How to Create a Great Experience for Office Visitors
Many workers have come back to the office in some capacity this year. But, employees aren’t the only ones returning to the office—you’re likely also welcoming back office visitors.
Whether these visitors are potential investors, clients, interview candidates, or college students visiting for a career shadow day, you never know who might need to drop by your workplace.
But, you should.
Knowing who was, is, and will be in your office is not only a safety concern, it’s also crucial to understanding—and ultimately improving—the visitor experience. Candidates and customers who feel unwelcome in your office might choose to partner with another company. Investors unimpressed with any aspect of your workplace could cost you an opportunity for business growth. (And, don’t even think about letting down your new hire’s parents!)
Every visitor who steps foot in your office requires attention, a seamless welcome, and an unforgettable experience. Whether it’s a quick swing by the workplace or a meeting with a business-critical visitor, the implications of a stop-in can certainly be long-lasting. This is why it’s essential to have a system in place to create a great experience for all of your guests.
Here are some of the top ways to take your office visitor experience to the next level.
1. Send a pre-visit email
While some guests may have just traveled from down the road, others may have traveled a good distance and made time in their busy schedules to come to the office.
Out of respect for their time—and yours—remember to set an agenda for visitors before they show up and send it via email. These agendas should include key moments of the visit, such as meetings, networking events, and even breaks. You can also secure the right meeting spot inside the office by booking meeting rooms and adding them to your agenda.
Don’t forget to share the agenda with visitors before they arrive with a pre-visit email to guests so that they can confirm everything they’re coming for is included, as well as ensuring the duration of the visit fits in their schedule.
In the email, you can also send necessary pre-registration work to collect information like the guest’s name, whom they are visiting, the purpose and time of their visit, and even a picture if needed, then upload that info to your visitor management system. Other important documentation like NDAs, parking information, and arrival instructions can be shared as well.
2. Don’t keep guests waiting
Visitors don’t want to have come all the way to your office just to sit in reception for minutes on end. To speed up the time visitors might spend waiting to meet their host, it’s important to have a few best practices ironed out.
First, guests should be greeted with a smile as soon as they walk into your office. If your place of work doesn’t have in-person reception, there should be signs or directions pointing to a check-in station, whether it’s a sign-in book or a self-check-in tablet for guests to document their arrival.
Second, after visitors have signed in, the guest’s host should be notified, either by someone working at reception or, better yet, a system like Eden’s visitor management software that automatically alerts someone when their guest has checked into the office. This way, visitors aren’t kept waiting, and your team doesn’t have to spend their time checking to see whether or not their guest has arrived. Visitors can start seeing everything and everyone your office has to offer.
3. Consider health and safety
Understandably, workplaces need to keep the health and safety of their visitors and employees paramount. Many of your employees likely remain wary of COVID, and the more people who come into the office unchecked, the more of a concern returning in-person is for these individuals.
Plus, visitors may be exposed to sensitive company information while in the office, and knowing who has been inside the premises can help determine responsible parties if any confidential material has been disseminated. Nobody in the office should have to wonder who that unfamiliar-looking individual is and why they’re in the building, as these concerns raise alarms for trade secrets and even fears of physical safety.
To alleviate this unease, it’s important to build secure processes for signing and sharing documents and other sensitive information. And, when it comes to keeping your office (and everyone in it) healthy, it’s also still a good idea to have a system in place to verify vaccination status and the overall health of your visitors.
Using a visitor management tool can make it easier for guests to securely sign and share important documents. And, a tool like Eden’s team safety software allows you to collect vaccination details, test results, and other health information before a visitor ever enters the office. Certifying vaccination status, receiving signed NDAs, and taking other steps to ensure a visit is documented alleviates many of the concerns employees, execs, and visitors may have about someone entering the doors of an office building.
4. Know who’s in the office
Taking note whenever a visitor enters the office and why they’re there might sound excessive, but in actuality, this visibility helps your team gauge what visitor cadence and purpose looks like. In the long run, this data can lead to direct changes and improvements regarding the visitor experience.
This can help you develop programs and initiatives to improve the visitor experience. For example, if you have visitors coming every day, it might be worth outlining a more formal tour of the office and sharing it with hosts to guarantee everything important about the office is covered in the visit.
Meanwhile, knowing who’s in the office is imperative for your security team. Having a tool to know how many people are in the office is crucial for contact tracing, adhering to building capacity, or even evacuating everyone in case of emergency.
5. “Can I offer you a…?”
It should go without saying that whenever you welcome a guest, you extend a welcome offering. This can be something as simple as a coffee, bottled water, or a snack. If your office has a fully-staffed reception area, this can (and should) be done easily, every time.
But why stop there? Reception can also have something a little more substantial on-hand to offer guests, like a company one-pager if they’re seeking information on the business, or perhaps some custom swag like a t-shirt, a pen and notebook, or a sticker. Having these assets at-the-ready when a visitor arrives can make them feel extremely welcome—and excited to learn more about your business.
And don’t worry—all of this applies regardless of whether or not you have a human working at your reception desk. Leaving a water and coffee station, as well as favors like stickers and branded pens by the guest check-in tablet, should be enough for your guests while they wait for their host to greet them. You could even leave an encouraging note along the lines of “Thanks for confirming your check-in! Feel free to help yourself to a coffee or some company swag while you wait for your host,” on the screen after they’ve signed in.
6. Think about the return visit
Repeat visitors are prone to become exhausted if they need to provide their information, documentation, and pictures every time they stop by.
With that in mind, consider using a visitor management system that remembers guests after they’ve completed their registration in the past. That way, important visitors like investors and high-profile clients can get straight down to business rather than consistently re-registering with the same info each visit.
Ensuring a great office experience for visitors
So many employees are craving connection with their colleagues and prospects, and office visits are a natural solution. They’re a proven way to secure new connections, make an impression on a candidate, and close a deal with a personal touch that video conferencing software can’t always provide.
Proactively considering the experience your visitors have when entering the office helps ensure that anyone who steps through your doors has a positive interaction with your company. This means thinking through what information to share prior to a guest’s visit, reducing confusion and wait times, keeping everyone safe, and leveraging tools available to help streamline the process of welcoming office visitors.
With a clear visitor management process in place, your workplace can create a great experience for everyone who comes in the door.