The office entrance is a focal point of a business, where visitors of all types arrive for a variety of reasons. Employees, suppliers, contractors, media, and guests—they all need different things and require your utmost attention.
Even with the best intentions, offices often don't have a set policy for welcoming visitors. Some guests may be greeted warmly in the lobby and quickly escorted in without signing in, others may quickly sign in with a digital visitor management system, and some are faced with the dreaded paper and pen logbook to verify their entrance into the workplace.
Instead of comprehensive visitor management, many people often see a workplace experience marked by disorganization at the front desk. Without standard visitor policies in place, offices risk the exposure of sensitive information or may leave guests with a bad impression of your company.
In contrast, great office visitor policies keep the office safe and secure by utilizing features such as a digital trail of visitors, visitor badges, signed legal docs (NDAs, safety waivers, etc.), and streamlined processes.
As businesses consider investing in their workplace experience, there are a number of steps to create a great visitor policy. Here are some tips to enable just such an outcome:
Steps to a better office visitor policy
Establish a clear visitor record: It’s essential to have a top-shelf sign-in procedure with proof of identification to track guests. From this method, security, compliance, office management, and other elements of office visitor policy flow easily.
Develop authorization procedures: Write in-depth guidelines for how a visitor obtains authorization. How is this process created and who manages it? Is there pre-registration availability? Are there identification scanning capabilities?
Guest identification in the office: ID badges remain an important element in visitor policy. Badges can be integrated with a digital management system to enhance the check-in process.
Designate off-limit areas: Identify and label any areas or items considered off-limits to all visitors, such as equipment, confidential records, screens, and networks. You may want to require non-disclosure agreements or offer access controls. For example, Envoy’s integration for access controls issues credentials and keeps track of visitors.
Determine the status of vendors, contractors, and suppliers: Set up specific sign-in flows for different types of visitors. How are these groups integrated with the office? Do these groups have to sign in? Is their access limited? Do they need special badges?
Create procedures for escorting visitors: These processes notify hosts that they have guests. How will supervisors ensure visitors are properly escorted? What role do different departments play in enforcing these procedures?
Consider access for temporary workers, former employees, and others: Again, specific sign-in flows can be developed that apply to many different types of visitors. With such features, levels of access can be tailored easily for a wide variety of categories.
Don’t forget friends and family members: While some businesses don't allow access to friends and family members, others do! It's important to have a plan in play to welcome friends and family safely and securely.
Share the network with guests: Give guests unique Wi-Fi credentials. Envoy offers automatic Wi-Fi provisioning that securely administers network access to guests. This keeps your network secure and frees up your front desk staff to handle other tasks.
With these steps, any office will be well on its way to achieving a safe and memorable workplace.
Visitor management systems can provide a number of important solutions to ensure businesses have well-developed policies in place for visitors.
Visitor management systems can help
Visitor registration: lets visitors, on arrival, enter their details and sign documents right on the iPad, which automatically alerts your guests' host, saving time.
Workplace security: protects your people, property, and ideas, so you can welcome visitors with confidence. With visitor screening, you’ll know if visitors appear on internal or third-party block lists, or if they have an invalid ID before they’re welcomed into your office. Before arrival, visitors can provide their photo and sign any legal documents. This way, you know who to look for and what they’ve agreed to. To protect intellectual property, your visitor management system can collect visitors’ signatures on NDAs and waivers.
Compliance management: gives you the capability to meet compliance requirements by collecting detailed information from everyone who enters your building. You’ll need a way to capture and securely store this information, so make sure you use a tool that collects visitor data through a sign-in app that will support your compliance efforts.
Office management: automates your messages about visitors and deliveries. This includes arrival notifications and delivery reminders.
Great visitor policies make guests feel prepared for their visit and well taken care of. They can be emailed in advance, so you can send directions and tips to ensure a smooth arrival. These policies can be a win for employees, visitors, and the business as a whole.
To drill down on office security considerations—one of the most important aspects of visitor management—read our latest report, “Workplace Security 2020.”