The hybrid style of working is here to stay. After the largest working-from-home experiment the world has ever embarked on, it’s clear that very few of us will be going back to five days a week in the office.
This presents numerous opportunities, but it also presents some challenges – especially when it comes to managing visitors to your building.
Where a 9-to-5 reception team may have sufficed in the past, this is less of an option for businesses post pandemic, which may have employees in the office two days a week or at ad hoc times throughout the month. How can we continue to reap the benefits of truly flexible working while having the data to make sure that office visitors have a good experience and that your building is secure?
We believe that tech can offer a solution here. Forge powered by Yardi has created Bluepoint – a cloud-based visitor management system for landlords, building managers and operators that allows tenants to organise visits to their office flexibly, securely and with a great user experience and real-time data. Each one of these points is key.
We believe that the human connection remains vital, which is why we don’t want tech to replace that. Rather, we want tech to enhance it
Let’s start with flexibility. Multi-tenanted buildings with companies on each floor working to their own schedule, knowing when and where visitors want to be – as well as where and when the people they are visiting want them to be – can become unnecessarily complicated and difficult.
This is why a single tech platform that simplifies the meeting booking process is crucial. Our software is in more than 100 buildings in the City of London, but this doesn’t mean just 100 companies are using it – more like 2,500. And even then, within a single company, different divisions of that company may have their own rhythm and management style.
Flexible and straightforward
This doesn’t just mean different working hours, but different greeting styles, too. Some people may want to meet their visitors in the reception area, some may want to meet them in their office and some may want to meet them at a ground-floor café.
Bluepoint gives all of those companies, landlords, property managers, reception teams and visitors one piece of software to turn to. Doing so allows for all of that flexibility to remain while also keeping the process straightforward.
Security is essential to any form of building visitor management, too. Companies want to be certain that their offices and the workers in their offices are safe. Once again, this has always been a fundamental part of any building management and visitor management system, but the pandemic has only heightened this need for security – and made achieving it more complex. By integrating visitor management with access control, security teams can know – quickly and easily – who is in the building and when, and visitor access permissions can be configured by visitor type to ensure they only have the access they require.
Of course, the problem is that another indispensable element of any visitor management system is user-friendliness, and there is a risk that guaranteeing security in a building can create a stressful experience for a visitor. I’m sure many people reading this have had the experience of walking into a building where you are due to have a meeting and feeling disorientated and unsure of what the process is to notify your host of your arrival and get to where you need to be.
It is a delicate balance. But here too we firmly believe tech can help. If a visitor and reception team is using the same tech, then they are on the same page. It also means reception teams can focus on welcoming the visitor. We believe that the human connection remains vital, which is why we don’t want tech to replace that. Rather, we want tech to enhance it.
The final piece of the puzzle is data. By using one piece of software for long enough, every user can get a pretty clear idea of what to do going forward. A company – or a team in a company – may learn that it’s easier to have their meetings in a certain place, at a certain time, in a certain way thanks to the feedback they receive from the software. Landlords, property managers and reception teams may also learn that it is better to manage visitors at certain times in certain ways.
Bluepoint can capture all this data in real time, meaning that users can start making these decisions from the moment they start using it. Whether it is a multi-tenanted building, a university, industrial site or a corporate office, the data can be used to make the visitor journey more efficient, safe and enjoyable.
As we put this pandemic behind us and embrace the hybrid working future in front of us, we only see the demand for a better visitor management system growing.
• First Bluepoint site went live in 2015 at Citypoint in London
• Now have more than 150 sites in UK and Europe using Bluepoint visitor management
• Customers include John Lewis, CBRE, Landsec, Savills, HB Reavis, IPUT and Bouygues Energies and Services
• Acquired by Yardi in June 2021
Time to be bold
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Software is key to ensuring good visitor management