The WhosOnLocation Blog

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Use WhosOnLocation to meet government and organizational sign-in and contact tracing needs.

4 minutes read time

Most businesses globally are required to display a government-issued QR code which those entering their workplace need to scan. But asking your visitors to sign in to both WhosOnLocation and then a separate process for the government-issued QR code could be viewed as a cumbersome process and poor visitor experience. 

Good news, using existing tools available in your WhosOnLocation visitor sign in process you can now combine your standard WhosOnLocation sign in experience with your government-issued QR code.

Government-issued QR code

Governments globally are mandating the use of QR code posters to help with contact tracing. All visitors and employees are required to scan the government-issued QR code with their smartphones before entering a business. In the unfortunate event that a case of COVID-19 is reported, the government can use this data to trace the scope of the community and workplace outbreak and reach out to any close contacts to reduce the likelihood of further transmission.

Complementary protection

By combining the government-issued QR code system with your WhosOnLocation subscription you are adding an additional tool to your risk management strategy. Allowing you to:

  • Screen those coming on-site and identify anyone that may pose a risk to those people in your duty of care; your employees and other guests.
  • Deliver a seamless sign-in experience for your guests. 
  • Meet your compliance obligations regarding government-mandated contact tracing without having to choose between the government QR code and your people presence system.
  • Support social distancing guidelines by setting occupancy limits within your WhosOnLocation account. These will then alert you when total occupancy is nearing or has breached, these limits.
  • Easily access comprehensive people presence reporting in the unfortunate event of an alert that your workplace might have been exposed to a person of risk.

How do the two systems work together?

You can choose from three options to combine the two systems depending on the experience you want to offer your employees and guests.

Option 1 – Add the government QR code to your kiosk sign-in process

When employees and guests arrive on-site they:

  1. Follow the normal kiosk sign in process.
  2. Scan the government-issued QR code when presented with the question on the kiosk.
  3. Complete the sign in process.

Option 2 – Add the government QR code to your touchless sign-in process

When employees and guests arrive on-site they:

  1. Scan the QR code on your kiosk/poster to start the touchless sign-in process. 
  2. Follow the normal sign in process, at the end direct users to scan the government QR code poster.

Tip: As a back up we recommend having your government QR code poster displayed in your reception and at all entry points for those who can’t sign in using a smartphone.

Option 3 – QR code poster

If you don’t want to make changes to your kiosk sign in process or only use our QR code posters, we have a poster option available. When an employee or guest arrives on-site they will need to follow the steps on the poster:

  • Scan the government QR code. 
  • Scan the WhosOnLocation QR code and enter their details, answering any questions required to complete your normal sign-in process. 

To add your unique QR codes and branding to the poster we have created a design file you can edit.

Commonly asked questions

What if I already use a visitor management system can’t I provide a report from this? Unfortunately, the new rules require organizations to use government-issued QR code. Remember, the government contact tracing systems are not visitor management systems. They do not ask visitors to select a host, they do not capture other information like vehicle parking details, or ask the visitor to sign waivers or NDA’s or any of the other common visitor management workflows. 

Your visitor management system will give you detailed information of who came on-site and who they met with, it’s important to remember the government does not want to have to look through every organization’s visitor management reporting, which will differ from customer to customer.

Do any people presence systems integrate with the government-issued QR codes? Not with the government-mandated QR code systems, we are aware of. 

Will WhosOnLocation be integrated with the government-issued QR code systems? No, the government-mandated QR codes are intended for government contact tracing only. This is to help officials easily track and contain an outbreak from a single system. However, you can use the government-issued QR code service alongside WhosOnLocation. 

Need help getting set up or have additional questions?

Please reach out to our friendly Support Team.

Read more.

3 minutes read time

Why tracking Hazard Warning Acknowledgements is a must

The cost of being prosecuted for a breach of workplace safety regulations runs far deeper than paying a fine.

