Everyone has at some point in their career visited a bustling office for an interview or a meeting, or perhaps you even work at such an office? The focal point of the office and the face that every visitor meets is that of the receptionist. That smiling person, usually a female, that greets the new arrivals, offers them a seat and a refreshing glass of water or cup of coffee whilst you sit and wait for your scheduled meeting.
2020 changed the way most of us work, we went from sitting in an office all day every day to working remotely, from home. 2021 has arrived and left many companies thinking "Do we actually need our employees to sit in the office all day every day?", the answer is of course no! 2020 has shown the world that working remotely isn't just for the Googles and all the other tech companies operating out of Silicon Valley, it is for all.
In this exciting technological era, some of the more prominent roles of the past have understandably changed and historically revered roles such as the receptionist are declining in their current guise. Don't get me wrong, humans should still talk to other humans, yet the role of the receptionist is being repurposed, upcycled and improved.
Surely that physical presence is required to meet your visitors I hear you cry! Well, the answer to that is another question. How many visitors are you actually physically receiving at your office at the moment? Or over the past 6 months for that matter? Probably none, or very few.
Face to face meetings have become a thing of the past. We no longer have to fly thousands of miles, all the while polluting our planet, to sign that paperwork or to meet with your number one client. Now we do not hesitate to pull up Zoom onto our screen and send out an invite, that number one client can see and hear you just as clearing as if you are in the same room, all powered by technology.
There is no reason why your receptionist and administration support cannot operate in the same way.
If you consider the true cost of employing someone to take your calls from recruitment, desks, PC's, medicals, holidays etc. it's no wonder that most small to medium companies or solopreneurs wouldn't even consider having a centralised point of contact for their inbound calls. Times have changed and today's version of the humble receptionist is anything but humble, they are experience and multifunctional virtual assistants who can handle multiple roles. Furthermore, the landline can be redirected, all administration tasks can be managed virtually and all for a fraction of the cost of having a full-time employee in your office.
Give it some thought......is the role of the receptionist as we knew it rapidly becoming extinct?