The business compliance landscape is continually evolving as regulators of sectors like financial, pharma, health and public services try to keep pace with change on multiple fronts
Meanwhile workplace premises are slowly adjusting to changing work patterns following COVID-19. Many staff still work from home and no longer come into the office on a regular basis. With fewer people manning the office permanently there are more opportunities for fraudulent entry. Firms might therefore want to consider upgrading to more modern, smarter ways of managing workplace access to protect themselves against security breaches, health and safety oversights and reputational damage.
Spotlight on physical compliance measures
Companies are well aware that rigorous control over workplace access is an important aspect of demonstrating to regulators that they take good care of their security and staff. Here are three workplace access compliance areas, traditionally governed by physical measures, where modern, digital entry systems can help protect your people, your workplace and your reputation:
Data privacy risks:
Paper-based sign in methods at the front desk are a GDPR data privacy risk. An open log book contains all kinds of sensitive information – from the names of visitors and their companies, time and date of visit, and even their car registration number – that may be left on show for other visitors to see. Furthermore, in a multi-tenant building, the log book belongs to the building owner and is outside of your control. You cannot be sure the information is disposed of safely once finished with. A smart access system maintains a centralised, real-time record of every employee, visitor and contractor across multiple locations that is stored in the cloud, ensuring all physical and digital access and data management is secure, protected and GDPR compliant
It is quite common in public situations, medical appointments or mortgage consultations for example, for visitors to be asked to bring in some form of documentation such as a negative COVID test before they can be seen. If a form is incomplete or essential paperwork forgotten and the visit cannot go ahead, it becomes a waste of time for both parties. Contractors too must show proof of authorisation before they can enter a building. If their paperwork is incorrect or incomplete, it can lead to essential works being delayed or rescheduled. With a smart access system you can check documentation in advance and securely store digital copies of everything you need for compliance purposes
Insecure working conditions:
Front desk receptionists play a key role in keeping the workplace safe for everyone in it. But they are only human. In a busy multi-tenant building the receptionist’s duties commonly include a variety of tasks from answering the phone and booking meeting rooms to printing/ handing out visitor badges and dealing with couriers to name just a few. With all this going on it can be easy to miss someone attempting to evade physical security measures. By contrast, Pitney Bowes Smart Access Management™ gives you complete control over who is on site and for how long. Management and staff can have confidence that only those people on-site are entitled to be there and present a low health risk.
Digital access systems hold the key to compliance
Taking all this into account, a modern advanced digital access management system could be worth looking into. It gives management and IT end-to-end visibility of every visit from the moment a visiting application is made online to the minute the person leaves. Sensitive information is securely stored in the cloud while copies of important documentation can be submitted for review in advance. Digital copies are kept secure and can be retrieved and shown to compliance auditors as needed. System managers have continuous visibility into every visitor in real time and can act quickly to restrict or withdraw access at any moment if they fail to follow required policies and procedures. Workforce safety is also enhanced because front desk staff have fewer distractions, freeing them up to give visitors their full attention
To sum up, the pressure on companies to comply with a diverse and constantly evolving regulatory landscape shows no sign of letting up. Post-COVID work patterns have changed, turning many staff into infrequent visitors. The old physical front desk checks and staff pass systems need to be brought up to date. A modern digital access management system has the built-in flexibility needed to manage this complexity, keeping people, locations and systems protected while remaining compliant.