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6 steps to create a touch-free arrival to the workplace

After months of shut down workplaces and employees working remotely from their homes, we’re finally starting to see signs of life returning to the office. Since April, visitor volume has increased week over week as countries and states begin to reopen. The time is now to prepare your workplace to welcome visitors—be that your own teammates, cleaning crews, vendors, or guests. But where do you start?

There’s a lot you can do before your employees and guests arrive to make the experience frictionless. Here are 6 steps you should be taking to create a touchless entrance to your workplace.

1. Capture essential information before they come onsite

Start by having anyone coming into your office register before they arrive. This way you can gather important information to make sure they’re safe to enter and give them what they need to feel comfortable in your workplace.

You can use tools like Docusign to have people confirm that they have read through new documentation. Or have visitors sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in advance. Then store those documents with tools like Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive. No manual signing or filing papers necessary.

2. Share important arrival information to make the process frictionless

You’ll also want to share essential information to make sure everyone knows what’s to come when they arrive. As companies return to work, there will be new guidelines, processes, and procedures in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone on-site.

If you use an employee registration or visitor management system you can customize your confirmation email to share important information with people before they arrive. Here are some tips on what you might want to include:

  • Where to park
  • When to arrive
  • How to enter the building safely
  • What to expect when they reach the lobby
  • How to access guest Wi-Fi
  • What health and safety protocols you have in place

3. Make building access as touch-free as possible

Your office may already have automatic doors to help people avoid touching door handles. Or you might have security checkpoints to make sure only expected teammates and guests reach your workplace. This could mean a security guard, locked elevator, turnstile, or gate into your parking lot. If your workplace uses an access control system like Kisi, you can help people navigate through each checkpoint with a QR code or other mobile-based access key. This eliminates the need to touch public surfaces.

If you don’t have an access control system, consider making it easier for your team to enter your space by propping open doors if you have a security team or pre-programming elevators. Your team should also put aggressive sanitation procedures into place to clean every shared surface that employees must touch to get to their desk.

4. Think through the surfaces someone might need to touch to get to your space

One thing your team can do right away is a visualization exercise for anyone walking in your building. Start at the entrance to your building and take note of every surface that someone might need to touch in order to reach their final destination. What can you move, change, or put in place so that they can avoid touching anything on the way?

Once you have your list, take action. Prioritize the most important steps for your team to take to ensure guests have a frictionless arrival. Use this quick prioritization guide to help:

  • P0: Must-do. This is something that needs immediate action. It might pose a risk to your team and visitors if not taken care of. You should always start with your P0s.
  • P1: Should do. This consists of things that probably need to be done to make your team feel more comfortable. This might not require a technology solution, but rather a change in process like increased cleaning schedules. 
  • P2: Nice to do. This is something that can likely be fixed by putting hand sanitizer near the public surface.

5. Check people in without spreading germs

Once they reach your lobby, create a touchless sign-in experience for everyone entering your space. If you have pre-registered both employees and visitors then you can provide them with the information they need to know to check-in. Provide instructions to check-in via their mobile phone in advance or send a QR code that they can use to sign-in.

To really nail touchless sign-in experience, you should think both about the technology and the people you have at the front desk. Here’s how you can upgrade your employee or visitor system and your front desk practices to go touchless:

  • Post clear signage at the front desk so people know what to do when they arrive
  • Allow people to check-in using their personal device rather than an iPad Kiosk
  • Put a bottle of hand sanitizer next to your kiosk if you do need to use it
  • Update your settings so guests don’t have to tap to take their photo when they arrive
  • Create a welcome guide and customize it by employee or visitor type to make sure everyone has the information they need
  • Make your badge printer easily accessible to guests 
  • Update your hospitality practices. Instead of having a receptionist hand a guest a drink, make personal beverages available to grab without hand-to-hand contact
  • Set up your final screen to give instructions to guests about what to do next, like where to go or where to wait for their host
  • Opt for a sign-in system that notifies your employees automatically when their visitors arrive

6. Make sure the experience after sign-in is equally touch-free

Think through the steps that need to happen immediately after sign-in. Put your badge printer in a place that’s accessible to guests and notify hosts of their visitors automatically, so no one is left waiting in your lobby. You should also have everyone adopt a hand-shake free greeting to avoid physical contact. John Egan of the Society for Human Resource Management suggests a few alternatives like a nod and a smile, a small bow, or creating a company-wide codeword or unique gesture. 

Use this list as a starting point to think through the steps it takes to welcome employees and guests back to the office–while touching as little as possible. Want more expert tips for using touchless technology to create a safe workplace? Check out our latest ebook, The workplace leader’s guide to touchless technology.

Apply to join the Envoy Protect beta to get touchless sign-in for your workplace.