Why using a paper log book in your company’s registration desk is a serious problem

Imagine a scenario. There’s an open hiring day in your premises. People are walking in and out of the office all day long and you have all hands on deck managing people. By the time the day gets over, you realise that the visitor log book kept at the front desk reception can no longer be found. Someone may have misplaced it or worse, it got stolen. It had sensitive data on it and now it could be misused. Who will you blame? The receptionist? The guard? The facilities manager? Will that help you get it back?

To be honest, it is the process that needs fixing. For a book that logs information about your investors, clients, vendors, prospective employees, and practically everyone else who visits your office, isn’t keeping it out in the open, a disaster waiting to happen? It takes just a moment of human oversight for the data to be compromised. And if the data is misused, wouldn’t it harm the company’s hard-earned credibility and business prospects?

Log books are emotionless and guest-agnostic

We’ve all been there. Scribbling our names and phone numbers expeditiously in a guest log book. The sight of our name below an endless sea of previous visitors makes us feel insignificant and un-welcome. It is also tedious and time-consuming. Once the log book is filled, we wait for the receptionist to call the host (or place the call ourselves), and with bated breaths we wait for someone to escort us in. The entire process is unfriendly.

No matter how efficient and adaptive your business is, the moment you ask a visitor to log details in pen and paper, it creates a bad first impression. It shows that your business is not at par with changing times. This mechanism also fails to differentiate a valued guest from, say, a food or parcel delivery person. How would it feel to lose a potential investor to an unfriendly receptionist, who, to their defence, was just having a bad day? 

Log books are not just dangerous for your data, but also your premises

Imagine a visitor unintentionally spilling coffee or water on the log book. All of us have struggled with those illegible handwritings where we don’t know if the name written on is Samuel or Marques. And even if the log book is maintained to perfection, what happens once it is full? Doesn’t it get thrown in a dark corner, never to be retrieved again? Imagine the way this data could’ve been used, if it was digitally logged. From building your own database for relevant broadcasting of new product launches, to mining data to understand which of your employees meet maximum clients, and what days or hours are the busiest in the office.

For most offices, the front desk is the first line of defence against unwanted intruders. And they are burdened with the dual task of protecting not just the personal information of your visitors, but also protecting your organisation from an ill-intended intruder. And data theft is a very real problem today. Only a year ago, several banks in Eastern Europe lost tens of millions of Euros to an unprecedented cyber attack. A single human error of judgement can cause great harm. 

Adhering to Compliance

Acknowledging the above problems, most developed countries have introduced laws which disallow you from using a log book at your office front desk. These regulations have been brought in to cater to the need for written and clear health and safety policies for organisations. And in a post-Corona world, it is but obvious that more countries will follow suit.

These also regulations make it mandatory for you to get your visitors sign privacy NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements), and encrypt and password-protect their personal data. Log books certainly aren’t equipped for this. Even if your country does not have such regulations in place, it is a good idea to stay ahead of time and adopt integrated visitor management platforms.