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Why the rise of virtual receptions is unlikely to slow anytime soon

14 September 2020

The coronavirus crisis is forcing companies to explore new ways of working. Changing the office layout and home working have become the norm, but how do you facilitate this hybrid way of doing things?

And how do you keep costs as low as possible in these unprecedented times?

Enter Bringme’s virtual receptionist. Bringme’s CEO, Jo Vandebergh, believes there’s no better solution to give businesses the chance to keep operating safely, whatever the circumstances.

“Virtual reception has always been our focus, and we’ve built up a wealth of experience in this field,” Vandebergh explains.

“Our best-known product is the Bringme Box, which allows couriers to make contactless deliveries without having to interact with staff at reception.

"But Bringme is much more than that: our ‘parcel wall’ is just one part of a greater virtual reception ecosystem. This ecosystem can handle more tasks than a traditional receptionist, works more quickly, is available 24/7 — it doesn’t take breaks and it never longs for a holiday — and on top of that, it significantly drives down costs.”

“In these unprecedented times, this virtual helper is becoming an indispensable tool for lots of businesses: it gives them the chance to keep their reception running in a cost-effective way, whatever the circumstances — even if they need to downsize or move toward home working.”

The ultimate solution for hybrid workers

“The way we work has changed beyond recognition in a very short period of time,” Vandebergh continues.

“Employees come and go, work in shifts, and visitor numbers are down — and that’s exactly where a virtual receptionist comes in handy. Employers can keep a real-time eye on who’s in the building and who’s not, and they have all the contact tracing info they need at their fingertips.

"At the office, couriers, suppliers and visitors receive a warm welcome and are pointed in the right direction.”

“On top of that, employees can easily drop off an item or put something in storage for their colleagues working at home. Home workers receive a real-time notification when an item is dropped off, when they’ve got mail or when a recorded delivery has arrived.

"They can then pick these items up as soon as they’re back in the office. There’s no chance they’ll forget to do so, as the smart box will promptly send them a reminder.”

A virtual reception keeps businesses healthy

More pressing issues are also easily handled by virtual receptionists. For example, at the start of the pandemic, Bringme added several important functions to its virtual reception.

The system can now perform a brief health check on anyone entering the business when the virus is peaking.

A hand sanitiser dispenser with a built-in safety sensor has also been added, so that everyone is asked to disinfect their hands before entering the building.

“That way, you can rest assured that everyone is actually doing so. Without a system like this, there’s no way of knowing,” Vandebergh claims.

And in case you’re wondering: the physical touch points on the system come with antiviral properties.

Employees feel safe

This technology perfectly complements the social distancing measures and creates a sense of safety within the business. “No one can enter the building without passing the desk,” Vandebergh explains.

“It’s as good as impossible for a traditional receptionist to check everyone coming in and remind them of the prevention measures.

"A virtual receptionist, on the other hand, can do exactly that, so you can be sure that everyone around you at the office has observed the coronavirus rules. As a result, everyone feels safe and secure.

“That includes the facilities managers looking after people’s health and wellbeing: they know exactly who’s in the building at any time, and they have all the contact tracing information they need at their fingertips.”

Contactless deliveries, shared offices and empty receptions

Just a matter of months ago, signing for deliveries was part and parcel (excuse the pun) of a receptionist’s day — in fact, it was regarded as a nice personal touch.

However, the arrival of social distancing has put a stop to that: safe, contactless service is now the standard option.

Aside from the fact that lots of businesses are struggling with empty-reception syndrome, visitors have decided to stay away as much as possible, preferring virtual meetings instead.

In turn, this has left businesses wondering whether it would be better to close some of their offices or lease them out to other companies.

These shared offices or flexible workplaces also stand much to gain from virtual receptionists: they can welcome visitors if no one is there, they guarantee safe and personal service and they deliver significant cost savings.

All in all, a win-win situation.

Please click here for further information.

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