Category: News

3 minutes read time

Goodbye tradition, hello hybrid workforce

Say goodbye to spending 40 hours a week at the same desk… and embrace the new: the hybrid workforce.

The traditional workforce served us well through the twentieth century. But with a global pandemic, things have changed – fast.

The hybrid workforce is not entirely new. We’ve been doing this since the rise of digital collaboration technology (think Skype, Slack, Google Docs…). But it’s changing rapidly as the needs of organizations and employees adapt to the quickly-evolving world around them.

As employees return to the office, employers are looking for future-proofed solutions to enable the hybrid balance of remote and on-site work along with keeping employees safe, happy, and productive.

With the introduction of new workplace policies around the global pandemic, tools and software to assist with managing capacity limits, ensuring social distancing measures and managing a hybrid workforce are more popular than ever.

50% of respondents stated they are interested in introducing hybrid workforce features

WhosOnLocation surveyed employers of varying sizes in 2020 around emerging hybrid workforce solutions, particularly employee scheduling and hot desking. 50 percent of respondents stated they are interested in introducing hybrid working features, with 70 percent of that segment looking to implement them within the next 12 months.

Why is the hybrid workforce becoming popular?

The rise in popularity is partly due to necessity from the ongoing pandemic, lockdowns, and the need for employees to work remotely, but also due to the shift in the employee and employer mindset.

Lockdown meant many workforces that didn’t normally allow remote work had to invest in infrastructure to make it happen. Employers and their employees had to build mutual trust and respect to make it work. Some of the challenges?

  • Ensuring IP was kept safe outside of the on-site workforce, especially where employees or contractors are in shared living environments
  • Making sure employees were feeling okay, physically and mentally (for example, providing ergonomic chairs, helping out with internet bills, or having virtual team yoga sessions)
  • Helping teams be efficient and productive in a challenging environment and providing support if things became difficult
  • Finding ways to collaborate and connect with peers while working in a solo environment

Whatever the hurdles were, we made it work.

Now, as employees are starting to return to the office, they’re demanding a more flexible environment, and employers need to understand the changes that have happened since the rise in remote work due to the pandemic, and how that has affected where and how work is performed.

In 2020, employers needed a way to empower their employees and provide them with tools to operate remotely while also understanding the importance of the workforce environment and in-person collaboration. This trend rose during 2021 and will most likely continue to grow exponentially as more organizations open their doors across the globe for their employees to return for at least a day a week to the location of the organization.

41% of workforces are thinking about implementing hot-desking for their hybrid workforce

In our global survey, WhosOnLocation found that 41 percent of respondents were interested in a hot-desking solution for hybrid work, with 78 percent looking to implement it in the workforce in the next 12 months. The survey also found that their commitments and home duties have adapted significantly during the rise of the pandemic.

If you’d like to know more about the hybrid workforce and how WhosOnLocation can help you, click the button below.

2 minutes read time

Meet Jessie, our customer support superstar

It is with excitement that we introduce Jessie, our new Customer Support Team member, bringing with her years of experience and knowledge in the customer support space. Jessie is our first of many employee spotlights, read on to learn more about Jessie and her answers to some hard-hitting questions.

How long have you been with the company?

Just over 8 and a half weeks. I moved from Palace, another MRI software company located in Upper Hutt, as I was looking for a change and I have loved every minute since joining (especially the office and all the people in it!).

What does your job entail?

Being part of the Customer Support Team means that no two day are the same, with customers having a range of questions. Each day I focus on assisting customers with queries they have about the WhosOnLocation product, aiming to solve them as quickly as possible. Because we offer 24/7 support, I am always busy which I love.

What is your favorite feature of WOL and why?

My favorite feature of WhosOnLocation would have to be WolMobile, as it allows an easy way for my employer to track when I am on or offsite as well as a timestamp when I leave in case of an emergency. WolMobile is easy to use and is flexible to the requirements of our customers which I think is very important.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I am an Australian/New Zealand Rock n Roll Dancing Champion.

What’s your coffee order?

Large vanilla latte, sweet, caffeinated, and creamy, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Any podcasts/books/movies reccommedations?

The Secret Life of Bees, a movie set in the 1960s. It has themes including the irrationality of racism, the power of the female community, and the importance of storytelling, a must watch!

And lastly, what’s your Friday go-to lunch order?

It would be rude not to say the reliable, delicious, and filling Chicken Katsu Sushi. I can’t go past it on a Friday.