Other than the obvious human cost, should any person suffer an injury or worse; there is also brand and reputation damage, a lowering in employee confidence, an unwillingness for contractors to provide services on-site, the direct cost of putting it right (employee training, internal costs of reviews etc…), the consequential costs on your organization’s insurance premiums, and a lowering of investor confidence.

Organizations may also suffer a loss of sales, as many customers have their own policies prohibiting them from sourcing services and products from suppliers who cannot demonstrate a good workplace safety record.

The cost of a fine is only the beginning

Workplace safety regulators must consider many factors when looking to proceed with a prosecution for a breach of law.

You can do everything by the book when it comes to your compliance obligations but there is often one element of workplace safety practice that is commonly overlooked and it may cost you more than you think.

Do you have evidence to present to the investigator showing an employee, visitor, or contractor understood and acknowledged a hazard notice?

Signs, labels, hazard boards, and emails are commonly used tools for informing people of potential hazards and risks.

Collectively they address the ‘minimize’ element of hazard management best practice where there is an obligation to ‘inform’ people of hazards.

But how does an employer prove someone has read and understood that hazard notice?


There are solutions

You can require that all employees, visitors, and contractors add their signature to a Hazard Sheet, then date and time stamp it for auditing if required at a later date. Can you be sure if the legibility of the person’s handwriting stacks up in court if it comes to that?

If you send an email you can add a ‘read receipt’ when the email notification is delivered and the recipient opens (and presumably reads) it. This may prove the person opened the email but not that they have necessarily read it.

Both practices are better than nothing at all but they are difficult to audit and track on any scale.

WhosOnLocation users can post hazard warnings to employee and/or contractor’s mobile phones requiring them to acknowledge the hazard when they arrive on-site.

Notices can also be posted for visitors, contractors, and employees to acknowledge when signing in at a visitor kiosk.

A date and time stamp of every acknowledgement is available for auditing at a later date should the need require it.


It’s about reducing workplace injuries, improving workplace safety, and reducing your exposure to breaches

Tracking the acknowledgement of hazard notices is not explicit in any law, but not doing so opens you up to he said | she said arguments should they arise.

If having a robust process for ensuring your people are ‘informed’ of hazards, enables you to track their acknowledgement, you may just save yourself more than a few bucks.



4 minutes read time

Why Contractor timesheet lies are a bad thing and cost everybody money

The contractor-timesheet

Every day millions of contractors record the amount of time spent on-site (through a contractor-timesheet), performing a task, and completing a job. Recently one of our customers explained how contractor costs reduced by over 18% after switching from a system of trust, where the contractor issued an invoice based on the time they say they spent performing the task, to an electronic sign-in system.

Recently one of our customers explained how contractor costs reduced by over 18% after switching from a system of trust (where the contractor issued an invoice based on the time they say they spent performing the task) to an electronic sign-in system.

At the same time, they also saw a reduction in performance and delivery from their contractors.

What happened, and could it be fixed?

Prior to the roll-out of the electronic system, contractors would complete a task and then fill out a timesheet for their employer. The employer would then turn that timesheet into an invoice to the customer.

After the roll-out of the electronic contractor management system, contractors signed in on arrival and signed out on departure. The customer, not the contractor, sent the total time spent on-site to the contractor’s employer. And then the invoice was generated which would reconcile against the contractors total time spent on-site.

Initial delight

Initially, our customer saw an average 18% drop in contractor costs in the first quarter but the level of services requested had not reduced.

The customer carried out a review and determined that the average job was taking 20% less time to complete post the electronic system roll-out. After reconciling what they might have saved by deploying the electronic system 12 months earlier, a staggering $450,000 in savings would have been realized.

So they were getting more bang for their dollar – but were they?

The aftershock

The review also uncovered a surprising consequence of the reduced costs; the response times from many contractors had unfortunately dropped down to the agreed minimum Service level agreement (SLA) standards – in other words these contractors were no longer exceeding SLA’s.

