With over 7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, it’s never been more critical for businesses to protect the people that enter their buildings. For many companies, the lobby is the first line of defense in protecting employees and customers.
For the individual waiting, the lobby is a potentially dangerous situation, especially in crowded rooms. As such, building/business managers must implement ways of protecting everyone.
A good line of defense comes in the form of an office lobby design that protects people from the virus that has become a part of our daily lives. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on dealing with this public health threat in your lobby.
We’ve all seen temporary plexiglass partitions pop up around grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and most types of retailers. The same should go for anyone working in the lobby.
These dividers aren’t a sure thing, but they can maintain social distancing and block respiratory droplets. At the bare minimum, we recommend putting up temporary partitions around seating areas and the front desk. If you can, consider making these permanent installations. It’s easy to see that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. As such, consider incorporating the aesthetic of the glass into your design. When combined with low wall space, these partitions can be both a safety measure and a visual improvement.
No one with COVID-19 should enter your workplace. One compromised person can quickly infect the entire building if they go unchecked. But how can you tell which people have it? One method is subjecting anyone who enters the office to a temperature check. Since a high fever is one of the virus symptoms, this precaution will help ensure a safer environment.
There are two ways you can take temperature checks. One method is by having a masked employee take the temperature of everyone coming in at specific entrances. They do this with devices that measure temperature by being pressed against the person’s forehead. However, there are some drawbacks to this method. For one thing, it’s slow. It can also potentially expose one of your employees to an infected person. As such, some people may prefer method two. This way involves installing a temperature-sensitive camera at high traffic entrances. This method reads people’s body temperature without breaking social distance. However, installing it can be expensive and requires constant monitoring.
It also doesn’t protect against asymptomatic carriers. These people can spread the disease but don’t exhibit any symptoms.
Even plexiglass and masks aren’t guaranteed protection for the receptionists and people in your lobby. One solution is a virtual receptionist. These types of programs use a combination of pre-recorded video clips combined with real people to assist guests visiting your company.
Typically a kiosk or screen will facilitate the check-in process, offer directory information, or show maps of the area. If the individual using the program needs to speak to a real person, it will direct them to a real-life receptionist via webcam.
These types of management solutions were popular before the COVID era because they helped streamline visitor service. However, the answer is perfect for offices dealing with coronavirus and uses audio and visual communication to maintain social distance between your employees and visitors. The program can even help you screen visitors with potential infections by providing a COVID-19 questionnaire to the check-in process.
If, at any point, an individual answers yes to one of the questions, then it will inform them of your company policies and the next steps to continue interactions based on their responses.
This option eliminates any physical interaction while maintaining an element of personal customer care. You can learn more about the health and safety measures offered by these programs through this guide here.
Previously it was thought that airborne COVID-19 particles couldn’t travel more than six feet in distance. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. New evidence now shows that the respiratory particles can travel beyond the set six feet limit.
This is especially true in places with many people talking or interacting. For example, fitness classes, restaurants, bars, band practices, and crowded waiting rooms are at risk of airborne spread.
In addition to these areas, we also need to worry about everyday places with inadequate ventilation. Poor ventilation causes the virus to sit in the air for an extended period. As such, businesses should ensure that their HVAC systems are working at peak efficiency.
To improve the air quality in poorly vented waiting rooms, consider adding air purifiers. These measures can help reduce the number of germs present in confined spaces.
It’s important that no asymptomatic carriers unwillingly pass the infection on to other people in the sitting area. Unfortunately, the layout of many lobbies sometimes makes it hard to stay six feet away.
Too many clusters of chairs or tables can encourage people to congregate. As such, you should consider moving any furniture you don’t need. That way, you can make small clumps of socially-distanced seating areas.
If you don’t want to remove a bunch of chairs, then there are other options too. For example, turn every two chairs, so they’re facing the way.
Or, you can put colorful tapes or signs across the front of them. This will remind people to maintain social distance while waiting in the lobby.
We hope this article helped show you how an effective office lobby design can help stop the spread of COVID-19 within your office environment. If you’re interested in implementing a virtual receptionist as a safety measure in your lobby design, then we invite you to learn more about the ALICE Receptionist program.
