As COVID restrictions start to relax, many employees have become accustomed to working from home and see no need to resume the daily commute when they can be just as productive without ever leaving the house.
Naturally, there will still be occasions, to meet with clients or attend a course for example, when home workers will need to come in. But in general employee visits are more sporadic than before and there’s certainly no longer a need for staff to have a permanent security pass that they might lose or mislay. Instead, employee access to premises can be rationed to specific locations, dates and even times, treating them just the same as visitors or third-party contractors.
The good news is that new connected digital entry technology can help organisations centrally control access with digital technology in the following three ways:
- data security
- workplace security
- personal wellbeing
to protect their premises and people more effectively than ever before.
I’m SAM. I’m a Digital Doorman and I manage visitor access for businesses in a world of hybrid work. I hold the digital keys to all sites and systems, so I can manage who comes and goes – and I’m always connected, so I can give you a real-time, data-driven view of people, visitors, and contractors whenever you need it.
By SAM, Digital Doorman, Pitney Bowes
Common security loopholes
Not so long ago it was commonplace for offices of regulated organisations like banks, health departments and public services to undergo regular security audits. This involves hiring a trusted third-party security analyst to look for physical weaknesses in the system where potential breaches could occur.
A common feature of such offices is their high throughput of staff. With so many newcomers and leavers it’s almost impossible for regular staff to keep track of who is authorised to enter and who is not. Typical physical security measures might involve infrared barriers that count everyone in and out, photo IDs and security staff to look out for anyone tailgating.
Such measures work well up to a point, but they are of limited use if, for example, the building also holds training courses. A host of new faces provides the perfect cover for anyone trying to breach security. Hot-desking presents a security risk – staff simply cannot be sure when to challenge people. Once inside there is ample opportunity for intruders to unattended check desks for invoices, credit card slips or Post-it note passwords and logins.
Digital technology steps up
With today’s digital technology advances, smart access management systems are an option that’s gaining some traction. Smart entry systems let IT staff centrally manage visitor and staff access any time at any office location. A centralised visitor booking system that lets employees, contractors and guests book their visit via an online portal offers the following three security advantages:
Data security: All data relating to the visit – time, date, reason for visit, car registration, manager approval, relevant documentation etc. – is stored securely in the cloud where only those with security permissions can see it. There are no log books or paper trails of any kind helping to make it more data compliant and sustainable than traditional methods.
Personal wellbeing: The system centrally logs everyone – employees, visitors or contractors - in and out of the building. Managers can remotely track their movements at any office in the network in real time, helping staff to feel secure in the knowledge that any strangers they see are meant to be there and are being looked after
Workplace security: gaps in physical security are eliminated. Smart technology lets IT and management control and check access as well as enforce any restrictions to physical or virtual workspaces. Such systems work equally well in attended and unattended reception environments, and can be installed as a desk-based solution or stand-alone kiosk. In the event of a network outage automatic back up to the cloud provides built-in resilience to allow the system to resume as soon as the connection is restored.