What challenges are the receptionists facing in terms of visitor management when we return to work? And how do we fix these challenges?
Office working is not a thing of the past; 4 of 5 employees want to return to the office, in some capacity. With the hybrid working model being adopted by more and more businesses, how can companies encourage their employees back into the office and ensure their safety?
As the first touchpoint in the building, the reception, or Front of House as we call it in the industry, previously saw a high rate of traffic. Post-Covid, the first and most important challenge for your receptionist visitor management is the need of ensuring the traffic entering and exiting the building must be managed effectively.
In this blog, we will cover the following
- Front of house / Receptionist visitor management challenges
- How can we fix these problems and improve visitor management?
Challenges of Front of House and Receptionist’s visitor management
The list of issues the reception faces while managing visitors and employees. Here are 10 common challenges that have occurred during the pandemic:
1. Government guidelines
Failure to adhere to Governmental guidance is no laughing matter. ,Fines and prison time can be given to company directors or those responsible for keeping the workplace safe; it’s more important than ever that workplaces meet the guidance properly.
2. Ensure workplace safety
In congested and busy reception areas, reception staff are at risk of being contaminated with Covid-19. Facilities Managers need to act quickly to ensure the receptionist visitor management doesn’t have unnecessary queues and crowds in their working environment.
3. Visible changes
Employees are anxious about the thought of returning to work. Facilities Managers need to create a visible, long-term change in the workplace that eases staff worries and promotes safety in a positive way. HR teams are likely to be pushing for this, so it’s worth getting ahead.
4. Decongested receptions
Visitor management becomes extremely crucial as queues and crowds in your Front of House might lead to people’s anxiety when they are in your workplace.
5. Real-time oversight of visitors
A wish list of many departments is to have oversight of who is attending the building when they plan to arrive, and when they plan to leave. Pre-registering guests and employees leads to more productive planning and helps Front of House prepare for arrivals. Facilities managers need to monitor the building’s safety and efficiency.
6. VIP customer experience
People remember experiences and emotions. Customers visiting your office should be made to feel special, important, and valued. Receptionists and hosts being aware of a customer’s arrival contribute towards those all-important sales.
7. Top-class experience for employees
Same as customers, employees expect a great experience at work. New employees will need to be onboarded into the company differently in the post-Covid era; with many people being remotely onboarded. Your front desk plays an important role when the employee does visit the building for the first time, they receive a fantastic experience.
Do these challenges sound familiar?
They come from a variety of stakeholders, from employees, HR, Legal, and even the CEO. Dealing with all those challenges, often with conflicting objectives, can be tough for the person responsible for delivering them. So how does the Facilities Manager today cut through it and deliver a virtual reception that makes everyone happy?
How can we fix these problems and improve receptionists’ visitor management?
Traditional receptions can prove beneficial, in part due to the variable nature of visitor traffic, and the need to demonstrate to employees and visitors you have a safe workplace. However, the traditional receptionist visitor management is troublesome. The drawbacks are:
- Fixed reception headcount requires the cover of shifts for training, holidays, sickness or peak traffic
- Lulls in traffic still require headcounts
- Manual tasks require a labour-intensive approach
- Government guidelines amplify the need for more stringent processes like self-certification
1. Start leaving a good impression before visitors arrive
A warm welcome is important to form a visitor’s first impression. You can move it from the traditional approach formed at the front desk, to the moment they receive the meeting invite – taking full responsibility for your visitors’ timely arrival.
Here are the changes you can introduce to improve your receptionist’s visitor management approach:
- Extend Your brand to the invite
- Send a Google map of how to get to your address to solve the problem of finding the building)
- Send your host details in case you are early or late
2. Pre-register Visitors
Pre-registration provides a safe and secure way of checking in your visitors and employees alleviating the increasing burden on reception staff whilst delivering a consistent premium service.
You can add or accommodate:
- Answering a visitor Self Health Certification (alleviating return to office concerns)
- Answer Any service or security questionnaire (enforcing blacklists)
- All enabling a 3-second Touchless Check-in (try check-in to your building in 3 seconds!)
- Alongside all other contactless features
3. Add virtual receptionists to support your reception
Using more headcounts to cover those times when more visitors are coming to your office is expensive. Do you need the staff turnover costs every six months when the receptionist moves on?
- A new set of uniforms, a recruitment distraction, an interim member of your team, the training distraction to ensure they stay?
- Simply remove the staff member and supplement the reception with a Concierge at peak times or go the whole hog
Implementing digital receptionists could be based on minutes of PA time required, so it’s a flexible model to remove the need for extra staff at peak times while still delivering a consistent VIP service to your visitors.
With the support of a visitor management system and virtual receptionist, your front desk can alleviate pressure at peak times, removing manual processes and reducing costs.
Facilities Managers and receptionists’ visitor management face many challenges from various stakeholders as we move back to the office:
- Government guidelines must be adhered to
- Safe receptionist visitor management
- Employees want to see a visibly improved workplace
- Receptions cannot be congested, your receptionist visitor management needs evaluation
- Every visitor is pre-registered and vetted versus a blacklist, plus every visitor escorted
- Every customer visit should be treated like a VIP
In a post-Covid workplace, more must be done to keep staff and visitors safe. Upgrading your visitor management and implementing effective measures is crucial:
- To ensure you have made very visible changes to improve safety and the experience
- To signal you take employee and visitor welfare seriously, delivering peace of mind to both.
- Ensuring that the two things that people do want to return to the office for both collaboration and meeting customers are impressive, consistent and efficient.
- The ultimate guide to improving your visitor management
- Click here to download our free and tailored visitor management guide for your persona