According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. office workers, traditional access control methods are costly and becoming more vulnerable by the minute.

The survey, commissioned by NexKey, found that nearly 60 percent of people surveyed would prefer to use their smartphones to access spaces over more traditional methods such as keys or cards.

Those traditional methods have been proved vulnerable in modern workplaces; 17 percent of respondents said an ex-coworker or employee has stolen from their workplace using their old key, and more than a quarter of respondents have had to replace their locks within the last year because an employee lost their key or failed to return it. Of respondents who had to replace their locks, 25 percent said they had to do so four to six times in the last year.

As workplaces shift towards more open, fluid, coworking atmospheres, access management must evolve, and quickly. Forty-four percent of coworking tenants use traditional keys to access their space, and this group is nearly four times as likely (32 percent compared to 8 percent) to experience theft from an ex-coworker or employee as non-coworking tenants.

Coworking spaces are extremely popular with millennials in particular (68 percent of coworking tenants are millennials), and two-thirds of coworking tenants in this age group are interested in unlocking doors with smartphones over traditional methods.

The survey also found that:

  • Almost 40 percent of millennials have duplicated a do-not-duplicate key.
  • Three-fourths of respondents have lost or misplaced their keys.
  • Around a third of respondents have needed to grant someone access to their office building from a remote location.