Workplace

How to safely welcome visitors to the workplace: pros and cons

January 27, 2022

Many companies would like to return to normal or, at least, something similar. This includes also the visitors to the office who aren’t employees, and the question of consulting their private health data. Are we sure that everyone is willing to share their personal data?

In this article we see different approaches and pros and cons of each one.


Here is what we will talk about in this article:

1. Verify the health conditions of visitors in the workplace

2. Pros and Cons of different approaches

3. Conclusions


Many companies want to return to normal or, at least, a new one. This includes resuming in-person client meetings, increased employee presence in the office, c-level meetings and offline events, such as workshops or networking moments.

The return to a new normal also affects visitors to the office who aren’t employees, but who are regular visitors to the company, that is, those who bring water or coffee, those who take care of the snacks of the machines, plumbers and maintenance workers, staff cleaning and disinfection, etc.

While controlling employees can already be complex and expensive, controlling outsiders can be even more difficult, even if necessary for everyone's safety.

In this sense, Green Pass and other similar data can become crucial for the reopening of most offices.

But are we sure that everyone is willing to share their personal data?

1. Verify the health conditions of visitors in the workplace

Showing the Green Pass on your phone, even with a simple photo, is certainly convenient for everyone and safer than a hard copy, to minimize contacts between people.

However, not everyone could agree to share their health data for fear of privacy violation and improper use.

For an occasional visitor to a company, the attendant who requests the scanning and sharing of health data at the entrance is like a stranger, and the visitor could pretend to know what use the company will make of his data, if and how they will be stored.

How is it possible to protect the privacy of everyone, employees, and non-employees, guarantee safety but act in compliance with health regulations?

Below we see together some possible solutions, with the relative pros and cons.

2. Pros and Cons of different approaches

Let's see below how some companies have solved this problem, with the relative pros and cons of each solution.

Knowing this can help you determine what's best for your specific case and your employees.

1) "Health passport" app

Over the past 18 months, several apps that allow people to securely store medical documents on smartphones were born.

Some apps turn health records into entry passes. They do this by generating QR codes that people can scan to confirm their health.

Pro

  • Enterprise-grade security and privacy standards maintained through an anonymous access pass that does not share secure data
  • Compliance with privacy and security laws designed to protect electronic health information
  • Flexibility to use in any company location that supports the app
  • Possibility to be held in code database.

Cons

  • Not all locations use the same health screening app
  • Many people do not like the idea of ​​being monitored wherever they go, since the passport detects the location of the individual every time they enter a place where sharing of this data is required, becoming almost a GPS.
  • Concern that this data may be stored, shared, or sold to third parties.

2) Questionnaires verified by the administrator

Some visitor management systems allow administrators to customize the login process.

This way, you can ask visitors to show the Green Pass at the reception upon check-in.

Pro

  • Ability to speed up access by requesting a health screening before each visit
  • Option to allow or require visitors to physically present proof of vaccination
  • Additional level of verification with administrator verification.

Cons

  • Providing proof of vaccination with a physical card can be a complicated process requiring extra in-person interactions between visitors and administrators

3) Upload of documents sent directly to the workplace

Using a visitor management system such as Nibol, companies will be able to agree with visitors on the day and time of visit to the company, receive notifications to speed up entry procedures, and request or share with them all the data necessary for the visit, including health care ones.

Pro

  • Fully touchless process minimizes potential health risks
  • Allows visitors to get documents submitted and approved before their visit
  • Administrator verification ensures documents meet workplace requirements
  • Review of the document by designated administrators protects the privacy

Cons

  • Concerns about who will be able to access their information
  • Concerns about how long visitor data will remain in the company system

3. Conclusions

In the absence of a single solution, the state cannot guarantee for everyone, so it is up to companies to communicate their policies.

Whichever approach you choose, clearly state your data collection, retention, and sharing policy. That way, when your workplace opens its doors to visitors, everyone will feel safe and welcome.