3 minutes read time

Top 4 technologies to help employees feel safe as they return to work

It is fair to say that lockdown in the UK has been a strange and testing time with over 35% of Brits doing some form of working from home. However, with lockdown restrictions easing since 19 July 2021 people are starting to return to their workplaces, but with this comes a big challenge that businesses face in adapting office environments to a different way of working.  

But with over five million people fearing returning to work what will this look like? Without a doubt, there will be plenty of new safety protocols involving strict personal hygiene and physical distancing, but how do we make this transition as simple and as safe as possible?  

As employers, we are all navigating a different territory. The workplace we left many months ago is unlikely to be the same when we return. We haven’t experienced anything like this before, most organizations don’t have plans in place on how to return to the workplace and if they do, they haven’t been tested and in these unprecedented times the reality is likely to be very different.

Using technology to keep your employees safe

Companies across the UK face so many challenges when it comes to opening their offices again, it can be hard to know the best way to ensure employee welfare is maintained.  We’ve pulled together the top 4 features to look out for in any people presence software:

Employee and guest screening

Screening all employees and guests before they come on-site ensures only those that meet your on-site criteria are granted access. Giving you and your employees confidence that only those people who meet your organizations wellness criteria are able to gain access.

It’s also incredibly beneficial to get alerted when you encounter a person who does not meet your criteria so they can be added to a watchlist and automatically denied should they attempt to gain access.

Touchless sign in/out

The less surfaces we all touch in the workplace the better for slowing the spread of germs. Ensure your software has the option for employees and guests to enter and exit your location using a touchless kiosk, QR code poster, mobile app or via the front of house team. These systems reduce health risks, improve overall hygiene, and create peace of mind for anyone entering or exiting your organization.

On-site policy acknowledgement

To maintain the highest level of hygiene for your employees and guests. Having the ability to ask everyone entering your location to read and acknowledge your onsite policies. This could be as simple as asking them to agree that they will use hand sanitiser or keep 2 meters from another person. Ensure that any question not answered correctly someone in your team can be notified and access to denied.

Limit numbers on-site

Automatically set the number of people allowed to be on-site at any one time rather than leaving it up to an individual. This feature removes the responsibility on the  front of house team or security team ensuring anyone attempting to gain access when on-site numbers are met are denied and one of your employees are notified. A great feature for managing on-site social distancing.

WhosOnLocation offers these and other features to help you keep your organization and those within it safe and secure. Click here to learn more.

3 minutes read time

A hybrid style of work is here to stay

More so than ever are we working remotely, with employers needing to rethink office space, collaboration, and requirements within the workplace. As the world population slowly becomes vaccinated, questions are arising as to what the future of the workplace will be. A hybrid style of work is attracting attention, with employees having the ability to work in multiple different spaces, including corporate offices, coworking spaces, public spaces, and most commonly, from home.

What is a hybrid style of work?

A hybrid workplace supports every style of work, with employees confirming that at the heart of this is their desire for flexibility. This offers employees a seamless experience and gives them a greater sense of control and freedom with how they work.

Flexible work is here to stay, so it is essential that employers harness this knowledge and create a workspace that aids collaboration and suits the new style of work employees are demanding. Another significant consideration is an increased focus on employee wellbeing, improving inclusion within the workplace, whether a worker is remote or full-time back in the workplace.

What does this mean for your business?

Warren Buffet acknowledged that “the supply and demand for office space has changed significantly … and when change happens in the world, you adjust to it”. Employers that fail to harness this new style of working will fall behind, with this creating an opportunity for companies to validate employees’ concerns and provide an environment where each individual can succeed.

How can WhosOnLocation help?

WhosOnLocation can help to ensure a safe environment for employees choosing to work collaboratively and come into their workplace. We can provide up-to-date information with how many individuals are onsite at once, ensuring that there is a limit to the number of employees within the workplace, guaranteeing that physical distancing occurs. 

Health screening questions can also be included for all individuals coming on-site, including custom questions such as ‘Have you experienced flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days?”.

Top 5 benefits of a hybrid workplace

  1. Working from home allows employees to complete uninterrupted work, avoiding distractions that would usually occur within an office. On average, remote workers are 20-25% more effective when working at home, emphasizing the success of spending a few days a week at home.
  2. Employers have more time to spend on their own mental health and wellbeing after avoiding commutes to and from work each day, greatly increasing their spare recreational time with family and friends.
  3. Flexible work hours, as employees have the ability to choose the hours they work whilst still ensuring they complete their dedicated 8 hours.
  4. Office spaces can be transformed into more collaborative areas for when employees come into the office, helping to provide the sense of ‘team’ when they are all together.
  5. An increased emphasis on productivity rather than efficiency. Management has switched its focus to supporting team members with the resources they need to complete a project rather than viewing it as simply hours inputted equalling to work output 
  6. Increased savings for employers as office space is required less, therefore decreasing the amount spent on rental costs. Additionally, employees are also saving as they are now spending less time and money on a commute to work

New to WhosOnLocation?

