The pandemic has reshaped how we interact and engage with the public, from retail stores to front lobbies. This blog discusses the realities and challenges of today’s front lobbies in the post-pandemic era and how you can use technology like the MyLobby Visitor Management System to address some of these pain points.
For any business, having a lobby is an integral part of the building. It’s where customers and visitors come in to get help or information about your company. Also, it’s an opportunity to make an impression and have an experience for visitors and contractors. Also, where employees who come to clock in and out for their shifts.
Before the pandemic, MyLobby Visitor Management System was mostly utilized for managing your lobby and streamlining visitor interactions such:
- Keep track of who comes in and out of the lobby to understand your customers and employees better.
- Automatically clock in/out employees with their ID cards, ensuring they are paid correctly for their work hours.
- Contractors were signing and agreeing to health and safety agreements.
- Send an automatic email alerting visitors that they have arrived so that you can greet them immediately.
- Automatically create visitor badges for employees and customers, so they can quickly enter the building without waiting in line.
- Optional integration with MyLobby Visitor Q that displays your abbreviated name on the display board- ideal for waiting rooms
The pandemic brought challenges for front lobbies and new opportunities to reshape the front lobby.
The primary objective was to keep members safe and follow mandated protocols, bringing a whole new set of challenges like:
- Plexiglass sneezing guard in front of the front staff made communicating harder.
- Plexiglass was a barrier for visitor sign-in books, especially when all additional screening questionnaires were required.
- Bottlenecking of visitors and employees – manually taking temperatures along with paper and pen questionnaires
- Additional screening staff was required, which increased operational costs.
- Masks the front desk people made it difficult to hear what they were saying, especially when it was compounded with, again, the plexiglass
I think you guys can get the point. It’s even painful probably to read this as you remember those challenging days at the height of the pandemic. I remember talking to HR and facility managers, and you could hear the stress in their voices as they described their challenges.
Thankfully, and hopefully, these days are behind us. Above all, and most importantly, it has reshaped the front lobby and employee entranceways forever. During a pandemic, organizations that quickly implemented our digital screening tablets, the automated Covid questionnaires, and a temperature check saw the benefit of automating the process. They reap the benefits of keeping their frontline team safe and made a giant leap to realize operational efficiencies.
Consequently, HR and facility managers saw that automating the complex task of screaming people was doable. They saw the opportunity to evolve from a visitor/ employee screening tool to a MyLobby as a central hub for foot traffic in their facility from visitors, contractors, and employees. This became an integral part of other day-to-day operations as it offered and delivered several other benefits, such as:
- Real-time occupancy of who’s in the building
- Greater visibility of who was in the building
- Legitimize billing hours from maintenance contractors visiting the building
- Digitize and automate their muster points evacuation Roll Call from the paper log to an app on their phone
- Improve security with a headshot of each individual that was in the building
- Reduce bottlenecking and expedite sign-in with pre-screening and validating with a QR code or pin code
- Integrating hourly employees with payroll software
MyLobby Visitor Management kiosk is your first line of defense.
Between the flu season and the ups and downs of Covid, minimizing contact with your Frontline staff is the new trend. Furthermore, in a turbulent world, adding an additional layer of security not only keeps your Frontline staff safer but also protects the whole facility from harm when there is separation from initial screening or visitor registration.
In schools, for instance, today, we see intercoms in the vestibule or outside of the building as an example of minimizing visitor exposure to the building. MyLobby provides more in-depth screening at the registration information intercom that facilitates picture, government issues ID, and visitor badge all in one package.
One way you could think of the MyLobby visitor management system is like a modern-day intercom. We’re adding a new feature with a call button so that you can speak to a live attendant like a secretary or a security guard.
Adding Operational Efficiency is top of Mind for Facility Managers
In a post-pandemic world, the new challenges arising from inflation continually bringing up operational costs and a tight labor market have made it challenging to find the right human resources
With this in mind, we have designed a system that would reduce operational costs and increase the efficiency of your staff. -The system is designed to have a workflow for every possible task front desk staff perform.
Let’s examine the unattended Front Lobby front desk.
Unattended desks are nothing new I think we’ve all seen a front desk equipped with a phone and a laminated directory list of extension phone numbers of the desired hosts, which is often hard to read. The additional challenge is your host may not be at their desk. Therefore, letting them know you have arrived at their workplace can add extra friction.
Conversely, the MyLobby network sends them an email and text message with an optional picture of the visitor, letting them know you have arrived. Also, two-way communication with SMS provides the instant ability to reply to your host with hot pre-canned messages such as:
- “I’ll be right there”
- “I need another five minutes”
One could argue, without a receptionist or a security guard, could hinder the experience for the visitor or perhaps compromise security, that is no longer true with the MyLobby System because everything that a front desk receptionist or a security guard does at the front desk can be done by the MyLobby Visitor Management App more efficiently. In fact, let’s do a side-by-side comparative analysis.
Security guard / front receptionist VS. MyLobby Visitor Management System
Security Guard Receptionist Tasks
MyLobby Visitor Management Self-Serve App
Ask for the visitor’s name
Visitors type their own name
Type the name of the visitor in the computer
Captured automatically on the backend dashboard
Take a picture of the visitor/Contractor
The device Automatically takes your picture when it’s enabled
Ask a series of screening questions if applicable MyLobby questionnaire form
Screening questions can be customized on the questionnaire form
Capture government-issued ID
Scan Government ID from mobile phone
Visitors’ signs agreeing to facility policies on paper with pen
Individuals can sign tablet or mobile device
Providing a visitor with a badge
Badge printing capability
Letting the visitor know they’re logged in
MyLobby Visitor management app Prompt visitor of a successful entry
In conclusion, the pandemic has allowed us to rethink the front lobby workflow and has proven to deliver greater efficiencies and security compared to the traditional entry/exit method. MyLobby has been able to reduce labor costs while increasing safety and compliance by providing a more efficient front-lobby workflow.