What can we assume from this?

We know the customer negotiated hard (they told us as much), achieved a price point and terms they were happy with. We know the contractor accepted the terms but we don’t know if they were completely happy once they signed the agreement. We can only guess that they needed the work and did not want the competition securing the contract, and as a consequence probably accepted a slightly lower rate than what they wanted.

For the next 12 months our customer believes:

  1. The contractors either embellished their time on-site to their employer who issued an inflated invoice reflecting the recorded time on-site; or
  2. They recorded their time accurately and then the employer added additional time to the invoice (probably to reflect their true cost and a fairer margin for delivering the service).

Post the electronic system roll-out our customer believes:

  1. The contractors were faced with very open and transparent data being sent to them about how long their people were on-site for meaning;
  2. They had no choice but to issue invoices that reflected the actual time spent on-site.
  3. But they were now not profitable or they were but only just. So they delivered the service they were contracted to provide but no longer felt it necessary to delight their customer or exceed the customer’s SLA’s – and reverted to working to rule.

The consequences

Our customer has changed the way it enters contract and supplier negotiations as clearly the cost of driving down the price whilst expecting a gold-plated SLA was significant. They renegotiated all of their major contracts and as a result, all parties are better off.

Contractors and suppliers were also better off as the true cost to them to deliver their service became apparent meaning they are able to cost future work more accurately.

Side Note:

Our customer mentioned to us that if you believed the cost of having a service delivered to your business is ‘X’ dollars but that number came about from inflated invoices or low-cost rates won at the negotiation table, you were not well positioned to evaluate the market for benchmarking come contract renegotiation time.

3 minutes read time

3 tips for providing great visitor experiences at reception

There is much more to great visitor experiences than a well-designed reception area with soft seating, the morning paper, mints on the counter, and an offer of tea, coffee, or water. Whilst all of these get a tick in the must do’s column the investment is wasted if the visitor has to wait longer than 2 minutes to be issued a pass, and their host notified of their arrival.

A great way to keep your visitors happy (and reduce visitor wait times) is to make the visitor welcoming experience and sign-in process seamless, fast, and easy to do. We know most visitors do not like signing into a visitor book or an electronic sign in system. In fact, our research tells us that over 75% of visitors believe the hosting organization should already have them registered – because the visit was scheduled.

Here are three tips for giving your visitors a great reception experience, regardless of whether you are a small, medium, or large multi-national business.

1: Pre-register Visitors

Empower your employees to pre-register their visitors. Whether they do so themselves or request reception do it for them, nothing beats that feeling when you walk into an organization and the receptionist says: “Welcome Mr/Mrs/Ms xxxxxxx, we have been expecting you”. Pre-registering gives reception teams visibility into who is due on-site, allowing them to plan for large groups, prepare seating, meeting rooms, drinks, passes, and car parks.

2: Pre-print Visitor Passes

Having visitor passes pre-printed is a simple courtesy the visitor will love. It shows you care, you are prepared, and reduces waiting times for signing in multiple visitors and large groups. Reception teams are way too busy to manually create visitor passes after the visitor signs in. Their focus should be on ensuring visitors are aware of site facilities and tending to their specific needs. The issuance of the visitor pass, even for a large group should be something that takes seconds, not minutes.

3: Keep the Visitor informed of their Host’s Arrival

From personal experience, it’s always comforting to know my host has been notified of my arrival and acknowledges they are on their way. I don’t feel a lot of love when the reception team ask me to “take a seat and they’ll let my host know I have arrived” – and then they don’t update me. Ten minutes goes by and still not a peep from the receptionist. A simple “John is aware you have arrived and will be down in 2 minutes” or “Sorry John is running a little late and will be here in 5 minutes. He sends his apologies. May I get you a coffee, tea, water?” – goes a long way to making visitors feel comfortable and at ease in your environment.

If you have some great tips for improving visitor experiences share them with us!