Get started with a FREE 30-day trial today. No credit card required.

5 minutes read time

Survey Finds Majority of Professionals Expect to Be Back in Office Full Time by Q4, Confirms Heightened Health and Safety Concerns

Worries regarding return to work include office hygiene, occupancy, commute exposure, and reliable contact tracing

BETHESDA, MD., May 13, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET – According to the 2021 Return to the Office Survey published today by Brivo, the global leader in cloud access control and related technologies, and WhosOnLocation, a provider of people presence management software, 53% of workers expect to be back in a physical office full-time within the next six months. However, 59% of respondents have expressed health and safety concerns about returning, with the highest levels of anxiety emerging from personnel in professional services, such as finance, IT, recruitment/HR (72%), and creative services, including voluntary/charity workers, marketing/PR, arts & design (62%).

According to respondents, the biggest concerns about returning to work are:

  • Office hygiene and protective measures
  • Proximity to other workers
  • Exposure during commuting
  • Effectiveness of contact tracing

As outlined on Brivo’s Commercial Reopening Index, 58% of the U.S. is reopened with agriculture/forestry/fishing, construction, and retail as the top three reopened industries.

“As COVID vaccines roll out, organizations that have been operating remotely or at lower capacities are now planning for a return to offices and other workplaces. While some may remain remote permanently, those who are returning need to address health and safety,” said Steve Van Till, CEO, and founder of Brivo. “People need simple, practical ways to enforce contact tracing, social distancing, and healthy building requirements.”

Darren Whitaker-Barnett, CEO of WhosOnLocation, added, “Despite the shift to remote and hybrid work arrangements during the pandemic, it’s clear that the office still plays an integral role in driving culture and collaboration. Flexible technology will help organizations welcome employees back to the office while ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone on site.”

When asked which solutions would give them the most confidence in returning, the results showed that 49% prefer temperature scanning as the main solution, with limiting the number of people on site (39%), touchless door entry (34%), and mask detection (32%) close behind. Touch-free sign-in and sign-out for contact tracing and social distancing measures were also highlighted, at 30% and 29% respectively.

For workers who remained in offices throughout the pandemic, the vast majority have been satisfied with the practices, protocols, and technologies that their organizations have implemented to protect them against COVID-19. The most common protective measures include providing masks, hand sanitizer, or other gear (73%); increasing cleaning protocols (59%); enforcing physical distancing (55%); and requiring temperature checks or thermal scanning for on-site access (48%).

Brivo and WhosOnLocation provide technology solutions to help businesses protect the health and safety of their employees, customers, contractors, visitors, students, and residents as they re-enter facilities. Organizations can leverage the Brivo Facility Safety Features and WhosOnLocation’s presence management solutions to protect everyone in their buildings and improve access control and on-site safety and security in the ‘new normal.’ Tools include occupancy tracking, contact reporting, personnel control, visitor management and reporting, touchless sign-in and mobile self-screening.

Complete Results

Complete results are available via the Brivo website in the 2021 Brivo Return to Work Report: Transitioning Back to The Office After COVID, which details why businesses are returning to the office, how COVID has changed employee needs and ways employers can address workplace concerns through touchless technology and access control.


This survey was conducted via email in March 2021, using an audience of Survey Monkey users as respondents. Five hundred thirty-eight people took the survey. Responses came from all U.S. states except Vermont and Wyoming, with the highest numbers coming from California, Florida, New York, and Texas. Twenty-five industries were represented with the highest percentages from healthcare, IT/computing, retail, and education. A plurality of respondents occupied the staff level (44.2%), followed by manager (26%), administrator/associate (16%), director (6%), C-suite (6%), and vice president (1.38%). Slightly more males than females (52% to 49%) participated. Age brackets broke down as follows: 45-60: 33%; 30-44: 31% 18-29: 22%; 60 and older: 14%. 

About Brivo

Brivo is the global leader in mobile, cloud-based access control for commercial real estate, multifamily residential, and large distributed enterprises. Our comprehensive product ecosystem and open API provide businesses with powerful digital tools to increase security automation, elevate employee and tenant experience, and improve the safety of all people and assets in the built environment. Having created the category over twenty years ago, our building access platform is now the digital foundation for the largest collection of customer facilities in the world, trusted by more than 25 million users occupying over 300M square feet of secured space in 42 countries.

