Executing an effective, safe return to office working needs to consider far more than the employees who will use the physical working environment on a regular basis. As face-to-face meetings with external clients, customers and partners will still be an important part of business in the long term, how visitors are managed when they attend offices needs to be catered for, too.
This is an area in which Vpod’s expertise has come in particularly useful. Vpod is a visitor management solution provider that was founded in 2008 and is based in London, and having already worked with major organizations like CBRE, Vodafone and Mitie, they were well-placed to support the visitor management needs of many more businesses as they responded to the pandemic.
This has helped Vpod enjoy excellent growth and expansion in recent months, but as their managing director Sam Farrant explains, they had to make adaptations to their own operations first: “The way we communicate with our customers has changed. All our customer meetings and demonstrations have been conducted over video in the last 12 months, and we also quickly had to find a way to make our giant touchscreen touchless. But I’m most proud of how the team all came together to look at how we needed to adapt, stay relevant and meet the market requirements.”
Combining with Condeco
The ways in which workspaces are being reshaped was a major catalyst in Vpod partnering with Condeco.
Vpod already had a digital visitor management system called Vgreet, which encompasses app-based pre-registration, touchless check-ins on arrival, and other important information across catering, and security. It has also developed its own visitor sign-in system called Vdesk, which is focused towards smaller sites where footfall is lower. Vpod worked with Condeco to integrate workspace booking system information into both Vgreet and Vdesk, so that visitors could also use the system to locate the relevant meeting room within the building.
“Vgreet takes care of the entire visitor management process, leaving front of house staff to focus on providing visitors with a warm welcome,” explains Farrant.
“Condeco’s workspace booking functionality is integrated in Vgreet & Vdesk. This allows our customers to manage visitor and employee footfall in their buildings, and ensures a first-class experience for visitors and employees, as well as cost savings, compliance and efficiency for a business.” ~ Sam Farrant
The future for facilities managers
It’s clear that this lat year and a half has completely redefined how visitor management works for offices in practice. Sam believes that technology has a vital part to play in making it work effectively for businesses, across a variety of different fronts.
“Moving forward, the more touchless and autonomous, the better,” Sam says. “Visitor management technology is absolutely key to offices opening up, whether it’s meeting bookings, pre-registration, internal wayfinding, desk bookings, security and compliance processes, or productivity and efficiency tools. Visitor management tech is integral to the office post-pandemic.”
Technology can also have a major positive influence in wider facilities management, of which visitor management and workspace booking solutions are just two of many inter-connected parts. Sam feels that facilities managers in particular have much work to do to create an office environment that is just as secure and welcoming to visitors as it is to a business’s own employees.
“Facilities managers (FMs) already ran a tight ship pre-COVID, but the bar has definitely been raised” he concludes. “If FMs want to keep their offices open, they need to ensure they provide a compliant, secure, COVID-safe space that also gives employees and visitors a warm welcome. After working from home for over a year, the office needs to be attractive to employees; screens, tape and hazard signs will not drive footfall back to your office.”
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