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A mere four months ago, you wouldn’t have given touchscreens a second thought. From tapping buttons on a grocery store point-of-sale system to checking into your flight at an airport kiosk, touchscreens were part of life.
But since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’re all more apprehensive about touching shared surfaces. It’s likely our shared aversion will continue for years to come.
This can be a challenge — especially when it comes to your visitor management system. After all, many visitors sign in using a touchscreen. But as we all continue working to curb the spread of COVID-19, facilities leaders are considering new ways to improve workspace cleanliness.
And that means adopting touchless technology when possible.
The good news is you don’t necessarily have to invest in an entirely new touchless visitor management system — you may just need to make a few adjustments to the one you already have.
A standard visitor management system allows companies to register and track guests who enter their facilities — usually by requiring them to sign in using a touchscreen. But touchless visitor management doesn’t require facial recognition software, retina scanning, or any other “Black Mirror” style futuristic technology. In most cases, it's a much simpler and more straightforward process that most guests already know how to follow.
iOFFICE’s visitor management solution allows employees to pre-register guests and send them a QR code they can scan to check-in — similar to scanning a digital boarding pass at an airline gate. Once a guest scans their code, employees receive notifications via email, Slack, or text so they can greet their visitor at the door. This touchless visitor management system can even capture guests’ images and print photo ID badges — a more sanitary alternative to reusable lanyards.
The key element here is mobile visitor check-in. If your current visitor management software doesn’t allow for this, it might be time to look for a new one.
There are several benefits of a touchless visitor management system. Here are the four most important ones.
Having insight into the number of people in your building has always been useful when it comes to space-planning and abiding by fire codes. Today, it’s even more critical.
As businesses become more concerned with physical distancing and managing capacity, many of these duties fall to facilities leaders. By requiring guests to pre-register, you can anticipate how many people you’ll have in your workplace at any given time to keep office density at a safe level.
Contact tracing is an effective way to minimize the spread of coronavirus and other contagious illnesses. In a recent PwC survey, 35% of employees said they expect their employers to notify them if they have potentially been in contact with someone who reports testing positive for COVID-19.
Contact tracing in the workplace is much easier if you have a record of every employee who was in the office during the period of potential exposure. If you choose to use your visitor management system for this purpose, you can simply ask every employee to pre-register on the days they are coming to the office and you’ll have a digital record of everyone.
When someone enters your lobby or reception area, it’s often their first impression of your organization. From job candidates arriving for an interview to potential and existing clients, it’s essential you make sure every visitor feels welcomed, comfortable, and encounters as few inconveniences as possible.
With a touchless visitor management system and pre-registration, you can ensure your guests know what to expect before they arrive. You can set up your pre-registration to trigger reminder emails with directions, parking information, and more.
Once your guest has scanned in, they won’t have to wait in your lobby while your receptionist hunts down their host. The system will immediately notify the employee so they can greet their guest as quickly as possible.
Perhaps most importantly, touchless visitor management helps keep your workspace clean and secure. Touchless systems help curb the spread of germs, which is critical when we’re more concerned about hygiene than ever.
It also helps keep your office more secure, especially for front-line employees.
As a facility leader, you know every organization encounters the occasional unwanted visitor. They may be a competitor seeking inside information, a persistent solicitor, or even someone who is threatening one of your employees. Touchless sign-in with pre-registration helps prevent these unwelcome visitors from getting past your front desk.
While we don’t expect touchscreens to disappear entirely, living with this pandemic means adjusting to new behaviors and expectations. The fewer surfaces we have to share in the workplace, the better off we’ll be. By investing in a no-touch visitor management system and adding a pre-registration process, you can help make your office a cleaner and more welcoming place.
Hai worked in the corporate real estate division of BB&T for 10 years focusing on facilities management, vendor management, and IT systems before coming to work for iOFFICE. With extensive experience in the IWMS software industry, where he served many years in sales and as a solutions engineer, Hai knows his facilities management stuff.