Our dedication to simply better security means providing the best technology and support to property owners, managers, and tenants as they look for more from buildings where they live, work, and play. Our comprehensive product suite includes access control, smart readers, touchless mobile credentials, visitor management, occupancy monitoring, health and safety features, and integrated video surveillance, smart locks, and intercoms. Valued for its simple installation, high-reliability backbone, and rich API partner network, Brivo also has the longest track record of cybersecurity audits and privacy protections in the industry.

Brivo is privately held and headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Learn more at 

About WhosOnLocation

WhosOnLocation, an MRI Software company, provides people presence management software to monitor the safe and secure movement of people through buildings and work sites. Our powerful, cloud-based solution unites visitor, contractor, employee, and emergency management, enabling organizations to secure their facilities and ensure the safety of every person on-site. Armed with a rich, unified source of people presence information, our users are empowered to make more strategic, data-driven decisions that mitigate risk, reduce overhead costs, and streamline operations. Compliant with ISO:27001 2013 for Information Security Management. WhosOnLocation serves organizations in 42 countries around the world and manages over 60 million secure movements through thousands of locations each year.

For more information, visit

3 minutes read time

Media Release: MRI Software Acquires WhosOnLocation, adding global workplace safety and security offering

PropTech category founder bolsters its workplace management capabilities with addition of integrated set of employee, visitor and contractor management applications

Solon, Ohio – March 4, 2021MRI Software, a global leader in real estate software, announces that it has acquired New Zealand-based WhosOnLocation, which provides an integrated solution that empowers organizations to address workplace safety and security needs. An enterprise-class, cloud-based platform with employee, visitor, contractor and emergency management applications, WhosOnLocation extends MRI’s workplace management offering to cover anyone who might have a physical presence on a commercial property, including industries such as manufacturing, services, and education.

“We are excited to welcome WhosOnLocation to the MRI family at a time when ensuring wellbeing and safety in the workplace is more critical than ever,” says Patrick Ghilani, Chief Executive Officer of MRI Software. “The acquisition enhances the comprehensive capabilities of our integrated workplace management solutions to enable the increased business agility organizations need to reimagine their workplaces. WhosOnLocation boosts our ability to support health and security measures, covering both landlords and tenants, as well as the wider community that engages with a property – reducing risk for everyone.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to an increased need for agile workplaces, WhosOnLocation enables organizations to manage presence by tracking who is onsite at a property – or across multiple locations – at any time. The solution brings additional automation and efficiency to workplace safety and security management with arrival notifications, access permissions, emergency and evacuation management, and more. WhosOnLocation’s global client base will benefit from the added resources and innovation that come with being part of a well-established industry leader.

Darren Whittaker-Barnett, WhosOnLocation’s Chief Executive Officer, notes: “MRI offers the scale and global reach we need to accelerate the growth of our business in both our existing markets and new territories. Becoming part of MRI also offers our customers the opportunity to tap into its broad range of innovative workplace management solutions, which enable organizations of all types to more effectively manage their real estate portfolios and meet today’s unique business challenges.”

Used by facilities management teams, property managers and others involved in building operations to manage visitor, employee and service provider presence, WhosOnLocation manages nearly 5,000 facilities for 1,600 customers across 46 countries. Headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, the company also operates in Australia, the UK, Europe, Canada and the US. MRI will continue to support WhosOnLocation users without interruption.

GrowthPoint Technology Partners, a Silicon Valley-based investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to WhosOnLocation.

About MRI Software

MRI Software is a leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI’s comprehensive, flexible, open and connected platform empowers owners, operators and occupiers in commercial and residential property organisations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the PropTech industry for over five decades, serving more than two million users worldwide. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to elevate their business and gain a competitive edge. For more information, please visit


Platform Communications for MRI

Hugh Filman (+44 7905 044850)

or Zoe Mumba (+44 7725 832393)

(US for MRI)

Rachel Antman

+1 212-362-5837

3 minutes read time

New WhosOnLocation Website

We are very proud to announce the launch of our redesigned WhosOnLocation website.  

Considering the lifespan of a website is 2 years 7 months on average – it was certainly time to rethink, and refresh.

How we decided it was time to refresh

We started with taking an inward look and asked ourselves if: 

  1. Our messaging had evolved (by gosh it had).
  2. Had our content strategy changed (yes, got to keep evolving).
  3. Had the industry evolved (sure has and gosh it’s exciting).
  4. Were we keeping up with design trends (did someone say dark ages?).
  5. Was the site mobile responsive and did it look great on these devices (it certainly didn’t).

