Sending invitation emails via visitor management systems to visitors prior to arriving at office buildings can help managers pre-screen with health questions and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Visitor management systems (VMS) are set to play a critical role in mitigating the risks of COVID-19
as more workplaces start to reopen. Not only can VMS help building managers know who is entering and currently on the premises, it also provides the tools necessary to take precautions for every interaction.
Send out pre-registration email invitations
To ensure safety and mitigate risks for all people in a given vicinity, the world is moving toward an invite-first culture, according to Brian Phillips, Director of Global Security Strategy at Traction Guest
“To make this a reality, technology needs to enable companies to validate identity and pre-screen both employees and visitors before they even enter a workplace,” he said.
Today, many visitor management systems
allow for advanced visitor registration before arriving to a facility. Inviting guests via email ahead of their visit to review health and safety procedures informs visitors of what to expect upon arrival. For example, visitors can be informed that temperature screening
may be done once they arrive on-site.
“By having visitors register in advance, you can help limit contact between visitors and employees, as well as assist the facilities team in making sure you are not over capacity by getting an accurate sense of how many people will be in your office throughout the day,” said Matt Harris, Head of Workplace Technology at Envoy
Pre-screen with health and safety questions
As part of the pre-registration process, questions regarding the visitor’s health and travel history can also be addressed. This can be done in the invitation email, and can be followed-up during the on-site registration process. Adding this layer of protection provides building managers with vital information to protect their facility.
“You can also add custom fields for each visitor — visible internally only — to allow your hosts to review and mitigate any potential risks
and procedures connected to that visit. In this way, you can ensure that every visit meets the health and safety requirements of your organization,” explained Gregory Blondeau, CEO of Proxyclick
Blondeau emphasized that if a company does a good job screening its visitors and flagging cases needing the attention of its security staff, it can easily avoid any awkward or problematic situations that might leave a negative impression on its guests.
Collecting information for contact tracing
There is an unprecedented need for contact tracing due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and traditional visitor management solutions are well placed to assist.
Ian Lowe, Director of Product Marketing for Identity and Access Management Solutions at HID Global
noted how enterprise-grade visitor management systems enable organizations to further mitigate risks by automatically maintaining an auditable trail of activity.
Recording basic contact information such as phone number and email are critical for carrying out accurate contact tracing against time-stamped movements. This information allows building managers to contact visitors in the event they were exposed to the virus while on the premises.
Maintaining data privacy
The collection of all this data, however, must be met with a strong consideration for privacy
, without being overly complicated or burdensome for the end user. If it is, these tools will not be adopted.
“This can include allowing wellness checks at home through a pre-screen in order to reduce the need for more invasive checks on-site, using VMS technology for responsible contact-tracing without monitoring every move in the office space, and providing visitors QR codes for touchless sign-in,” Harris said.
According to Phillips, configuring the visitor experience with questions about recent travel prior to personally identifiable information (PII) being collected ensures that before the person is even identified or asked to give their name, administrators can assess their eligibility to come into the facility while keeping high-privacy standards.
It is also important that historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information are all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
and other privacy regulations, Lowe added.
As social distancing continues to remain an important protocol for limiting the spread of COVID-19, pre-registration and pre-screening will be helpful features for building managers.