How security technology can make hybrid work more cost effective

New Zealand-based manufacturer, Gallagher, is a technology leader in integrated access control, intruder alarms management, and perimeter protection. Its security solutions are in use within the highest levels of national and local government, military, commercial, industrial, healthcare, transportation, academic organisations, and small businesses in more than 130 countries. Brad Small explains how security technology can help organisations create efficiencies, reduce costs and decrease their environmental footprint.

Hybrid working is fast becoming commonplace, with many organisations offering employees the opportunity to work from home for at least part of the week. With modern work culture comes an opportunity for organisations to adopt flexible workspaces, utilising technology to create efficiencies, reduce costs, and decrease their environmental footprint.

As Brad Small, Regional Manager for New Zealand at Gallagher Security explains, an intelligent, integrated security solution supports modern work environments to create significant efficiencies through time and cost savings.

“Access control offers so much more than the ability to simply open doors. Integrating access control with other systems, such as visitor management, heating and cooling (HVAC) systems, HR, payroll, car parking, and much more, allows organisations to easily manage systems through one central platform – creating efficiencies and simplifying processes for both system operators and employees.”

Embrace flexibility over tradition

Hybrid working culture means a number of staff can be out of the office on any given day. This means organisations can embrace flexible workspaces in place of traditional allocated desks, enabling them to downsize their office space or expand their business by taking on additional staff without the burden of adding more workstations.

A flexible workspace solution was adopted by People’s Choice Credit Union at their head office in Adelaide, Australia. Located over five floors of an office tower with 650 employees, staff are not allocated a specific desk but instead choose where to sit each day, supporting employees with project work and improved productivity, while saving costs for the organisation.

 A People’s Choice Credit Union spokesperson explains: “By implementing a flexible workspace model, we have been able to save approximately 3,000 square metres of office space, which equates to thousands of dollars each year in building costs.”

Banks of lockers managed by electronic access control provide secure storage for employee’s belongings. Staff simply need to badge their access card – the same card used to access the building – at the access control reader to open their allocated locker.

“Having just one card to access multiple facilities and services across a workplace simplifies processes for both the organisation and employees,” explains Small. “That same card, for example, can be used to access printing services, reducing waste from unnecessary printing by requiring staff to badge their card at the printer before the print job is released.”

Reduce waste with mobile technology

For organisations wishing to decrease their environmental footprint, mobile technology can be used to reduce plastic waste. Mobile apps, transform an employee’s mobile device into an access card, removing the need for a separate, plastic access card altogether.

“There are many benefits in embracing mobile technology for access control,” says Small. “For example, an employee is far less likely to misplace their mobile phone than an access card, reducing time wasted and additional costs for issuing replacement cards.

“Employees are also unlikely to lend their phone to a colleague who has left theirs at home. Mobile technology also offers added security with the option of two-factor authentication, requiring users to input their PIN or biometric using the phone’s built-in fingerprint or facial recognition – ensuring those accessing a building or service are who they say they are.”

Save costs with smart buildings

Integrating access control and building systems (for example: heating, cooling, or lighting) through a central management platform enables organisations to reduce costs and their environmental footprint by ensuring services are only running when they’re needed.

Small says that building services can be programmed to turn on or off as people badge their access card at a reader.

“For example, HVAC systems and lighting for a meeting room or office can be automatically programmed to turn on only when someone badges their card to access the room, saving significant operational costs by ensuring the services are only running when the room is in use. This is particularly beneficial in a hybrid working environment, where offices may not be in use every day.”

Introducing a visitor management system supports efficiency for organisations by easing pressures on front office staff, and ensuring that visitors can still register their arrival and inform the relevant staff member that they have arrived, even if the front desk is unoccupied.

 A visitor management system ensures that all visitors are informed of critical information, such as what to do in the event of an emergency evacuation, and provides an easily retrievable record of exactly who is on site.

People’s Choice Credit Union integrated Gallagher’s visitor management solution and Command Centre to support efficiency at its head office reception area. The kiosk ensures visitors are able to register their arrival quickly, while the integration ensures that a comprehensive audit trail of all visitor management events, including visitor pre-registration, escort, host, and visitor actions, is securely stored and can be easily retrieved to produce reports.

Small says the way we work has changed rapidly over the past few years and will no doubt continue to shift in the future. Organisations have the opportunity now to implement technologies designed to simplify their operations, which enable them to be more efficient and reduce their impact on the planet.  

Brad Small has worked in the security industry since 2012 in roles from product management to business development. He worked at Gallagher’s head office in Hamilton, New Zealand, before being promoted to Business Development Manager in New South Wales, Australia. In 2020, he became Regional Manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

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