Fully Automated Office Receptions: A Balanced Approach
What are the pros and cons of the completely unstaffed office reception where the human interaction is replaced by an iPad or other high-tech solution?
Imagine an office building with no one working at the front desk. When you walk in, there's only an iPad glowing in the middle of the empty lobby. You pull out your smartphone with the invitation email and check in. The system will then close the conversation with a message: "Proceed to floor 34".
Sounds like sci-fi for you? Welcome to the reality of fully automated or completely unstaffed office receptions.
In today's fast-paced business environment, the role of technology in streamlining operations and enhancing user experiences has become increasingly important. One area of debate is the implementation of fully automated front desks. At Sharry, we believe in striking a balance between automation and personal touch.
Pros: Cost savings, scalability, and availability
Fully automated receptions at office buildings come with several benefits, including cost savings, scalability, and 24/7 availability. By automating repetitive tasks, companies can reduce labor costs and streamline the reception process, allowing for greater efficiency and faster visitor throughput.
Cons: Visitor experience and Security
However, we also see significant drawbacks to fully automating reception services. One concern is visitor experience which is negatively impacted by the absence of a personal touch. Just as airport kiosks lack the warmth of human interaction, a fully automated reception may not provide the same welcoming atmosphere as one staffed by a dedicated receptionist. And the consequences can be harsh - it still is the first impression with the workplace/company that sets the tone for the ones to come.
Second concern is security. A fully automated system can be secure while only allowing pre-registered / invited visitors, but fails to resolve situations when users don’t have the invitation credential (for example a QR code), typically because of discharged or forgotten mobile phones. Another concern is a situation in which only one person from a group registers and others share their credentials. This is possible to prevent technically via access systems anti-passback but in real world applications, this is often unavailable, restricted by law (open exit required for case of fire emergency in some countries) or impractical.
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Sharry's Stance on Automated Receptions
At Sharry, our approach to automated receptions is a balanced one. We aim to enhance visitor experience by allowing staff to focus on welcoming visitors, while also improving security and scaling visitor throughput. Our solutions help remove repetitive and tedious tasks from reception staff, allowing them to concentrate on providing exceptional service to guests.
However, we don't aim to replace reception staff entirely or fully automate the process. Rather, we would like to move the receptionist to the role of a concierge who assists guests their whole stay and shows how to enjoy the workplace. That's why we digitize a paper logbook for visitor management.
Sharry believes in leveraging technology to provide efficient, secure, and welcoming workplace experiences. Our balanced approach to automated front desks aims to ensure that we maximize the benefits of automation without sacrificing the essential human touch that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.