Ever since the serious talks of re-opening began, it’s became abundantly clear that in this new post-pandemic era, workplaces will demand a higher level of physical security. Companies have gotten the memo (at least, most of them did).
Business leaders have been adopting the best practices to protect their business and workforce, while landlords have been increasingly investing in high-tech solutions to give their buildings a competitive edge.
However, implementing physical security tech solutions on the premises is just half the battle. The real question is: do they form a perfectly aligned, error-proof, and visitor-friendly security strategy?
Achieving this perfect end-to-end physical security protocol is much easier said than done. For some businesses, finding this perfect alignment is a never-ending process, practically a North Star. But if the you didn’t nail down the ideal security process, the truth is, you don’t have security.
Here are some of the considerations you might find useful when fine tuning physical security on your premises.
Are all elements of your security system aligned into one cohesive flow?
Implementing a solid security tech stack, like automatic occupancy tracking, a digital check-in, or an access control system, is, of course, important. The real challenge, however, is making sure that all the elements are integrated properly and are “talking” to each other.
Back in the final quarter of 2020, we surveyed over 300 CRE professionals around the globe. According to the survey results, 87% of CRE experts believe only half (or less) of their workplace tech solutions integrate with one another.
Here is an example (based on a true story). A company implemented two critical elements that were meant to enhance physical security:
- The guests were issued temporary passes which they used to enter the building.
- Before a visit, guests were emailed NDAs.
This company had two crucial pieces of the security puzzle here – a digital guest check-in and a health screening, which is great. The issue was that the temporary pass on guests’ phones granted them access regardless of whether the NDAs were completed. The security protocol wasn’t really working.
This gap was easy to fix once those two pieces got connected properly. From then on, a guest would receive a QR code that granted them access only after they successfully signed the NDA.
How prone to human error is your physical security setup?
Here’s a couple of examples that are also based on true stories:
- A lobby personnel accidentally gave a candidate who came for an in-person interview access to all the building floors instead of one floor they were supposed to visit. As a result, the guest ended up on the wrong floor, where another tenant company resided —and the tenant was not thrilled.
- One of the tenant’s guests failed to stop at the building lobby on the way out and didn’t return the plastic card they used to go through the turnstile. The lobby personnel also forgot to revoke the guest’s access, as it needed to be done manually. The guest retained access to the building for weeks.
Both situations above happened because of human error and could have easily been avoided if access had been granted and revoked by the automatic system based on the pre-set rules.
Does a security setup stand in the way of creating a high-end, guest-friendly experience?
Physical security is a major competitive differentiator for commercial buildings, but so is tenant experience. If these elements are at odds, it becomes a problem.
Here is the last example (and yes, it is also based on a true story).
As a part of one building’s enhanced security protocol, all visitors were required to stop at the lobby and announce themselves to the lobby personnel, who, in turn, notified the host. At certain times of the day, the lobby got very crowded. As a result, a C-suite level guest to one of the larger tenant companies spent an hour waiting in the lobby because the lobby personnel, busy with the other guests, failed to notify the appropriate party.
This guest’s experience could have been much better if the security protocol was more efficient, for example, if visitors were pre-approved in advance and sent a QR code with an access to the turnstile.
About the Author:
Gregory Blondeau is CEO of Proxyclick