How to Ensure a Safe Return to the Office with Modern Visitor Management Systems

How to Ensure a Safe Return to the Office with Modern Visitor Management Systems

The need for modern visitor management dates back to before the pandemic. Traditional pen-and-paper sign-in procedures are not enough to ensure protection as organizations become more decentralized, with facilities dispersed into more countries and regions.

Fremont, CA: The Coronavirus pandemic compelled businesses to adopt remote work culture as a way to sustain. Employee burnout is widespread as they enter a full year of remote work as a result of COVID-19. More than two-thirds of employees have encountered burnout symptoms while working from home, and many long for the normalcy of office life. While the current uptick in cases is likely to keep office doors closed for a while, some offices may consider reopening on a limited basis once the spike has subsided. But how can this be done safely, given that the rollout of a safe vaccine is still months away?

Even if an organization's ability does not automatically return to pre-COVID levels upon reopening, owners can begin preparing for the influx of workers and tourists now by introducing modern visitor management systems. These systems can help maintain a safer return to the office by proactively tracking guest and tenant access and assisting in COVID risk assessment while also bolstering building security in the long run.

Digital capabilities simplify check-in and support social distancing

The need for modern visitor management dates back to before the pandemic. Traditional pen-and-paper sign-in procedures are not enough to ensure protection as organizations become more decentralized, with facilities dispersed into more countries and regions. Modern cloud-based visitor management systems use digital technologies to keep the information up to date, speed up sign-in, and control guest access to safe areas, all while offering seamless experiences for both hosts and visitors.

Many modern visitor management capabilities that increase convenience and ease of use also enable social distancing and other COVID-19 measures. For example, instead of requiring a guest to stand in line at the front desk — a situation that can lead to crowding and potential exposure — a host might opt to email a guest a QR code in advance of their visit, which the guest can then scan at a kiosk to check-in instantly.

COVID-19 risk assessments can be integrated into the kiosk check-in phase as well. Guests may be asked on a tablet about their symptoms or possible exposure before being granted entry, minimizing the risk of exposure for front-desk workers. This information, along with other data collected during the sign-in process, becomes part of a consolidated record with a cloud-based visitor management system, promoting accountability and enforcement.

Mobile passes and IDs lower the risk of COVID-19 spread

Another critical capability of a modern visitor management system during a pandemic is the ability to issue digital mobile passes and mobile corporate IDs. Although the chance of catching COVID-19 from surface contact is relatively low — most spread happens through the air, while people are in close proximity — taking measures to avoid surface contact provides another layer of protection. Employees and visitors may use their mobile devices to enter the building with mobile passes and IDs, eliminating the need for physical card issuance and the possibility of COVID-19 spread from surfaces such as door handles.

Mobile visitor passes for building visitors can also provide security restrictions and access for non-tenants. A pass, for example, can be configured to allow only access to certain doors and to expire after a fixed period of time, effectively ending the guest's access. This capacity not only aids in the security of buildings but also allows one to monitor the flow of visitors and employees through the building, thus promoting best practices for social distancing. Front-of-house staff can also monitor access and track visitor activity in real-time using customized dashboards.

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