It was a resounding yes from the whole team to redesign the site!

Our path to a new site

We followed a simple 7 step process (design might challenge me on the use of the word “simple”). 

  1. User testing. Before we even started talking about design we user-tested our old site. Deep diving into where customers and prospects struggled, what they loved, and what they thought we could do better. 
  2. Wireframes. The feedback from the user testing informed our design and our first set of wireframes. 
  3. Internal testing. We shared the wireframes with our internal team to rip apart, challenge our thinking and offer new suggestions. 
  4. Revision, revision, revision. Using the feedback from our internal testing we did several rounds of revision until we had our slick new design. 
  5. External testing. We invited a group of external testers to review the new site. Asking them to tell us what they didn’t understand, what was awesome, and where we could make improvements. 
  6. Deep in the code. Our design team got deep into the code. Building the new site. Normally a chatty bunch, we had months of barely a peep out of them. (Don’t worry they are back to their normal selves:)). 
  7. With the help of our DevOps team, we pushed the site live! 

What we’ve learned 

As with any project, it’s great to look back and see what we have learned to take to our next website refresh. Learnings are gold. 

  • As much as you plan, unexpected challenges will crop up, and deadlines will be pushed.
  • What seems like a simple design, generally isn’t. 
  • Things take way longer than anticipated.
  • Keeping the current site and building a new one internally at the same time is challenging.
  • Design and development don’t always match. 

Take a look and tell us what you think

We hope you love the new site as much as we do. As always we welcome your feedback, if you have feedback to share good or bad please click here

3 minutes read time

G2 reviews – WhosOnLocation named High Performer

Based on G2 reviews, the site has named WhosOnLocation as a High Performer for Winter 2021. It’s official: our users love the application. Not to toot our own horns too much, but we thought we’d dig a little deeper into the features and areas that left our customers so happy last year. 

What is G2? 

G2 is the world’s largest tech marketplace, with well over a million software reviews from real users. G2 releases detailed reports at the end of each season, announcing the top performers of each category on the site. These reports are based on reviews.

G2 WhosOnLocation reviews

WhosOnLocation was named a high performer for Winter 2021. This means we have high customer satisfaction scores compared to many other visitor management systems. Scores are calculated based on customer reviews. In each review, customers leave comments on what they loved about the product. They also detail how the software has helped them overcome specific problems.  

What do our customers say about us?

G2 WhosOnLocation reviews

There are a few stand-out themes in the feedback we receive from our customers.

Safety features

WhosOnLocation goes beyond visitor management, with some surprising safety benefits for employees and contractors. One G2 reviewer said our releases included “Some of the best safety enhancements I’ve ever seen”

Our two mobile apps, WolEvac and WolMobile, are stand-out features. The geofencing technology used by WolMobile automatically signs employees and contractors in as they arrive for work and signs them out again as they leave. This means our customers’ people presence reports are as accurate as possible, and should a workplace be evacuated in an emergency, first responders know exactly who’s on-site. 

Excellent customer service

Customers consistently list our customer service levels as one of the reasons they love WhosOnLocation. In a recent case study, a customer from Beckman Coulter in the US said “I’m a customer service nut, and the service from WhosOnLocation is always phenomenal.”

Our friendly team is on-hand 24/7, and often responds within the hour. 

Improved communication

For larger businesses with a number of contractors, WhosOnLocation is perfect for improving communication. Using WolMobile, you can ensure everyone on-site is provided with the safety information they need. 

Use the home screen to display important safety info in-app as employees and contractors sign in. You can also ask everyone on-site to acknowledge important safety information as they arrive. If conditions change, you can even broadcast updates as a push notification.

New to WhosOnLocation? 

Keen to try our people presence software? All features mentioned are included in one subscription price – and you can trial them all for free for 30 days. Get started here

4 minutes read time

Busy front of house? A virtual receptionist can help.

WhosOnLocation’s latest integration brings us one step closer to a fully virtual receptionist. Introducing Alexa for Business by WhosOnLocation. Welcome to the future!

What is a virtual receptionist? 

When we think about virtual receptionists, two different scenarios spring to mind. There are teams of remote receptionists who are contracted to take calls for a number of businesses. And then there is the futuristic type – AI fuelled robots who automate the entire process for you. 

Fully functioning robots aren’t widely available just yet. However, there are a number of technologies that can automate tasks and take the strain off under-resourced teams. 

