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How to Solve Key Management Issues for High-Rise Office Spaces

High-rise office space is popular because it’s a convenient way to accommodate more employees on less acreage. However, managing high-rise buildings is also high-stress, particularly concerning key control. More space equals more people, more keys and more security issues.

Automating key management processes can help bring order to what would otherwise be organizational chaos. Here are three ways electronic key control systems can help make managing high-rise building keys safer and more efficient.

Track High Volume of Keys

It’s only logical that the more rooms there are, the more keys there will be: keys for company suites, individual offices, cubicles, file cabinets, storage closets, mechanical rooms, etc.

To centralize key management, you can install electronic key control systems in multiple locations throughout the building and network the systems. Using remote web-based key control software, administrators can then access each key control system from a central location to perform duties such as setting up users, entering asset data or running network reports regarding key activity on all systems combined.

Manage Key Access for Multiple Employees

Managing a high volume of keys becomes more complicated when you throw in a large number of employees with different key usage needs.

Not all staff members need — or should have — full access to all building keys. For example, the customer service manager doesn’t need a key to the CEO’s office, and an accountant doesn’t need access to the custodial room. Not all keys have a dedicated use, though. Multiple employees might have access to a particular key (e.g., to a conference room), which could lead to scheduling conflicts and key tracking issues.

You also have to consider not only who has access to certain keys, but when and for how long. Some staff members might be issued a key on a permanent basis (e.g., their office key), while others only need a key (e.g., the conference room key) for a specific time frame. In addition, employees might have permission to check out a certain key only at specific times, such as while they’re on the clock or during business hours.

With so many access types and levels, manual key control is cumbersome and susceptible to errors. Electronic key control allows you to predefine access levels and grant or deny access to keys depending on the person’s user profile. Plus, employees can reserve shared-use keys ahead of time, preventing scheduling issues.

Reduce Security and Liability Risks

High-rise buildings present more opportunities for security breaches. For instance, with so many people working in the same building, it’s easier for unauthorized people to tailgate into the facility without being noticed, because employees are used to seeing unfamiliar faces. This risk makes it especially important for employees in charge of specific keys to make sure they lock up private areas.

Of course, if someone doesn’t properly secure a key and an unauthorized person finds it, they can access secured areas, even if they’re locked.

To mitigate liability in situations such as these, you first need to control access to keys. Electronic key control systems provide an additional layer of security by producing a key usage audit trail. (Note that some key control systems do require manual steps to produce key control records; others will create an audit trail automatically.)

Having this information can help you trace security issues back to the employee who was responsible for the keys to any areas involved in a breach. In addition, if employees try to access a key they’re not authorized to have or don’t return a key on time, managers can be immediately notified by a text or email alert.

By using electronic key control systems to address high-rise key management challenges, you can keep unnecessary chaos at bay. To learn more, check out our post on automating key control logs.

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