Hybrid working and hot desking have become the new norm – whether or not we like it. And a by-product of this change is heightened demand for lockable storage in workspaces. Because, without a permanent desk, people need somewhere safe to store their belongings.
As your employees, contractors, and visitors flow in and out of workspaces fluidly, their storage options for personal items and confidential documents must be secure, flexible and low maintenance. By providing this kind of storage, you can boost convenience and efficiency for your building users and administrators, as well as improving security and reducing your overall storage costs.
Let’s look at seven ways a locker management system can help you achieve all of this.
1. Use lockers flexibly rather than providing one per person
Providing a permanent locker for each employee, and spare lockers for visitors and contractors, is expensive and requires a lot of space. A good locker management system will enable you to use lockers dynamically, so you can:
- Ensure people only use a locker when they need one (then you can have fewer lockers overall).
- Allow people to use two or more lockers at once – they may need an extra locker while at the gym or cafeteria, for example.
- Assign lockers for set time periods, including permanently or for longer stretches for some people.
- Provide lockers for use by visitors and contractors.
- Assign lockers to teams as well as individuals.
This not only saves on locker space, management and costs, it increases convenience for the people using them. They can choose a locker in a location and position that suits them each time. And you can give them the flexibility to request extra lockers or team lockers when needed.
2. Secure other storage spaces, as well as (or instead of) lockers
Some locker management systems can be used to secure an unlimited variety and number of storage spaces. You could, for example, use a locker management system to secure filing cabinets, laptop storage, post boxes, medicine cabinets and more.
This type of protection becomes even more important if you have a hybrid working model. Valuable or sensitive assets (such as confidential data or laptops with network access) can be left more vulnerable when offices are quieter and people are
hotdesking – even if you control access to buildings, rooms and areas.
A good locker management system can help you address this. Not only by increasing your range of lockable storage, but by letting you determine who has access to which storage space, at which times and under which circumstances.
3. Avoid people having to remember keys – or manage them
Carrying keys for lockers and other storage spaces is inconvenient, which means people are more likely to forget or lose them. And, if they do, your administrators have the inconvenience of resolving the issue.
A high-quality locker management system will let people use access control ID, such as a card, to unlock and lock storage spaces and lockers, as well as doors. And the most advanced systems allow people to access storage spaces using biometric
identification – such as facial or fingerprint recognition – or a virtual credential on their smartphone.
Not only does this make life easier for people using lockable storage, it makes managing it easier too, as you don’t have the hassle of issuing, managing or replacing keys.
4. Combine locker management with physical access control
Some locker management systems integrate with physical access control systems. And with AEOS physical access control, for example, locker management is an integral part of the system. With either scenario, the aim is to increase security and convenience by using one system to manage physical access to everything.
If you do this, you should have the same functionalities for lockers and other storage spaces as for external and internal doors. Including, for example, group settings, time schedules and a logbook.
What’s more, you can assign access rights for lockers and storage spaces automatically by linking locker management to your HR system. HR can then, for example, allocate access cards and locker access to new temporary workers. If the HR system shows their contracts are for three months, their access to both lockers and workspaces will end automatically after that period.
Other examples include giving all people listed as emergency response officers automatic access to medical cabinets. Or giving all staff access to certain equipment during office hours, but restricting access to specified staff during the night shift.
5. Provide vandal-proof, cybersecure protection
Security is an obvious priority for locker management, so you need to ensure the system you choose is up to the job. A modern system that runs on your IP network should give you the functionalities and flexibility mentioned above. But you also need to ensure your locker management system itself is well protected. Is your system based on a cybersecure platform? And does each lock have a tamper sensor?
AEOS takes this a step further by allowing you to set up your locks in transparent mode, so decryption keys aren’t stored in the locks. Instead, they’re stored in the SAM (secure access module) within the lock or in the controller’s memory. This prevents hackers obtaining key data from storage space locks. Which is crucial, because if you use the same key data for locks on entrance doors and so on, your whole physical access control system could be compromised.
6. Save time on maintenance and management
Controlling vast numbers of lockers and storage spaces can be a time-consuming headache – so look for a system that makes it straightforward.
Locker management that uses a web-based dashboard will help you keep everything streamlined, so you can respond quickly to changes, requests and incidents. And a good system will help you minimise management and maintenance tasks. If neither the storage unit nor card is programmed, for example, you won’t need to manage programmers. And if your system is wired, there are no batteries to replace.
7. Make the most of locker management data
When choosing a locker management system, check that it offers strong tracking and reporting functionalities. This will not only help you to keep close control of access, it will allow you to make data-driven decisions about how your lockers and other storage spaces should be used.
With the right tracking and reporting functionalities, you can, for example:
- Determine who accessed a storage space, and when, if there’s a security incident.
- Analyse how your storage spaces are being used and assess whether you need more (or less) storage in specific locations or for individual departments.
- Monitor the status of your storage spaces in real time, and open, release and block them, remotely – so you can maintain security while providing efficient support.
Smarter, more secure buildings
By giving you greater flexibility, control and data around storage spaces, AEOS Locker Management helps you create smart buildings that provide the adaptability needed in today’s changing office environment. And it takes security and convenience to another level by extending your access control principles to lockers and other storage.
To discuss the benefits AEOS Locker Management can bring to your security and facilities management, get in touch or download our brochure.