How to Reopen the Office
Merriam-Webster defines the word novel as “new and not resembling something formerly known or used”, and that perfectly defines the situation we find ourselves in with this pandemic. Everything from the COVID-19 virus, to conducting work remotely, and phases of reopening the office are all new experiences for every one of us.
At this point, we can look at science, human behavior, and logistics to begin to understand how all of this might work. Reopening slowly will no doubt run on trial and error, but with certain precautions taken, companies can hopefully lessen the amount of error.
This is a time where we are looking at other countries around the world, other states, counties, and other industries to see how they’re all handling the reopen phase. It’s unique in the sense of the commonality we’re all experiencing when typically, we only follow industry-specific trends. Now we must look collectively as a whole to see how we can begin to function as a society in the “new normal”.
The New Normal
As we begin to slowly reopen offices, we must bring creative and innovative solutions to the table. For instance, there’s an idea of rotating work schedules and hours for employees to minimize staff in the office. Perhaps the staff is divided up into sections and a fraction of employees will work two days in the office, while the other employees will work the remaining three days.
Perhaps 75% of your staff remains remote, while the other 25% comes in for a few days to be a part of mission-critical meetings. There’s even talk of rotating hours to reduce rush-hour transit traffic in major metro areas. Some employees might start at 8 AM, while others start at 10 AM or later, and they all leave at various times. Breaking up shifts either by days and/or hours, helps a company reduce large gatherings in the office.
Additional procedures like temperature checks, masks, and staying home if experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms will all be a part of this New Normal. Once new procedures have been set for employees, next it’s time to focus on the second half of traffic in the office: visitors. Some companies can see hundreds of visitors, vendors, and contractors enter through their lobby daily, while multi-tenant buildings can see upwards of thousands of visitors per day. Having the proper technology in place assists with this transition and management process.
New Technology for the Office
Fortunately, some new technology already exists that assists with managing visitor traffic. We launched our first visitor management software in 2008, and then launched our most advanced software, BreezN, in 2011 to take visitor management capabilities to the next level. The benefits to using an iPad kiosk to safely check-in visitor during this reopen include:
- Ability to maintain social distancing
- Prescreen visitors with custom questions
- Sign NDAs
- Digital records of visitors
- Ensures capacity standards are not exceeded
Reopening the office to host visitors again will be easy to manage with visitor management. The self-check-in kiosk gives the flexibility to work with a reduced lobby staff and lets a visitor check-in without staff assistance. If the receptionist or security officers are still present in the lobby, the kiosk can be safely set-up 6 feet away from the desk to maintain social distancing standards.
While checking-in the visitor can sign an NDA or fill out pre-registration questions, acknowledging key concerns like “Have you been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?” or “Are you experience COVID-19 symptoms such as fever or shortness of breath?” Based on the answer to these questions, the visitor’s entry can be approved, denied, or rescheduled.
In case an outbreak in the office does occur, a report can be created to show all visitors during a specific time frame. This allows your company to notify visitors and to assist local health agencies with information to do contact tracing.
Lastly, by utilizing our pre-registration feature, it’s easy to make sure too many visitors are not scheduled to be on the property at one time. A live look at the dashboard can show visitors currently checked-in and those scheduled for the remainder of the day. If maximum capacity is reached and a new visitor is attempting to check-in, the visit can easily be rescheduled for another time.
Staying Safe at Work
Experiencing anything outside of our comfort zone can be challenging to adjust to, and that includes switching up the normal routine and procedures we’re used to at work. Thankfully this slow reopen of the office doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. By following the CDC and OSHA recommendations, each company can figure out what works best for social distancing, PPE, and work schedules. When it comes to letting visitors back on the premises, our visitor management software is the perfect solution for managing visitor traffic safely and securely.
We’re proud to assist our customers ranging from hospitals, biotech, pharmaceutical, Fortune 100, NFL, major universities, manufacturing facilities, financial institutions, and everything in between when it comes to managing their visitors. Talk with one of our representatives today on how Veristream can help your office slowly reopen in a safe way. Call 1-888-718-0807 or schedule a demo online to see how our software can be customized to fit your needs.