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What is visitor management and does your workplace need it?

Visitor management systems help you keep track of everyone who comes through your doors. They increase efficiency, boost your brand, and keep your office safe.

Fayette Fox
By Fayette Fox Writer

“This pen doesn’t work,” Amy says. She’s trying to sign-in on the paper logbook at a prospective client’s office. Frank, the receptionist, apologizes and hands her a different pen. Amy’s running late to her meeting. Scribbling her info on the sheet of paper, she glances at the other entries and she spots a competitor. She gets nervous, realizing other companies might be getting ahead of her.

Frank hands Amy a stack of forms to sign, including an NDA. She sighs, trying to get through the paperwork as quickly as she can. Frank writes out a visitor name badge, accidentally misspelling Amy’s last name. She notices but doesn’t correct him. He calls Amy’s host to let them know she has arrived, but he gets their voicemail. Then, Amy waits.

If any of this sounds like your workplace, then it might be time to rethink how your company handles visitors. Pen and paper guest management is inefficient for your visitors and front desk staff alike. It gives a poor first impression of your brand and provides a less than stellar guest experience. More importantly, it poses a real threat to office security and compliance.

Learn what visitor management is and how it can improve your workplace experience while keeping your office safe and secure.

What is visitor management?

Visitor management is a system for registering and keeping track of everyone who enters your workplace. A good sign-in app offers a simple, yet powerful, streamlined process for managing workplace guests. 

A digital sign-in system is efficient, helps reflect your brand, and gives you the tools and integrations you need to maintain workplace security. While a paper logbook might seem like a reasonable system for registering guests—it’s outdated, unsafe, and doesn’t make your company brand memorable.

Why is visitor management important?

Businesses that receive guests need a system for signing in visitors, completing legal documents, creating visitor badges, and automatically notifying hosts their guest has arrived. 

The more manual this system is, the less effective and potentially less secure it is. Having a modern sign-in system paints your company in a positive light and compliments your brand. Why should you care about branding and the initial office experience? Because—first impressions matter. 

A Wakefield Research study of 1,000 U.S. office workers found that 75% of respondents have negatively judged an organization based on their first impression of the lobby. In our scenario above, Amy likely doesn’t have the best initial impression of the company she’s visiting. 

Improve efficiency

Having a digital system for managing visitors enhances the workplace experience for everyone and is more efficient every step of the way than the old paper logbook. With a quality sign-in app, visitors can pre-register and complete legal documents and any other paperwork in advance, which speeds up sign-in upon arrival. Once guests enter the workplace, signing in on the iPad is quick and easy.

Your front desk staff will also welcome a visitor management system. Because everything is digital, the receptionist doesn’t have to monitor a paper logbook, print legal forms, or file signed documents away in a cabinet or storage room. They also don’t need to waste time trying to decipher visitors’ handwriting or take the time to type a guest’s personal information into a database. With a sign-in app, all this information is automatically stored in the cloud and is accessible whenever you need it. 

What’s more, a good digital sign-in system can take visitor photos and automatically send them to their hosts, letting them know their guest has arrived. Thanks to these photos, hosts quickly recognize their guests, making the lobby greeting friendly and welcoming. Additionally, sign-in apps can print personalized name badges so the receptionist doesn’t need to write them by hand. 

This increased automation improves the workplace experience for front desk staff whose time is freed up for other important projects. 

Better visitor experience and branding

While a paper logbook might seem out of place in an otherwise sleek and modern lobby, an iPad sign-in app is a natural opportunity to showcase your company’s brand and wow visitors.

A quality visitor management system can easily be configured to display your logo and brand colors. This helps transform your reception area into a cohesive, branded experience. Whether your company is a startup, established brand, small organization, enterprise, or something in between—your visitors will appreciate a more forward-thinking sign-in experience.

Plus, if you have visitors from other countries, a top-notch sign-in can even be set up for guests to register in multiple languages. This provides a great experience for foreign visitors, making sign-in even more accessible and efficient. 

Increase workplace security and compliance support

Visitor management software is crucial for security and compliance efforts. Compliance regulations can be complex and require constant upkeep. Thankfully, sign-in apps make sure your company always has the compliance support it needs—from keeping meticulous visitor logs to helping you stay GDPR, SOC 2, and ITAR compliant.

Additionally, visitor identities are more secure with a digital sign-in, since other guests aren’t able to peek at previous visitor information, which is always a risk with a paper logbook. Your physical spaces are more secure too. A reliable sign-in app can connect with your existing access control system to make sure visitors stay out of restricted areas. 

Sign-in apps boost security in other ways as well. Guests often need Wi-Fi access when they’re onsite, but giving them a generic password that offers access to your network can pose a serious threat. Good visitor management software offers guests unique Wi-Fi credentials that expire after a given period of time, leaving your network secure after their visit ends.

It’s important to have a way to track visitors, keeping your staff, workspace, and ideas safe. In the case of a workplace emergency or evacuation, it’s good practice to have a digital record of everyone in the building. If this sort of rare event does occur, it’s easy to keep track of everyone to ensure their safety.

What should you look for in a visitor management system?

When shopping for the right sign-in app, look for one with all the security and compliance features you need, while still offering a great workplace experience. Your front desk team and visitors will appreciate the increased efficiency and guests will leave with a lasting impression of their time in your workplace. 

Ready to see what a high-tech visitor sign-in system can do for your business? Sign up for a free trial of Envoy Visitors.

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Fayette Fox
Author Bio Fayette Fox

Fayette is passionate about writing content to help educate and inspire workplace leaders. She covers everything from the visitor and employee experience to space management, to the workplace tech-stack that keeps it all running.