Your business houses a lot of information that must or should be kept confidential. In contrast, the receptionist area is frequently trafficked by customers, vendors, and employees. How can you maintain confidentiality in the receptionist area when so many people come through and have the opportunity to accidentally see private information?
In this post, we’ll talk about 4 safeguards you can put in place to maintain confidentiality in the receptionist area at your business and keep your client and private information safe.
Build privacy into your floor plan
Many breaches of confidentiality come simply from customers or patients who are able to see information in the receptionist area they shouldn’t be able to see. This is usually because the receptionist area is designed in such a way that customers can clearly see files or hear phone conversations while they wait at the reception desk.
You can skip this possibility by building privacy into your floor plan. Separate checkout/check in areas from the areas where your receptionist is answering phones. That separation could be a sliding window, like at a doctor’s office, a wall between areas, or a separate room entirely.
The layout of your office will help you determine what the best option is for building privacy into your floor plan.
Restrict employee access to information
The culture of your company needs to include clear boundaries of information access. Which employees are allowed to access your reception area? It’s a good idea to limit the reception area to managers and receptionists only to cut down on the chances that an unauthorized employee will see confidential information by wandering through reception.
You might decide to implement other rules for employees with access to information, such as turning papers with confidential information over when someone approaches the reception desk, or logging out of computers when not at the desk.
Install sound dampening panels
Some offices are set up in a way that allows sound to carry throughout the office. That’s what sound dampening panels are designed to combat. Sound dampening panels are installed on the walls of your office and serve to muffle and absorb sound to keep it from carrying.
Installing sound dampening panels in your office, especially in the reception area, will help muffle the sound of conversations and lessen the chance of confidential information making its way to unauthorized ears.
You can elect to play soft music in the reception area to further dampen sound and decrease the chances customers will hear confidential information from phone calls.
Go virtual instead
If your office is finding it difficult to maintain confidentiality in the receptionist area, consider hiring a virtual receptionist instead of an in-house receptionist. Virtual receptionists work from a call center and are trained in confidentiality and privacy.
Since they work remotely, your customers and clients will never see or overhear confidential information. They answer all your calls and manage your appointments without ever stepping foot in your office.
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