or self-certification takes place (tailored customised check-in procedures are the default).
A visitor pass is printed.
The room integration with Condeco prompts the user and then asks what room and area of the building they need to be.
You have a wayfinding map. The details are also sent to mobile in case they are needed later.
But the journey doesn't stop here! Vgreet provides a range of visitor management services, from visitor check-in, traffic and weather, meeting room, wayfinding, to “On Grid Integrations” like Condeco room and desk booking.
Summary: Here's why connected workplace is important
We are facing the four challenges: Business Continuity, Visitor Management, A Safe Workplace, and Pandemic Management. CBRE voted Vpod as top 10 technologies for the post pandemic workplace, a connected workplace solution should be in place to be able to quickly adapt to changes and overcome these challenges. It should have the flexibility designed for customised visitor journeys that cater for every enterprise-grade consideration, can be accommodated with ease.
Ultimately, Vgreet's connected workplace solution demonstrate visible workplace safety upgrades and a WOW first impression that can be delivered and communicated to your employees and visitors
Improve workplace productivity and experience
Improve both of your visitors and employee experience by increasing workplace productivity, automating your visitor management procedures, and adopt an integrated visitor management system that talk to other systems in your building.
Business continuity is also guaranteed without the costs of the short-term tape, screens and signs. With a huge ROI from staff who can be repurposed and cleaning costs that can be managed through occupancy-based cleaning. Save the cost of your receptionists by transforming to a digital workplace with Vgreet.
For smaller sites with less footfall that is looking for a connected workplace solution, Vdesk digital visitor sign in system holds the same functionality as Vgreet and is perfect for buildings that are space poor.