Employer Evolution: Envoy Adapts Its Technology For The COVID-19 Workplace

Matt Harris, Head of Workplace Technology at Envoy.

Prior to COVID-19, Envoy was a leader in creating technology that promoted a safe and efficient workplace.

Now as people return to work, Envoy has slightly shifted its focus on developing technology that promotes a healthy workplace that workers will feel comfortable returning to.

COVID-19 Presents A New Challenge

An example of a tracking dashboard inside the Envoy Protect platform being used to help workplaces reopen after COVID-19.

Envoy's visitor management system is used in around 14,000 workplaces worldwide and is an easy way to digitally track who has been at the workplace at a given time, whether it be guests or contractors signing in on an iPad or employees using their iPhones to enter the workplace.

For the longest time, this type of technology was used for security measures, but COVID-19 has somewhat shifted that mission, according to Matt Harris, Head of Workplace Technology at Envoy.

Envoy recently launched a beta known as Envoy Protect, a technology that will assist companies with returning employees to the workplace. The technology allows companies to ask employees health screening questions, keep track of who is in the office at a given time, contact tracing, and track capacity limits.

"We have slightly shifted our focus, but what hasn't shifted, and we're really doubling down on, is our bread and butter in creating a great visitor experience walking into the front door of a workplace and balancing safety, security, and privacy at the same time," Harris says.

What Does The Future Hold For Envoy

Envoy employees collaborate at a time prior to COVID-19.

Envoy has an opportunity to be on the front lines when it comes to returning employees safely to work, and Harris says that mission will likely continue to guide the company's goals moving forward. This not only includes helping companies manage their workspace, but also helping companies with new technologies that will help hybrid workplaces, the combination of office and remote workers, operate smoothly.

"We don't know exactly what the office of the future is going to look like. I think we do have some idea that it's going to certainly look different," Harris says. "I think for a long time a more hybrid work environment is likely and we're going to see more people working from home."

Harris says while some companies have shifted entirely to a remote workforce, he still thinks many companies will return to their offices in some form.

"We're still a ways away from figuring out what the new office will look like," he says.

Harris says Envoy wants its technology to contribute to employees feeling comfortable returning to work, noting the health screening questions built into the technology will let employees know if there's a reported sickness in the workplace.

"Our approach is that technology really should make the return to work easy and effective," Harris says. "These tools really make it clear to employees what's being done and at the end of that day I think that does improve their comfort level with returning to the workplace."

What Envoy Has Learned

Envoy technology being used in the lobby of Galvanize.

Like many companies across the world, Envoy's roughly 130-person workforce has done the bulk of its work remotely. The company is slowly reopening its Kansas City office and working on future reopening plans for its San Francisco office.

While many Envoy employees are looking forward to returning to the office in some capacity, the company will ultimately move forward with a hybrid work model where some employees work in the office and others continue to work remotely.

"That's the great thing about technology, we're able to do a lot of this work remotely," Harris says.

The COVID-19 crisis has also given the company a chance to step back and learn a little more about itself and its customers. Harris says that being able to work through the pandemic to meet the needs of their customers gives the company confidence in the future and its ability to meet the challenges for the office of tomorrow, whatever that may look like.

"This is the great thing about working for a startup and being a startup, that our DNA includes the ability to adapt and be nimble, to pivot where we need to," Harris says. "We made some changes to run as efficiently as we can and we're doubling down on our commitment to challenge the status quo of the workplace and workplace technology."

From a customer standpoint, the COVID-19 crisis reaffirmed that the company's focus on workplace safety is as important as ever and Harris says some businesses started to adapt Envoy's technology even before they developed Envoy Protect.

"We learned that people rely on our software for solving problems and they're very creative about how they can use those tools to solve their problems," Harris says

For example, some companies have used Envoy's visitor management system to conduct remote job interviews and remote meetings during the COVID-19 crisis. They have also used the software to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Harris says privacy is extremely important to Envoy customers and that is something they will continue to balance as they adapt their technology to create a healthy and safe environment for the return to work.

Click here to see current job openings at Envoy.

How has your company evolved from the COVID-19 crisis?

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If you're interested in participating in the Employer Evolution series, contact Aaron Sanborn at aaron@workitdaily.com.

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