We’ve gathered key workplace insights from all over the world to help you get an idea of what next year will be like for facility management, visitor management and security compliance teams all over the world.
Visitor management used to be a lot simpler. In the past, even enterprise-level companies could get away with little more than a receptionist, a guest book and a security guard, but that is no longer the case.
From 2020 to 2022 the office has been disrupted more times than it has in the decade leading up to 2020. Everything changed. Then it changed again. And then it changed once more.
Companies went fully remote, ready to dismiss ever going back (or ever needing to manage visitors). Then companies went hybrid, which presented a whole new set of challenges for visitor management, security and compliance teams, not to mention facility managers. And over the course of 2023 we’ve even seen companies mandate a 100% return to the office.
Safe to say, most companies are still figuring it out. They’re still asking questions like “What do we do with the office?” and “Where do we go from here?”
To help answer that, we’ve gathered key workplace insights from all over the world to help you get an idea of what the situation looks like for facility management, visitor management and security compliance teams, so you can get an idea of what to expect from 2024 when we talk about the future of the office and the future of visitor management.
Key workplace insights
1) 90% of companies with office space plan to have returned to the office by the end of 2024 (resumebuilder)
2) 66% of employees are working from the office full-time (owllabs)
3) 94% of remote workers say they could be convinced to come to the office (owllabs)
4) 58% of hybrid employees surveyed are “coffee badging” (they show up at the office to have a cup of coffee and scan in, before going back home to work) (owllabs)
5) 83% of companies that have returned to the office say they currently track employee attendance (resumebuilder)
6) 95% of security compliance workers already have built or are planning to build a culture of compliance to share compliance responsibilities across their organization (Accenture)
7) 61% of surveyed compliance officers expect to increase investment in their compliance function over 2024 (Accenture)
8) 75% of companies name physical security as one of their top priorities (SecurityMagazine)
9) 60% of companies have encountered breaches in their physical security measures in the past 12 months (scoop.market)
10) Only 15% of companies have had their visitor management systems integrated for physical security purposes (scoop.market)
Everyone is a visitor and everywhere can be a workplace
Many organizations have spent the previous years grappling with the uncertainty of whether to bring employees back to the office, continue with remote work, or find a middle ground. And it seems organizations have spent this year answering that question.
From videoconferencing giant Zoom mandating employees return to the office two days a week  to food and beverage producer The J.M. Smucker Company’s 22 ‘core weeks’ per year where employees are expected to use the office,  it seems hybrid work is the middle ground most companies agree on.
But this also presents a series of challenges for building managers as well as team managers. With employees being mandated to come to the office, organizations need a way to track physical attendance which means that there’s a good chance reception areas and lobbies are going to see a lot more traffic than they already do with visitors, contractors and external meeting participants.
Visitor management and physical security has become much more of a team effort
One of the challenges that’s come from the way the office and the workplace is changing is that more people are involved in the stakeholder engagement and shaping of the visitor experience. This may be one of the reasons why 95% of security workers have built a culture of sharing security and compliance responsibilities across their organization. 
Over the course of 2023 we expect to see departments such as facilities, workplace experience, security and compliance form a much tighter relationship than previously, especially as organizations move towards more flexible work formats.
Controlling costs has been a big focus in 2023
While controlling costs isn’t a new concept when it comes to managing buildings and visitors, many large-scale enterprises have spent 2023 reassessing their operational strategies to a much higher degree than in previous years, and the current economic climate leaves little reason to believe that this will change in 2024.
In fact, when IFMA asked what the biggest challenges for a facility manager was in 2023 budget and costs was mentioned three of the challenges that made it into the top five; facing resistance to investing in new technology, balancing sustainability and cost, and securing budget for significant projects.
However, moving into 2024 there are plenty of ways to show how tools like visitor management systems, meeting room scheduling platforms and even desk booking applications can help organizations save money.
New technologies are on the rise
AI has been a hot topic all through 2023, and while we have yet to see if AI talks will burn out in the same way conversations surrounding ‘the metaverse’ did, there are a couple of things that point in the other direction.
According to the world security report published by G4S, 42% of security teams are planning to invest in AI and AI-powered surveillance within the next five years and 21% intend to implement AI and machine learning in their security operations within the next 12 months. 
But AI isn’t the only technology that companies are looking to implement.
Visitor management trends to look out for in 2024
We sat down with a range of experts from various fields to dig a little more into what they think 2024 and onwards is going to mean both from a visitor management, facility management, security compliance and workplace management perspective.
1) International conflicts will become an increasing concern for security teams at large enterprises with a global presence.
2) The conversation around hybrid work models will continue to dominate boardrooms and office spaces.
3) Visitor management systems are undergoing changing regulatory compliance to safeguard visitor information and proprietary data and the rise of AI will make data privacy a much more central concern.
4) Economic factors and the need for cost reduction will continue to force visitor management, security and facility teams to reassess their operational strategies.
5) Departments such as workplace facilities and compliance will continue to become more actively involved in shaping the overall visitor experience.
6) We will begin to see AI's role in visitor management move beyond data analysis.
7) More organizations will begin to leverage mobile visitor management solutions to handle check-ins, badging, access control and communication with visitors.
8) User experience will no longer be a secondary consideration in visitor management and customized and personalized visitor experiences will become the norm.
9) Visitor management systems will become more robust and we’ll begin to see features that help organizations manage their workplace and workforce included in visitor management offers.
10) We will see sustainability and environmental responsibility become a much more central concern for facilities teams all over the world.
Want to know more? Download the full report “The future of work: Forget everything you think you know about hybrid work and ‘visitors’”