  • Visitor management software can automate the sign-in process. WhosOnLocation allows visitors to sign themselves in, presents instructions on where to wait, and automatically notifies their host. These self-serve kiosks are even available in a touchless, hygienic format. 
  • Voice-activated assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa for Business, can further personalize this process. By integrating with visitor management software, we can take our virtual receptionists up a gear; audibly welcoming guests and announcing arrivals.

Benefits of a virtual receptionist

We’ve already hinted at a few of the benefits, but let’s take a closer look at why you might need a virtual receptionist. 

Your front of house team is busy

Small businesses can still make a big impact when their visitors arrive. Rather than scrambling to unlock a door or locate a visitor’s host, let a virtual receptionist take on some of the load. 

With visitor admin largely taken care of, your front of house team can use their time more wisely. They’ll also be able to run errands and take breaks in the knowledge the front desk is always ‘manned.’

You have a large facility with multiple access points

How do you cover every access point to ensure employees and contractors are always signing in? Whether you need to carry out health screening, contact tracing, or simply know who’s on-site for health and safety reasons, virtual receptionists can ensure no one slips through the cracks. 

Your facility contains a number of hazardous zones

Think of this less like a virtual receptionist, and more like a virtual health and safety assistant. By placing sign-in kiosks or QR code posters at the entrance to each of your hazardous zones, you can ensure your employees and contractors have the information they need. Check out this blog for more details. 

Alexa for Business integration 

WhosOnLocation’s latest integration with Alexa for Business enhances the way you use your subscription. Here are some possible use cases to get the creative juices flowing… 

Welcome your visitors

Have a spiel you need to communicate to all visitors? Whether it’s ‘please keep your visitor pass visible’ or ‘ensure you wear a mask’, have Alexa automate the process for you. Once a guest has finished signing in at your kiosk, Alexa can verbally welcome them, and pass on any important information they might need to know. 

Alex for Business Integration

Announce an arrival

Meanwhile, inside your facility, you can keep an Alexa device close to your employee workstations to act as a doorbell. Alexa can announce when a visitor or contractor has signed in and is waiting to be collected from reception. This announcement can include their name and who they are visiting. 

Deny employee entry

Currently, carrying out health screening or imposing maximum occupancy to adhere to social distancing? Whatever your reason for denying an employee entry to your facility, create a trigger in WhosOnLocation to automatically prevent sign in, and have Alexa communicate the reason why. 

Remind contractors of expiring documentation

Whether it’s a safety induction, insurances or a qualification in need of renewal, have Alexa verbally remind your contractors of expiring documentation when they sign in. 

From visitor management software to voice-activated assistants, we are certainly edging ever closer to a truly useful virtual receptionist.

Ready to get started? 

To get started you’ll need an AWS enterprise account and a WhosOnLocation subscription. Visit our Help Center for step-by-step instructions on enabling the Alexa for Business integration. 

New to WhosOnLocation? 

Get started with a FREE 30 day trial today. No credit card required. 

8 minutes read time

We’re ISO-27001 certified. Here’s why it was worth it.

Are you a cloud-based service looking into getting ISO-27001 certification? Are you wondering about the process, the benefits, and whether it’s worth it?

There are a lot of articles about ISO-27001 written by security and compliance consultancy firms, but there’s not much out there about what it’s actually like from the perspective of an organization going through the process.

This was something we thought was lacking when we were doing our research, so we thought – why don’t we share our first-hand account?

This blog post addresses some of the big questions we had before making a decision.

Why become ISO-27001 certified? 

After completing our GDPR compliance requirements prior to its implementation in May 2018 we decided to pursue ISO-27001 certification.

We realized that in an ever-evolving security landscape, our customers were becoming more and more stringent in their procurement process. With major security breaches such as the Dropbox incident in 2016 (which led to the leaking of 68 million user passwords) and the iCloud leak of more than 500 private celebrity photos in 2014, organizations are much more aware of the security risks of using cloud-based services.

Prospective customers were beginning to ask us detailed and specific questions about our security management processes. One question that kept coming up was “Are you ISO 27001-certified?” We knew many of our competitors were attaining SOC 2, but direct customer feedback was telling us that ISO-27001 was more important for our particular service and market niche: we serve many international enterprises, and ISO is more globally applicable than SOC 2. This, of course, is something that your organization needs to weigh up. 

How long does it take to get ISO-27001 certified? 

We found it really difficult to find an answer to this online – and now it’s very clear why. It really does completely depend on your organization. We had read everything from a couple of months to more than a year. It took us 18 months.

