Monday 25 January 2021

Smarter Access for the Evolving Workplace

Due to ongoing social distancing guidelines, many offices are currently standing empty or are minimally staffed. Colin Campbell, Managing Director of Codelocks, talks about what we can do to improve facilities as we prepare for the gradual return to work in a post COVID-19 world.

Codelocks has been supplying convenient and secure access solutions to businesses for thirty years. We’ve watched trends in office fit outs and facilities come and go, worked directly with customers to find the best solutions for their needs and adapted our range to meet new requirements. As we continue to look ahead, we consider the current situation and the challenges and opportunities we are likely to face.

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our working lives. When social distancing measures were first introduced, most office workers quickly switched to remote working. The return to work is expected to be gradual, with physical contact being kept to a minimum. 

We can’t predict the longer-term effects – though it’s likely to be a game-changer for the way we work. In the meantime, while properties are standing empty, business owners, facilities managers and landlords have a chance to press the reset button and make changes and improvements to their offices.

Securing the modern workspace

If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your premises while they are lying empty, installing smarter access control is a good place to start. The landscape of the office has changed in recent years – with many featuring breakout spaces, shared meeting rooms, multi-purpose agile areas, and more. This new style of office brings new challenges for access control. 

With more open areas, it is harder for businesses to keep track of who is in the office at any one time. It can also be necessary to restrict access to some rooms. The solution we provided for Porsche Centre, Preston, perfectly illustrates how our smart access solutions can provide flexible access and different levels of security when required.

Due to its showrooms and workshops containing high value cars and equipment, Porsche Centre needed a way to restrict and permit access to certain areas in line with its business hours and needs. We recommended our CL5500 smart locks, as the sophisticated NetCode technology enables staff to quickly generate and send codes for easy access. 

The locks’ audit trail data can also be downloaded and viewed – allowing the Centre Principle to keep track of who enters which lock-controlled room, and at what time. 

A smart lock solution is also ideal for larger office buildings and campuses. The flexibility it offers is ideal if you have a lot of people on site at different times – and even more so if staff are returning to work gradually and working staggered shifts. It can also reduce security costs and help to manage visitor, delivery driver and maintenance staff access. 

Codelocks’ NetCode explained

Codelocks’ NetCode allows you to generate time-sensitive codes and grant temporary access, using either the Codelocks Application Programme Interface (API), the K3 Connect App or the online NetCode portal. 

It enables you to set codes that will only work for specific date, time and duration and send them by email or SMS. Time-sensitive codes are more secure as they will not work outside the specified time slot. This makes them ideal for granting temporary access to service engineers and delivery personnel and for short or medium-term locker rental.

Convenient access and contactless solutions

As employees return to work gradually, working in shifts and on alternate days to minimise contact, they will need secure storage for devices, laptops and personal belongings. Upgrading lockers with a contactless solution provides convenient access to valuables and reduces the need for physical contact between users, and with the locker. 

The upcoming KL1100 RFID, is ideal for this situation. A card operated lock, it has a stylish, slimline front plate that also acts as a locker handle, and will give your lockers a modern, contemporary look.

For forward thinking employers that seek to promote fitness and wellbeing within work premises, in the form of on-site gyms, cycle sheds, shower facilities and changing rooms, our KitLock range removes the need for the allocation and management of keys. 

For anyone looking to upgrade their lockers to be keyless, the KL1000 Classic is a great solution. It uses a four-digit code rather than a key and, when operated in Public Function, allows the user to simply enter a code to secure the locker. 

When it’s time to leave, the user can enter the same code again and the locker opens. The code is then automatically erased, leaving the locker free for the next person. An upgrade to the Classic is the KL1000 Classic+. This model includes a 1 to 24-hour auto-unlock function and up to 20 user codes.

Preparing for the new normal

As we return to work and embrace the ‘new normal,’ many businesses will need to look at ways to facilitate social distancing for customers as well as employees. One way to do this is to offer self-service, thereby reducing the need for personal contact. 

Innovative start up Pirate Studios were ahead of the curve when they decided to offer musicians self-service access to their rehearsal studios. Codelocks Smart Locks, with code and card entry and advanced operating and programming functions, turned out to be the solution. 

Codelocks fitted CL5510 Smart Locks on the front door and individual studio room doors, and KitLock by Codelocks on the storage for music equipment. These locks allow codes to be created via an online portal and issued to customers via email or SMS. This eliminated the need for staff to be onsite. 

Musicians now receive personalised codes for self-service access to the rehearsal space and storage lockers. If a musician needs to access their kit, but not a rehearsal space, they are given two codes: one for the front door and one for storage. Or, for studio room hires, musicians can be given a code for the front door and one for an individual rehearsal studio door. 

As well as providing a better experience for musicians, Pirate Studios have reduced overheads by eliminating the need to have staff on site 24/7. 

Solutions like this could also play an important part in helping to maintain social distancing as lockdown measures are gradually eased and hospitality and retail businesses begin to re-open.

Upgrade to keyless access today

With flexibility becoming more important in the workplace, code and card locks look set to become more prevalent, providing convenient access control and reducing the need for physical contact. 

If you are looking to upgrade the access control at your premises there is an ever-growing range of access control solutions to choose from – and our experts are always happy to help you find the right one.

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