Security and Flexible Working Arrangements

The trend of increasing flexibility in working hours, which emerged during the coronavirus outbreak and has since become the norm, continues to offer a positive alternative to traditional office-based work. Facilities managers are observing reduced occupancy rates in properties nationwide.

Securing properties and selecting the appropriate locks:
Facilities managers have always faced the challenge of preparing for unforeseen events, but recent lifestyle changes have made assessing property risk levels even more complex. With many individuals now working from home on a regular basis, properties are often left vacant or only minimally occupied for extended periods. Effective access control measures are necessary to deter break-ins, theft, and vandalism.

Given the shift to remote work or staggered shifts, granting access to specific areas of the premises at designated times benefits both facility managers and employees. Smart locks offer a highly efficient solution to this need, combining the convenience of keyless entry with the enhanced control and functionality of smart technology. By utilising wireless technology and an Application Programming Interface (API), customisable access codes with specified start times, durations, and automatic expiration can be generated. This enables facilities managers to grant appropriate access levels to essential personnel and important deliveries while maintaining security, even from remote locations. The automation of code generation significantly reduces, and in many cases eliminates, the need for onsite staff.  The emphasis on smart locks highlights the increasing reliance on technology to address security challenges. By leveraging smart technology, facility managers can enhance security measures while streamlining access management processes, underscoring the importance of staying updated with technological advancements in the field of security.

Statistics from Logic Fire and Security indicate that the UK construction industry experiences an annual loss of £800 million due to burglary, vandalism, and negligence. Research from the Chartered Institute of Buildings shows that theft affects 92% of construction workers and management on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

This risk is heightened when fewer individuals are present to serve as a natural deterrent to criminal activity, and many properties are less supervised than usual. Construction sites and outbuildings are particularly vulnerable, underscoring…

the importance of access control. Mechanically coded locks offer a robust solution for securing these sites, capable of withstanding frequent use and providing easy access for multiple workers while effectively preventing unauthorised entry.

For environments prone to corrosion damage, such as those near water bodies, marine-grade finish locks offer durability against moisture exposure, making them suitable for construction sites, marinas, and properties by the water.  Another consequence of the rise in remote work and the reduced occupancy of business premises is the adoption of hot desks. However, the need for shared facilities extends beyond desks to include the safe storage of equipment and devices. Equipping lockers with coded locks allows multiple users to securely access the same locker without the need for keys. This reduces the demand for lockers and minimizes maintenance costs, as each user has a unique code instead of a physical key.

With workplace flexibility increasingly valued, coded locks are poised to become more prevalent, offering convenient access control for various sites, buildings, and equipment. Whether upgrading access control in an office, construction site, shop, school, or warehouse, a wide range of access control solutions are available to choose from.  In recent years, we have seen several emerging trends, including biometric technology, such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and iris scanning, which are increasingly being integrated into access control systems for enhanced security and convenience. Biometric authentication provides a high level of accuracy and reduces the risk of unauthorised access.

AI-powered access control systems can analyse patterns, detect anomalies, and adapt to evolving threats in real-time. Machine learning algorithms can optimise access permissions based on user behaviour, improving security while minimising disruption to workflow.  Internet of Things (IoT) Integration: IoT devices, such as smart locks, sensors, and cameras, are being integrated into access control systems to create interconnected security ecosystems. These devices can communicate and share data, enabling centralised monitoring and control of the security infrastructure.

With an increased focus on data privacy and regulatory compliance, access control systems must adhere to strict standards and regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA. Implementing robust privacy controls and encryption measures is essential to protecting sensitive information and maintaining compliance.

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