Visitor management refers to the process of identifying and tracking all the different people entering a workplace. This usually requires visitors to sign in and provide details such as their name, company and reason for visiting. Depending on the site, it may also involve health surveys, and documents to verify someone is safe, authorised and compliant to enter. The process itself can be very manual and involve staff and/or visitors filling out a paper log book to record attendance. However, the process can also be automated using software and contactless kiosks.
Visitor management is important for workplace safety and security. With so many different people visiting a site on a daily basis, it's important to keep track of who people are, and ensure people meet the requirements for entry. Security teams might use visitor management to be alerted to unwanted visitors, HR teams may use the data for time and attendance, while WH&S managers might use the insights for contact tracing and occupancy management. With assurance that everyone entering has been identified and approved, it also creates an environment where employees feel safer.
A lot of visitor management processes now involve temperature screening, health survey's and verifying someone's vaccination status to screen out those that might present a health risk to other people. The sign in data collected can also be used for swift contact tracing. With a time stamped record of attendance, a workplace can easily segment those that were close contacts of someone and notify those people quickly (if collecting contact information was part of the sign in process).
When it comes to checking body temperatures using a thermometer, the result alone can't be used to diagnose if someone has a transmissible virus, but it can be an indicator that someone might be falling ill. This is where survey questions can further help determine if someone is a low or high health risk. Questions can include, "Have you been to a hotspot recently? Have you travelled overseas in the last 14 days?
The other health benefit of visitor management is social distancing. With an accurate account of who has checked in, occupancy management becomes a lot easier. It also helps front desk staff keep their distance from those entering. For example, instead of visitors leaning over a front desk to engage with reception, a visitor management kiosk can be set up that visitors approach to sign in. This also eliminates the need for front desk staff to share and handle paper forms.
When we talk about safety in the context of workplaces, it's all about the safety of people and that starts with making sure that everyone on-site is safe and approved to be there. With visitor management, employees might be pre-approved for entry whereas an ex-employee might be asked to stop and wait for assistance, while clients might be asked to stop, nominate and notify the person they're meeting.
Visitor management may also involve printing labels for visitors to help other staff easily identify a visitor and make sure visitors don't wander into unauthorised areas. This is especially important in workplaces with dangerous machinery and other workplace hazards.
Visitor management can also help with evacuation management. Whether that's knowing how many people are currently on-site or cross referencing check in data when doing a head count.
Visitor management improves security by screening everyone that walks through the door. It can alert security if an unwanted visitor shows up, if someone fails to complete a check in survey, or someone doesn't meet the requirements for entry. It can also help with investigations if there is a security breach. With so many different visitors, from staff, to contractors, to cleaners and delivery, it's easy for people to slip through the cracks, especially if you have multiple entrance points. In some cases the physical presence of a visitor management kiosk can help deter unwanted visitors from accessing.
Visitor management kiosks can also be set up at different entrances within a workplace to ensure people have the appropriate access to certain areas.
Automating the visitor management process frees up time for front desk staff so they can focus on other tasks. Hosts can be automatically notified when their guest arrives. You also save time managing identity cards, filing and replacing log books, and sanitising shared surfaces. And make data driven decisions based how people use your space.
With staff checking in and out, a workplace can capture an accurate record of attendance and even integrate with payroll. Visitor management can also use biometrics to verify someone's physical presence. You can even verify attendance of external contractors such as cleaners.
If checking in is part of the daily process for staff then you want to make it super easy and quick. Ideally staff shouldn't have to touch a screen, fill out a paper form or scan anything to check in. It should be as simple as showing your face to software that can identify your face and check you in.
Visitor management can offer a range of benefits to safety, security, and HR teams and can go a long way to making workplaces a safe and secure environment.
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