Hybrid Work Is Here to Stay

Business Enterprise, Commercial Real Estate, Tenant
mobile access control
Electronic Access Technology Empowers Administrators to Effectively Plan, Implement and Measure Today’s Hybrid Office Operation

With hybrid work becoming more established as a new normal — where each workday finds a different mix of staff working in-office or at home — facility and HR managers are being tasked with managing this new approach to ensure work gets done safely, effectively and equitably. But with so many changes to the previous model, implementing and measuring the success of this transition is challenging. The key goals are protecting people and property and knowing who should be in the office each day, who actually is in the office and which spaces are being used for what purposes. Old methods of office occupancy management don’t support these goals. For example, electronic entry code door locks aren’t safe from hacking and old-school metal keys don’t provide needed data.

A more effective solution is to employ an electronic access reader at the entry door and track attendance by scanning each entrant’s credentials. An even better idea is to adopt a smartphone-based mobile access solution that allows the credential to sit on each occupant’s mobile device, so there are no hassles with cards or fobs to manage, or for users to forget, lose or have copied.

Such solutions provide high levels of efficiency, safety and convenience for office planners, leaders and workers. In the following sections, we delve further into the challenges faced by offices as they transition to the hybrid work model, and the structural and technological solutions that can address them. We’ll describe how electronic access control works and the many benefits that can be realized by this highly effective technology. Finally, we’ll explain how Kastle can help companies looking for such a solution.

Challenges With Hybrid Work

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way to keep employees safe was pretty clear: have everyone work from home. Or, short of that, drastically reduce office occupancy and require masks and vaccinations. But as pandemic fears have receded, the way forward is less clear-cut. Companies that want employees to return are uncertain about what that arrangement should look like and how firm to be in requiring workers to return.

At a time when many workers are questioning the very necessity of in-person work, experts caution that overly strict rules may give them one more reason to consider leaving their jobs. Yet, overly flexible rules may cause chaos. As a result, many businesses are in a state of constant flux as they design and redesign physical spaces to accommodate a new reality and develop procedures to support productivity and comfort.

Hybrid Work Solutions

The most successful companies have been firm about their requirements for people to come back to work. While organizations must be flexible enough to support changing employee expectations, they must also be clear about what the new rules are and support workers in following them. One of the best ways they can do so is through technology.

For example, digital applications are available to help office managers coordinate “hoteling,” which is the practice of having various employees sign up to use the same desk or office at different times. Other applications help companies track and verify health status for anyone entering the building, which is helpful as pandemic conditions advance and recede. These technologies and others support offices in their transition to emerging work processes.

Electronic Access Control Features

In a modern work environment, employers must be able to enhance electronic and physical security, manage workspace usage and provide convenience to everyone on the premises. For example, some companies are limiting the circumstances under which employees are allowed into the office. With a mobile access technology platform, building administrators can manage important criteria, such as health attestation or vaccination status. As a technology that supports these efforts, electronic access control is a highly important solution for hybrid work.

Electronic access control provides simple front door and office access all with one credential, which, in the case of mobile access, functions directly from a user’s mobile device, so is with them wherever they go. As people move into and out of secured spaces, the access readers track their presence and movement patterns, providing valuable space usage data to help office and building managers plan more effectively.

Electronic Control Access Benefits

Having the credential on individuals’ phones is more secure than older methods, such as combination keypads or credit-card sized key cards. While those cards can be lost, stolen or duplicated, mobile credentials can only be used by unauthorized actors if they get ahold of an employee’s phone and PIN, both of which are closely guarded by their owners. Given the number of physical and electronic vulnerabilities that threaten companies’ and individuals’ safety and livelihoods, the highest level of security possible is warranted.

In addition to safety and security, employees want the same level of convenience that smart technology gives them in their shopping, driving or smart home security systems. A single credential in the form of a smart phone device they already carry with them continuously makes it effortless to circulate in the space without the hassle of carrying (or forgetting) an access card or fob. There are even workplace applications that are beginning to integrate mobile access with other functions, so that employees can conveniently use their phone app to book a conference room, order food and more.

Kastle’s base tenant package is a hybrid work starter kit for office managers who want to transition to hybrid work quickly and effectively. This “kit” includes a reader and controller with an option for adopting KastlePresence smartphone-based credentials or using access cards or fobs. The mobile option offers superior convenience and safety and makes it possible to incorporate health screening as well. Classic cards and fobs also capture access activity data, but with less convenience and no mobile app integrations. Visitor management technology enables visitor access.

Kastle manages and monitors the system so administrators can focus on their work. Nationwide, Kastle is the leader in managed security, servicing over 3,600 commercial buildings and 41,000 businesses.

Learn more about Kastle’s Hybrid Work Starter Kit


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