In the second annual Access Control Trends Review from Nexkey, data finds that most people are happily returning to the office in the next few months, and there is a shift toward smartphone-based access control post-pandemic. 

For the report, Nexkey surveyed over 1,700 people, 300 of them managing office access, to understand the current and future state of the access control industry.

Interesting highlights from the survey include:

  • 91% of remote workers plan to return to the office;
  • 85% of people returning to the office plan to return by September 2021;
  • 68% who already have returned to the office are happy to be back;
  • Yet, 68.7% office workers still use unsecure keycards, fobs and keys;
  • 9% of people today use smartphones to access their workplace, an increase of 64% compared to last year;
  • 85% office managers want more doors to have access control, a 10% increase from last year.

According to the report, the number one reason holding organizations back from implementing more access control is cost.

Return to the office

It has been a slow upclimb but as of June 2021 it seems like occupancy has finally reached the pre-pandemic level. Confirmed by this survey, 68% of people are currently working in the office full-time or part-time, though a majority having a flexible schedule continuing to work from home.

For those still working at home, 91% will return to the office either part-time or full-time, and very soon. 87% of those will make their return by September 2021. Most will return with a flexible schedule. 62% will go to the office once a week or less.

People are generally happy to go back. 68% of office workers who have already returned from remote working feel satisfied to be back in the office. 

The shift to mobile post-pandemic

As people return to the office, more than half, 53%, of people who manage access in their own building think access control is more important due to the pandemic. 

Since last year’s survey, the same percentage of workers still use key cards, 44%, yet 9% of all office workers surveyed use a smartphone to unlock their doors, an increase of 64% from last year. 

98% of office workers said they have a smartphone today. Our smartphones are always on us and have become an extension of us. It’s no surprise that the smartphone was the #1 choice across all credentials, beating key cards, key fobs, and pin codes.

Security is still a big issue with keys, key cards and fobs

Sixty-six percent of office workers prefer security over convenience, the same percentage seen mid lockdown. Key cards continue to be the most common access credential, especially in companies with over 1000 employees. However, the data also shows they have the most vulnerabilities.

According to the data, 1 out of 4 let someone borrow their key to unlock their workplace. 33% of businesses had to change the locks because keys from an employee were not returned, and of those people 43% had to do that, astoundingly so, at least 4X in the last year to stay secure.

85% of office administrators want more doors to be outfitted with access control, an increase of 10% from last year. #1 reason holding people back to get more access control is that it  is too expensive.

When it comes to the price for the ideal access control system, 77% said they would only pay under $1000 per door. Interestingly it seems more people are willing to pay a monthly fee than in the prior year. 54% would pay $11 or more per door for the ideal access control platform, an increase of 4% from a year ago. 

For more information, download the survey here.