One of the principal duties of any employer is to protect its people and provide a safe and secure working environment. But access control in an office is not simply about safety and security, at least in terms of personnel. An office has people coming in and out of it all the time, and it can involve multiple buildings or sections which are required to be managed, because threats to security can come from many different sources.
So even if an office environment does not present the same health and safety risks as other working environments, such as manufacturing or industrial plants, or healthcare settings, for example, and they are not usually open to the public, there are still significant safety and security issues that the business needs to manage.
What are the safety and security risks in an office?
A business operating from an office won’t usually be carrying huge amounts of stock or machinery and equipment, but they will have expensive IT equipment – mobiles, tablets, PCs, laptops – and may have demo rooms where product is kept. In addition to this, a business faces the usual threats of petty theft of employees’ belongings. So safety and security in that sense is still very much required.
But a business also has information to protect. This could be personal data that needs to be protected and back-up data stored on hard drives or USB sticks, but could also be information relating to intellectual property or the business’s standing in the marketplace. So this information could be product or design specifications or formulas which are unique and critical, and which a business does not want in the public domain. It could also be legal documentation and contractual details.
A typical hierarchy of a business also means that levels of personnel may need to be restricted from certain parts of a building, for both safety and security. So access control is required to protect from external threats, but is also needed for internal personnel control. Fundamentally, a business needs to know who is on site and when, and needs to control who is authorised to go where within the premises. This is from a safety and security point of view, but also to protect the trading position of the business.
How do we manage access control in an office?
This very much depends on the size and complexity of your premises and how much you wish to invest. But common solutions include automated access control systems, which can be operated using cards, key fobs, a code/password or biometric solutions (face or fingerprint recognition) which are either issued to suitable and authorised employees or are unique to them. Other solutions are video entry systems, or hybrid solutions which can be integrated to link with staff management systems for HR purposes or alarm and fire safety systems.
EM-B can supply solutions tailored to your specific needs, and which directly address the practical requirements of your business and complement how you operate. But in addition to this, EM-B can help with implementing successful solutions. Here we can work with you to ensure access control systems:
- Have a structure – access and authorisation is clearly defined
- Are documented – employees can access and understand the control procedures
- Are managed – roles and responsibilities are defined
- Are implemented – solutions are practical and effective
- Are reviewed – regular appraisal and re-evaluation takes place to ensure access control is fair and reflects current practice
How does an office business benefit from access control?
There are many ways that an office-based business can benefit from an effective access control system:
- Compliance – the basic duties of an employer are fulfilled
- Costs – there is no need for expensive security personnel and in some cases there will be no need for investing in CCTV systems. A successful system may also lead to insurance premiums being reduced
- Efficiency – clear access control enables a business to operate smoothly and effectively and managing authorisation successfully encourages collaboration and innovation. Integrating access control with other health and safety systems also allows a business to run more economically
- Environmental benefits – a hybrid system that ensures doors are automatically closed and restricts access to unauthorised personnel also helps to manage internal temperatures and means systems such as air conditioning are more cost-effective and energy costs are reduced
- Employee satisfaction – enabling a system of ease of movement that is clearly defined and managed, provides a nicer working environment to the benefit of all employees
- Public relations – a high quality access control solution will manage the public face of the business and ensuring the safety and security of employees, buildings and information assets, means you are managing the business from the risk of damaging bad publicity.
Contact EM-B for professional access control systems for your office
If you have a need for high quality access control solutions for your office, then contact EM-B today. We can supply and install industry-leading solutions to help manage your business and deliver the premium results your business expects.