Request a quote today and find out all the other ways it can assist with your business customer engagement needs.
Self-service kiosks have come a long way. Everyone knows and still appreciates our beloved first-generation kiosk: the vending machines. However, businesses are no longer limited to catering to their clients by offering a quick meal or refreshment with kiosks.
Most customers also prefer to use kiosks if they are available and look more positively at businesses that offer it. Still not convinced you should get one to help with your front office needs? Keep reading to learn a few advantages self-service kiosks can do for your company.
Kiosks can be the extra arms and legs a business needs to operate more efficiently. When you have numerous customer front-desk interactions and have limited staff, exchanges can be missed or rushed, affecting service quality. It also poses a greater risk of error. Self-service kiosks allow businesses to complete work while maintaining quality. This feature makes any business look good.
Customers want to be in and out when they want a service. Kiosks perform the repetitive tasks workers usually do and reduce customer waiting times. Generally, customers are happy in today’s world when a service they need is quick and at their fingertips.
No kiosk can ever replace a good worker. There are still moments that require additional assistance or explanation that only a human can manage. Kiosks work well together when combined with employees. It is widely considered that they increase employee satisfaction because kiosks allow workers to focus more on these broader concerns that deserve their attention.
For example, kiosks can complete automated check-ins office lobbies or entry points. They can offer better organization by registering visitors and vendors or managing the check-in process for single individuals or groups.
Customers can find the information they want and initiate activities based on their selections. A kiosk offers a higher sense of independence to do something on your own or the power to choose how you want assistance.
The initial investment of a self-service kiosk is more than worth it as it will help lower overall business operations costs. By eliminating unnecessary cost, businesses have more ability to entice more qualified staff necessary to run successful internal operations.
Although a business cannot operate without employees, with the elimination of unnecessary roles, you do not have to pay added wages or offer benefits to a machine. With ALICE Receptionist, we can show an achievable 100% ROI, at a tenth the cost of a full-time employee, in under 60 days.
Not only do digital kiosks help save you money, but they also help you make money for businesses. They can work as an effective marketing tool to influence or attract customers to a service or to initiate further purchasing activity from your business. Kiosks can promote packages, promotions, or discounts which often encourage customers to spend more.
Customers that have good interaction with businesses are likely to refer the service to others or mention good things on a review. Having a positive reputation allows you to retain a large amount of those customers and attract new customers. It’s an indirect method of marketing that works.
Information kiosks are extremely helpful for customers who have the same questions. If you have a large or complex business with many services, you can help customers figure out where they should go.
It is perfect for office buildings and directs visitors to where they want to go while keeping accurate records of who has checked into the building. Many healthcare businesses and government facilities also use it to show information on services, schedules, rules, and fees. You reduce the risk of customers getting lost and feeling frustrated.
Kiosks provide incredible service in two ways: passive or interactive. Either method offers solid customer assistance. One type of passive kiosk is digital signage. Its main purpose is to display ads that draw in attention to passersby using a picture or video clip.
Digital signage can also be interactive when motion is used or it has functions that allow customers to respond to it and engage. Businesses that use interactive kiosks can collect data and share it with others or gather information from people that pass it to draw up a report.
Interactive kiosks help businesses by relaying data in real-time. This offers better information retrieval and communication with you and your clients.
If there is a new status update, change, or sale you want to announce right away, you can communicate it within seconds to employees, workers, or whoever you want to target. Customers appreciate the instant gratification a task, purchase, or transaction they did is complete.
The best thing about self-service kiosks is that it benefits every industry. No matter what service you offer, you can benefit from the ease they offer you and your customers without compromising privacy and security. Hospitals take advantage of kiosks when they use it for online queue systems to provide information to patients.
Restaurants use it to make the food ordering process easier and to avoid long lines. Legal businesses and banks depend on it to complete agreements and set up payments and create digital signatures. There’s no business that couldn’t find a service that works well for them.
Self-Service Kiosks Are Here to Stay
Self-service kiosks are a technology made for all ages. It is safe, quick, effective, and easy for customers who come to your business for service. They no longer have to wait long lines, and you do not impair quality for the speedier service.
If you would like to learn more about self-service kiosks for your business or want to learn more about pricing and how it could benefit your business right away, please contact us.