If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Since the pandemic began, digital adoption has accelerated by several years, changing the workplace in ways no one anticipated. There’s no going back to the way things were before.
Key control is no exception.
As we move into a new year, how will key control change? What should your business do in response?
Smart Locks Will Change Traditional Key Control
The smart locks market is expected to grow by 21% from 2021 to 2028. As more businesses adopt smart locks, does that spell the end of traditional key control? Not necessarily. We don’t anticipate traditional metal keys or electronic key control systems will go away anytime soon. Many organizations will still have some traditional locks in their facilities, whether for common areas, filing cabinets, office doors, or supply closets. Others will keep spare keys on hand in case the smart locks malfunction.
Businesses that use proximity cards or key fobs for access control will look for ways to manage the growing number of security tokens. Leaving them unsecured — especially if they’re preprogrammed — is a security risk. Electronic key control systems give them a way to do that.
Your response: Have a plan for managing physical keys and security tokens.
The Great Resignation Will Force Organizations to Amp up Security
The last two years have thrown the workplace into upheaval. From supply chain disruptions to navigating a return to the workplace after an extended period of working from home, employees are stressed out. Now, alongside the pandemic, we’re seeing The Great Resignation. In November 2021, a record 4.5 million people quit their jobs, and 41% of workers worldwide are considering their next move.
Those who remain behind when a coworker quits are at risk of burnout, as they shoulder additional responsibility. Managers, especially, are struggling to keep up with high turnover. These conditions are ripe for human error, missing keys, and incomplete key logs.
41% of workers worldwide are considering their next move.
Criminals and even disgruntled employees will take advantage of these security oversights to gain access to door keys, user credentials, and more. Organizations will be forced to secure keys, do away with manual key control logs, and implement an automatic system for tracking user access.
Your response: If you haven’t already, digitize your key control log and plan for employee turnover.
Businesses Will Incorporate QR Codes Into Key Control
QR codes have exploded in popularity ever since the pandemic hit. In a survey, nearly 47% of respondents agreed they’d scanned more QR codes since the pandemic began. After all, they’re easy to use and minimize contact with surfaces.
QR codes aren’t just for restaurant menus or product packaging. They help with key control too. They allow property management professionals to securely identify key tags, help dealership salespeople quickly look up vehicle information and reserve vehicle keys, and allow electronic key control system users to log into their system and retrieve keys quickly.
Your response: Consider incorporating QR codes into your key control process to reduce touchpoints and increase efficiency. Your electronic key control technology partner can advise you on how to use QR codes with your key management system.
Employees Will Take Key Control on the Go
As a hybrid workplace becomes standard, mobile apps and other digital tools are making it possible to centralize remote workflows. Using a mobile app for key control will allow managers to check reports on their mobile device while they’re working from home, and employees can complete the process of checking out a key ahead of time.
When used with QR codes, mobile apps allow employees who move around throughout the day to look up critical information or perform tasks without unnecessarily traveling back and forth. For example, a car salesperson can look up a vehicle’s information, or a maintenance professional at an apartment community can check a key tag to see which apartment it goes to.
Your response: If your key control technology partner offers a mobile app, take advantage of it!
As technology transforms how we communicate and work, it’s only natural that key control technology would evolve too. Make sure you’re making the appropriate changes to protect your business, adapt to a hybrid work environment, and create an efficient key control process that works for you.