FOCUS ACCESS CONTROL
PICK THE RIGHT LOCKS
Jo Milne-Rowe, Chair of the Institute of Architectural Ironmongers, warns that the fl exible working
environments expected by today’s workers require smarter access control
According to recent research by the
O ice for National Statistics (ONS), UK
worker productivity has fallen to a two-year
low (see References, note 1). Employers
can help increase workplace productivity
by incentivising sta with flexible working
hours and by creating adaptable working
environments. When employees have the
ability to hot-desk and work in dynamic teams,
they are found to be a more engaged and
With online communication tools,
videoconferencing technology and cloud-based
file-sharing, applications are more accessible
than ever, so it’s no surprise that 74 per cent (2)
of European firms now operate flexible working.
For businesses to grow, FMs need to be able to
provide access to the right tools and technology,
as well as comfortable and productive
workspaces for sta .
Smart working also helps to reduce costs by
allowing FMs to decrease wasted space and cut
back equipment costs.
Research has also found that creating
environments where sta can choose their
most e icient working environment enhances
productivity. It has been revealed that 54 per cent
(3) of o ice workers feel that hot-desking makes
the o ice a more open and welcoming space, and
promotes cross-team collaboration.
For settings where employees share desks,
the need for a more adaptable workspace has
led to increasing demand for lockable furniture.
With the popularity of hot-desking rising, the
workplace needs to provide a solution where
30 SEPTEMBER 2019
employees can safeguard their personal
belongings when going to meetings or lunch.
In addition to this, where parking restrictions
and low emission zones are active, more people
are now cycling to work, meaning that FMs
must provide bicycle storage facilities where
employees can store their bikes securely.
Electronic digital locks are ideal for businesses
who need to store away data, secure expensive
equipment and control access to IT areas. By
equipping sta with controlled access to lockers
and cabinets using a code, sta can simply use
the same code over and over again to access
laptops, tablets, gym kit and other personal
possessions without the hassle of using keys.
If codes are forgotten, the locks can be
reprogrammed in minutes – perfect for multioccupancy
o ices, freeing FMs from the chore of
spending too much time administering locks.
IMPROVING YOUR WORKSPACE
An average person spends one-third of their life at
work, so it is essential that organisations provide
an engaging, pleasant workspace to improve the
health and wellbeing of sta as well as increase
Optimising o ice space so that employees have
access to various types of working areas, such
as quiet rooms, shared desks, secure IT facilities
and client meeting rooms, demand varying
levels of access control measures. To support
flexible working hours and controlled access to
workplaces, FMs need smart access control. This
gives employees the ability to access buildings,
rooms or areas at times convenient to them.
For environments looking to control and
manage access remotely, smart locks are a coste
ective and convenient solution. Ideal for leisure
centres, music studios, warehouses, o ices and
organisations that rent out space or have flexible
workers, smart locks provide 24/7 access through
a unique code. Sta simply receive a code via SMS
or email, which can be created with a specific
start date and time, automatically expiring a er a
The audit trail function allows FMs to track
users entering and exiting the workplace, and
at what time, enhancing security for both the
property and any employees that are working
late. The cost-e ective solution allows businesses
to save money by reducing sta overheads,
as there is no need to employ receptionists or
security to manage access on site.
A business that rents out studio space, for
example, wanted locks that would allow
musicians self-service access to recording studios
and associated locker rentals at allotted times.
This was crucially important to the business
model as eliminating the need for onsite sta
allowed it to keep its overheads and rental
prices down, passing on the cost benefit to its
THE FUTURE WORKPLACE
It’s important that facilities managers recognise
how people are living and working today, as well
as how their existing access control solutions may
or may not fit into the next generation’s future.
It’s not just about door locks any more;
businesses are interested in the future of
connected products as well as tracking, meaning
that access control solutions need to be capable
of aligning with future business strategies.
Within the next five years, new integrated
technology such as fingerprint readers and
retina scanners will be a massive challenge.
The industry needs to acquire the knowledge to
manage smart, connected products. Upgrading
access control to meet the needs of the modern
workforce is essential for business growth.
Jo Milne-Rowe is National Sales Manager at
(3) www.verdict.co.uk/e ectiveness-of-hot-desking