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Keyless Access Control Vs. Smart Locks For Coworking Spaces

. 4 min read . Written by Michelle Cadieux
Keyless Access Control Vs. Smart Locks For Coworking Spaces

Looking for systems to secure your coworking space? You’ve come to the right place!

Long gone are the days of clunky locks and metal keys; a whole new spectrum of keyless technologies and “smart locks” are taking over the commercial market.

You probably already use some form of keyless technology daily. Perhaps at your apartment building, gym, or office.

That said, there are ranges of options for commercial space owners to choose from as well. Ultimately, you want to select the keyless system that fits your budget and business needs.

Here is an introduction to the two main types of security and lock systems commonly used in modern coworking spaces.

We will be looking over the basics of each system and their respective benefits and drawbacks.

By the end of this article, you will be able to make an informed decision regarding access control systems for your coworking space.

Keyless access control systems: the basics

Keyless access control systems deliver the most high-tech solution to access control: One that is fully keyless.

In other words, imagine being able to open the door of your office or your apartment building simply by using your mobile device.

That said, some keyless access control systems are “smarter” and therefore more mobile-friendly than others. For example, Kisi, is a leader in keyless access control technology. Their systems can unlock any door in your space with just a mobile phone.

With any new technology, there are advantages and drawbacks. Let's have a look at the main benefits and disadvantages of keyless technology.

Benefits of keyless access control

The obvious benefit of having a true keyless system is no more lost keycards or FOBs!

Lost key cards and FOBs are a hassle for coworking space owners and IT professional that must deal with manually activating and deactivating new access gadgets.

The second benefit is the smooth onboarding of new members.

With a totally keyless system, new members simply need to download an app. No need to chase members down and make them wait while you activate their keycards or FOBs.

Keyless access control systems also have a web-based portal, where space owners and authorized admin can log in to manage and control and/or limit access based on the members' selected plan.

Lastly, many keyless access control systems integrate with your coworking space management software or CRM, so that you can manage member access on one platform only.

Drawbacks of keyless access control

First, one important drawback of keyless access control is the setup as it requires more hardware: a controller, door readers, and locks.

Secondly, the “smarter” a technology becomes the more difficult it can be for users to adopt, understand, and use.

Although we can assume most modern coworkers are tech-savvy; compared to good old fashioned lock and key, there's no denying that there will  be a learning curve involved when using this new technology.

Smart locks: the basics

Smart locks are not quite like traditional lock and key, and they are not as advanced as keyless access control systems described above. They are somewhere in between.

As mentioned, you’ve probably used - or currently use - a type of keyless access control system daily. Maybe at an office, gym, or even a condo building.

When it comes to smart locks, on the most basic side of the spectrum, you find locks that feature a manual keypad with a code that must be punched in to activate and open the lock.

A more sophisticated type of keyless system usually consists of a door reader - which is installed right next to the door and lock,- and the reader is wired to the locks in a door. When a keycard of FOB is pressed against it, the door unlocks automatically.

Although this type of access system doesn't require a traditional metal key, it is not truly keyless.

Benefits of smart locks

Smart locks boast several benefits for coworking space owners.

First off, they are easy to set up and install and require less hardware than a truly keyless system.

Moreover, many modern smart locks on the more sophisticated and “smart” side of the technology spectrum will come with a web or mobile interface, so you can monitor usage separately.

Lastly, depending on the model and brand chose, smart locks are overall a budget-conscious choice.

Drawbacks of smart locks

As mentioned before, smart locks are not truly keyless as many require a keycard or FOB. This can pose an issue with people losing and misplacing these access gadgets.

In extension, the main shortcoming of these locks is that coworking space administrators must manually grant and revoke access to members and visitors, which can be time-consuming and difficult to keep track of. Also, members may forget to hand in their keycard and FOBs once their membership is over.

In Summary

To sum up, there are two main types of modern access control systems: Keyless access control and smart locks.

Keyless access control is the most advanced, and most importantly, totally keyless. Allowing members to use only their mobile devices to access a space.

On the other hand, smart locks are more common, seen in hotels, gym, etc. And often come in many forms. For example, a keypad built into a lock with a code that must be punched in to unlock it.

This technology is not always fully keyless and may require a gadget such as a FOB, a keycard, or remembering a code for access.

At a certain point, you will be required to purchase an access control solution for your space. Carefully study the advantages and disadvantages of both these technologies, so ultimately, you can pick the optimal one for the size of your space and your members.