This year, companies are plotting their return to the office. The crazy thing is, the office experience won’t be the same as it was before.
In previous articles, we’ve discussed the changes core staff will go through physical distancing, hybrid work conditions, desk hoteling, flexible workspaces… Still, not many people consider front-end staff and how the pandemic has affected their workdays.
When offices reopen, some key changes front-end staff will face include
- Health screening
- Checking the temperature of visitors
- Contact tracing
- Sanitizing the reception space
- Communicating safety protocols
Needless to say, front-end staff are going to have their hands full.
Think of front-end staff as your front line of defense. Their day-to-day actions help prevent security breaches, control viral contaminations, and create an overall great impression and company persona to outsiders. The bottom line: they’re essential.
On any given day, your reception area can be the busiest place in the office. Without the right systems in place, your visitors, and possibly even your staff, can get bottlenecked in the entry, unable to enter the office space.
This scenario is what we’d call an office fail — a situation where the right tools or systems weren’t in place before they were needed.
Pre-pandemic, front-end staff took about five minutes to greet and process each office visitor. Toss in extra post-COVID responsibilities, you’re going to need more staff… or a visitor management system. A visitor management system can help unclog those bottlenecks or, better yet, keep them from happening in the first place.
Receptionists are the eyes and ears of the company. They know who enters and the roles they have around the workspace. A receptionist’s knowledge can protect and improve the company in limitless ways. For example, keeping tabs on visitors helps maintain company security and prevent data leaks.
As core as front-end staff is, they’re not infallible and they’re not omniscient. A visitor management system can record data as people enter and leave the office.
A cloud-based visitor management tool can help you feel confident that your visitor’s contact information is stored securely and accessible at any time.
Keep the workplace safe and healthy
The roles and responsibilities of front-end staff have multiplied substantially with no end in sight. Every time the World believes the pandemic is ending, a new variant emerges.
While your receptionists are greeting visitors, checking their temperatures, and sanitizing the front desk and waiting room, a visitor management system can take care of the rest.
A virtual visitor check-in process can record visitor information, including contact tracing details and check-in and check-out times. The best visitor systems offer customizable health questionnaires that can be completed from the visitor's mobile device — no sanitizing pens, wiping down clipboards, or storing paperwork.
Like in hospitals, overworked staff can lead to mistakes. Keep your employees well and healthy by helping your front-end staff perform at their best.
Make it easy for front-desk employees
Even in a pre-pandemic world, visitor management systems substantially improved the visitor experience. Your reception area is the face of the company and sets the precedent for what type of employees represent your brand. Automating mundane tasks, such as gathering visitor contact information and sharing company policies, can help your personnel focus on the visitor experience.
Fast forward to the present…
Aside from office managers and upper-level management, not many employees’ roles have inflated as much as front-end staff. While struggling to go about their usual tasks, receptionists will be afflicted by dry hands from sanitizing and burnout from endless health screening.
To avoid bottlenecking your visitors or draining your front-end staff, you’ll need to either hire an army of receptionists or automate some of the visitor experience. Choosing an easy-to-use system that requires little to no training can go a long way to relieving your front-end workload.
It’s no exaggeration to say front-end staff is essential for company security. Regardless of what services or products your company offers, there will be visitors. Repairmen, utility handymen, and other specialists are must-haves for any office space.
However, most companies have more than the essential workers entering and leaving their workspaces. Clients and partners might be frequent visitors. Not to mention, every person entering your work environment will impact your company’s reputation on some level.
For security purposes, it’s imperative to keep track of who enters an office. Failing to do so, or failing to properly record and store the data, can unnecessarily put a company at risk.
Here are three possible ways front-desk documentation or data could be faulty:
- Mistranscribed data
- Illegible handwriting
- Misfiled documents
One key benefit of automating your front-end processes is the reduction of human error. Having computers, apps, and programs record and store visitor information leaves your receptionists and front-end staff free to focus on what matters most: the visitor experience.
Connect all your workplace tools
The best systems are the ones you don’t have to think about. They’re the ones you intuitively set up once and then they simply work.
For tools to “simply work,” they need to meld with your existing infrastructure. In the case of a visitor management system, pick one that’s an add-on to your existing tools or one that seamlessly syncs with what you have.
Take Joan for example. The office management system simply synchronizes with your in-office calendars — no new infrastructure required. Joan scheduling services integrate with Google Workspace, Office 365, iCal, and more, fitting nicely with the tools you have.
Two years ago, Joan realized they wouldn’t be a true office solution unless they supported front-end staff too. Thus, the Joan visitor management system was created.
The Joan visitor management system is a free cloud-based resource that collects visitor contact details, check-in, and check-out data, and also offers a customizable questionnaire for health screening or to communicate company policies.
For more information, check out our Joan visitor experience.
Create a fantastic first impression
Having a visitor management system is like having an assistant for your receptionist. With less on their plate, your front-end personnel can focus on improving the office, starting at the forefront.
Help your front-end staff shine and make a lasting impression. Having a no-fuss visitor system at your front desk is a great way to show a balanced, in-control face for clients and partners alike.
For more information on how Joan can help transform your office, contact us.