smart offices

Entrance security for smart, flexible workplaces

Workplaces across the UK have changed over the last 5 years, with hybrid working becoming more common. Data shows that just under half of office based workers are now on-site full time, while the rest are often based in the office 2-3 days per week. Added to this, new styles of working like hotdesking and coworking mean our office buildings are more communal spaces than ever.

Despite the headlines claiming the end of the office, it is in fact here to stay. But while our ways of working have shifted, have our security and entrance control systems adapted to these changing requirements and the threats faced in today’s world?

Understandably, many businesses have held off updating or renovating during this period of change. But, now is the time to seize the opportunity and ensure that your workplace meets your team’s needs. With changing capacity across the week, companies may have rightsized, and many are now sharing facilities with other businesses. As a result, knowing who is in the office and understanding and managing capacity have never been more important to ensure security and safety.

Do you know who is in the office?

With flexible working now the norm, time in the office can vary from 5 days a week, to as little as once a month or quarter. Ensuring those who need access have it at the right time, and also keeping track of who is onsite on a daily basis, has become a more complex task. But, this data remains of vital importance to the safety and security of teams, and as a record for human resources to ensure compliance with any mandatory attendance levels.

Companies often now have a variety of different contracts with staff requiring varied levels of attendance – this may even change during employment or for a set period. A probation, for example, might see the employee on site 5 days a week, before switching to a hybrid working pattern. Or, a sales or events team might be onsite for some periods but remote at others. Turnstiles are a great way to ensure that the company has reliable, unbiased and accurate data on attendance to the office – and we’ve seen major companies such as EY turn to them as a simple and effective tool.

This data is also vitally important for the safety and security of employees, helping ensure people on-site can be identified in the event of a fire, or evacuation. Learn more about how your security system can support safety, and even inform first responders here. We’re also experienced in advising on how to secure your location without any on-site staff, read more about that here.

Are you relying on a shared entrance system?

With changing capacity across the week, companies may have downsized and now be sharing office facilities. With teams onsite at different times, as well as other businesses located in the same building, the number of new and less well-known faces may mean that employees would not even be aware there was an intruder until it was too late.

Continued use of older entrance control systems poses the risk of unauthorised access by individuals with harmful intentions, potentially leading to severe consequences for your organisation. Instances of unauthorised access often prompt facilities and security managers to reassess security measures, especially when such events expose vulnerabilities in the current system, but waiting for an issue before updating systems is a huge risk – jeopardising the safety of personnel and assets.

Instead, we recommend reviewing existing systems now to ensure they are effective, for example preventing tailgating, where an unauthorised individual follows an authorised user through an open door. While holding the door or lending a pass may seem innocuous and even feel polite to your team members, it introduces unknown risks from external sources, especially in shared buildings.

While physical barriers serve as effective visual deterrents against tailgating, incorporating intelligent technology, such as Fastlane, enhances security by making rapid calculations based on various factors like passage speed and proximity to other pedestrians. This intelligent decision-making capability enables the detection of tailgating with remarkable precision, as close as 5mm, while minimising false alarms.

For some businesses relying on shared entrance control systems alone, for example in a lobby, it may not feel sufficient in the face of concerns around new threats such as protestors or data security breach concerns. In these cases, we can advise companies looking to install additional security systems on their floor or office door to provide a second level of protection. We discussed this in detail in this recent article here.

Is your security system supporting your ESG goals?

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals are top of the agenda for many boards, and sustainability is increasingly playing a role in security specification, particularly for building refurbishment projects. We seek to support clients in meeting these goals, both through the efficiency of our products, and by advising on how entrance control solutions can integrate with other security and building management elements through the smart use of technology.

One example is connecting Vertical Transportation Systems (VTS) and Destination Control Systems (DCS) to entrance control turnstiles to deliver energy, space and time efficiencies for building managers, as well as improve user experience for occupants. You can read more about this topic here.

As well as playing a role in intelligent building systems, contributing to savings throughout the building, our products consume little energy themselves, only 337kW hours per annum on average, minimising the impact on your energy bills.

Of course ensuring your workplace is equally accessible to all employees and visitors is also a priority – read more about how we can work with you to ensure your entry system is inclusive here.

Good governance also includes awareness of security risk, with cyber threats a key concern, and we’ve discussed why physical security is central to protecting your most valuable resource (data) here.

Are you providing a frictionless and reliable experience for your team?

What was considered state of the art technology five years ago, may no longer be adequate for today’s entrance control needs and user expectations. If your current legacy system can’t keep pace with business demands or user preferences, it’s time to upgrade.

Wearable tech, bring your own devices (BYOD), and smartphones are now ubiquitous, and all users expect seamless integration in workplace systems. Our entrance control turnstiles now feature reader integrations for all devices, ensuring fast acceptance with minimal disruption. Alongside this we can also offer biometrics, as well as multi-factor authentication to meet your individual company’s needs. A successful entrance control system should be frictionless yet secure, achievable only through the latest technology. Learn more about how advanced ID credentials can support a high security environment here.

Equally, to ensure the best experience for your team, it is important to avoid disruptions, as well as potential security risks resulting from systems being out of order or offline. As both supplier and manufacturer we can help minimise disruption and maintenance costs. Our UK-built Fastlane turnstiles undergo extensive testing, resulting in rare failures and lower repair expenses, saving your company time and money.

Guaranteeing minimal disruption with streamlined installation

After a period of change, every workplace looks for a return to normalcy and you may be concerned that installing a new system will be another interruption to business as usual. In fact, at many sites, installation of new turnstiles can be undertaken out of hours, minimising disruptions to the day to day running of the business.

Of course, if you’re already going through the expense and upheaval of a building refurb, it’s the ideal opportunity to review your entrance control. Our team has extensive experience working closely with architects and other specifiers over the past 30 years and can seamlessly ensure that the installation fits into the program of work, as well as ensuring it meets the aesthetic goals for your space. As well as providing the required level of security, we’re also able to provide bespoke solutions and special orders based upon our standard products but customised in a style which is unique to you and your environment.

We can help you to make the best decision for your company, a decision which draws on current working practices, but is also flexible to adapt to the future needs for your business and advise on the security threats you’re likely facing. Call our sales team today on calling +44 (0)208 890 5550 or send an email to