Solving coworking front-desk drama

Issue 3 2022 Access Control & Identity Management, Products & Solutions

Coworking spaces are in higher demand than ever before. Just as the workforce readied itself to ‘return to office’ (RTO), the rising petrol price has made the daily trips infeasible. Many employers have settled on a new, hybrid RTO model that uses shared office space.

While many companies illustrated that ‘work-from-home’ (WFH) does indeed work, there are valuable elements of being in the office environment that can’t be simulated. Boardroom brainstorms and candid chats in the office reportedly lead to greater innovation and problem solving. Other reports claim that office days improve accessibility to management – one of the most significant drawbacks of WFH.

A fair compromise has been found in coworking spaces, which enable the best of worlds. Employees go into “the office”, closer to home, two or three days per week, where they can hold meetings, engage with fellow workers, and save on fuel.

Flexible, shared and coworking offices have taken off with great success, but because occupational churn is high, the front-desk can be a difficult – if not dreadful – place to manage.

Digital reception solves front-desk headaches with visitor management and access control. Onboarding and offboarding of occupiers (preferred over tenants) is entirely electronic. Even photographs are loaded onto the system beforehand allowing, access control by facial recognition from their first day. Occupiers then self-manage guests by sending a WhatsApp PIN or QR code invitation. Attendees, in turn, sign in electronically, and a notification is sent on their arrival.

ATG Digital launched At Reception, a digital solution for front-desk security protocols in 2018. Head of sales, Ariel Flax, says that although there is marked uptake of the product in recent years, digital reception has always been well received.

“People prefer dealing with technology. It is a strange phenomenon but place a tablet at the reception desk allowing for self-service sign-in and people gravitate towards it,” says Flax. “As needs and technology evolved, the product has grown with it.”

Flax says that digital onboarding and self-service are two main reasons digital reception is in high demand at coworking space offices. Other reasons include:

• Creating a professional, digital-first impression for the environment and occupiers.

• Keeping an electronic record of all visitors that is securely stored.

• Touchless guest registration.

• Facial recognition access control.

• Covid pre-screening.

• Flexibility with working hours as the digital reception is always available.

• Cost-saving for operations with lean staffing.

• Integration with security, surveillance and reporting.

“Front-desk has traditionally been a frantic place in serviced offices and coworking spaces, but technology alleviates the burden of knowing who is working where and on what days,” says Flax.

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