There were a few factors that stretched the process out for us:

  • We are a relatively small team, and we did not have a dedicated person working on this full-time, so our IT and Security departments were working on ISO over and above BAU.
  • We also decided to address and meet every control as outlined in Annex A of the standard, including things that were not necessarily risks for us. This was a decision to be completely thorough and follow best practice. Some organizations might not choose to do this.

“ISO 27001 is very resource hungry on your teams, and when you are trying to focus on growth, ISO can seem like a distraction. But it is not. It is an essential part of our DNA and creates opportunities for growth in your people, your culture, and your customer footprint.”
– Darren Whitaker-Barnett, CEO

Is ISO-27001 certification worth the time, energy and cost?

For us, becoming ISO 27001-certified was absolutely worth it. Even despite the fact that we had contracts that were contingent upon our eventual certification, this was a sound business decision for so many reasons.

“This process has been great for building customer confidence. And it lowers the barriers to sale when we are interacting with potential customers. For many of them, it’s a must. And for the others, it’s a huge bonus.”

– Andrew Thompson, Chief Security Officer

Business benefits for us include…

  • Having a solid foundation to pursue other security certifications or attestations, such as SOC 2
  • Establishing a strong security culture throughout our organization
  • Living and breathing our vision to become the most trusted people presence management system in the market
  • Further establishing our brand as the top choice for enterprise-level organizations
  • Potential cost savings in the long run that come from having a sound information security management system

“Being ISO 27001-certified allows us to speak confidently about our security practices because we know we’re following international best practice. That’s the best value you can possibly offer from a security perspective.”

– Tom Peck, Chief Technology Officer

What is the ISO-27001 certification process like?

We engaged Axenic, a security consultancy agency, to assess our current state of security, conduct internal audits and assist us on the path to certification (getting us ready for external audit and assessment – which was ultimately conducted by a third party auditor from BSI).

“It was the right decision to engage a security and compliance consultant. We couldn’t have done this without Lisa [from Axenic].”

– Tom Peck, Chief Technology Officer

Firstly, Axenic conducted a gap analysis using the Framework in conjunction with Annex A of ISO/IEC 27001 to create a Current Profile. As we mentioned earlier, we decided to implement everything in Annex A – even things that were not risks to our business/security processes – this was a business decision to follow best practice.

After this, we conducted a risk assessment. This report identified which controls were there and did not need improvement, which controls were already there but did need improvement, and which controls needed to be implemented from scratch. These are “risks” and are categorized as either low, moderate or critical.

Originally, we identified 35 risks. We achieved certification with only 7 areas of concern (though none enough to be a nonconformity).

“The process was not complicated, but we certainly had no idea how extensive or time-consuming it would be.”
– Andrew Thompson, Chief Security Officer

What kind of ongoing maintenance does it require to keep ISO-27001 certification?

ISO-27001 requires consistent management and maintenance. We’ve seen it said that ISO is a lifestyle, and that’s definitely true!

Retention of ISO 27001 certification includes…

  • An annual surveillance audit makes sure you’re on track to managing all outstanding areas of concern
  • A 3-yearly major re-audit will determine your eligibility to retain certification
  • There will be other reports and documentation that requires even more regular review, bi-monthly etc.

Should you get ISO-27001 certified? 

Consider ISO-27001…

  • If you want to serve customers in countries like Japan and India, it’s a legal requirement.
  • If your customer base includes international organizations, ISO-27001 is more widely applicable globally than SOC 2.
  • If your customers include large enterprises, it is good practice, and it removes a barrier when trying to get new customers over the line.


  • If you’re a small company (say, smaller than 20 people), consider that there are many roles that are required of staff over and above BAU, so a small team may not feasibly be able to complete or maintain ISO-27001.
  • If you only service small businesses (who generally are less discerning than larger organizations) ISO-27001 certification is possibly not necessary.

“ISO certification has created a ‘security first’ mentality in our office culture; this is an absolute must-have when dealing with customer information.”

– Darren Whitaker-Barnett, CEO

Our advice to any organization going through the certification process:

Make sure you’ve got the resources to get through it because it’s not something you can go into half-heartedly. For example, sometimes it will make sense to bring in external experts.

Make sure you’ve brought everyone in the company along on the journey. This requires a big culture shift, so make sure everyone understands why this is important and what the process is like.

Make sure you have enough people to fill the roles required by the standard. We have a relatively small leadership team so with all the roles necessary it might not have been possible to do it if the team were any smaller.

You need someone to really own and drive this process internally. For us, this was our CEO – he was committed to this and really gave it everything. It had his full attention over and above everything else.


We are not security or compliance consultancy. Everything outlined in this article is purely our own experience or opinion. Every organization considering ISO-27001 should undertake their own research and gain professional advice before making a decision.

About WhosOnLocation

WhosOnLocation provides people presence management software that monitors the safe and secure movement of people through buildings and work sites. Our powerful, cloud-based solution unites visitor, contractor, employee, and emergency management, enabling organizations to secure their facilities and ensure the safety of every person on-site. Armed with a rich, unified source of people presence information, our users are empowered to make more strategic, data-driven decisions that mitigate risk, reduce overhead costs, and streamline operations. Compliant with ISO:27001 2013 for Information Security Management. WhosOnLocation serves organizations in 42 countries around the world and manages over 60 million secure movements through thousands of locations each year. For more information, visit

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2020 vision: Where is facility management heading?

The expectation of your role as a facility manager is to manage costs without compromising workers’ experience, which is becoming increasingly difficult with the pressure to become more efficient, both financially and in terms of energy, while satisfying multicultural and intergenerational teams. To ensure facility managers stay on top of their demanding job, it is important to keep up to date with facility management trends. So what are they? Don’t get left behind, learn what 2020 has in store for you.

Click here for infographic

Top trends of 2020:

1. Smart technology

Technology continues to redefine the world around us, and there is no exception when it comes to facility management. As we enter into 2020, we can expect to see the majority of buildings adopt smart technologies as it is not only cost-effective, but you can also reduce your organization’s environmental impact. The five core benefits of smart technologies include:

  • Integrated workplace and wellbeing management solutions to drive productivity, performance, and longevity 
  • Energy and sustainability solutions for eco-friendly carbon footprint impact and compliance 
  • Increased efficiency via automation for workstream optimization and cost-saving 
  • Predictive maintenance capability for effective operations and better asset management
  • Best practice and agile processes for converting reactive activities into smart services

2. Employee wellness programs

The productivity and wellbeing of employees have taken center stage in recent years, with organizations recognizing the value of happy and engaged staff when they have excellent mental and physical health. The health and wellness of their employees usually have a direct effect on the productivity and profits of a company. 

Wellbeing programs have led to a trend in FM managers focusing on the creation of workplace strategies that actively promote engagement, wellbeing, and, ultimately, the productivity of their staff. Some strategies include: 

  • Healthy lunch and snacks
  • Assistance programs
  • Naps
  • Fitness activities 

3. Sustainable solutions

The responsibility of sustainable solutions will only expand in the future for facility managers, as it’s a given fact that buildings account for almost 40% of global energy use, therefore sustainability has become an essential strategic topic. 

Existing assets and systems will need to be put into a sustainable framework, including making life-cycle assessments and undertaking life-cycle building management. Training employees in maintaining a sustainable workplace and developing new methods to reduce energy levels, waste and carbon footprint overall, is the future of facility management. 

4. Drones for inspection 

Within facility management, drones are primarily being used for inspections in hard to reach areas such as rooftop equipment or building facades. Drones can save time by preventing the need to erect scaffolding or aerial work platforms which also makes it cost effective. 

5. Augmented reality 

Augmented reality will enhance visibility and allow you to experience situations without physically being there. This will improve awareness of the surrounding risks and asset monitoring, especially for those that are difficult to access, such as pipes buried deep within walls or underground tunnels that may be dangerous to walk through. Maintenance tasks and system modifications can be completed more efficiently while helping protect workers. 

6. Outsourcing

There is a lot of pressure on companies in the modern world to offer value to their customers, forcing them to constantly innovate and expand their core services to deliver more and more value. The consequence of this is often a reduction in their non-core facility management budget, at the same time as employees and clients expect better workplace experiences. This is exactly what makes outsourcing such an attractive proposition and an upcoming trend in facility management.

7. Collaborative spaces

Collaborative spaces have quickly become a hot trend in office design over the last few years, and for a good reason. More space to collaborate in an office means improved employee morale, creativity, and productivity. 

It is no surprise that most of these trends stem from the evolution of technology. WhosOnLocation is one smart technology that has revolutionized the way thousands of organizations manage the safety and security of everyone on site. A paper book can record the details of who is on site but is ineffective when it comes to ensuring visitor data isn’t shared with others, that contractors have the relevant insurances, are inducted to site processes and procedure, and most importantly everyone is able to be accounted for in the unfortunate event of an emergency. 

Take a free 30 day, no obligation trial of WhosOnLocation today to find out how our smart technology can help you manage visitors, contractors, employees, and emergencies