Flexible working and ID management

Written By John Fieldsend
flexible working

"Flexible working” is becoming the norm. When staff CAN work from home, they are encouraged to do just that. However, there will be inevitable reasons and opportunities for employees to come back into the office, however infrequently and that may have a knock-on effect on security.

You may be forgiven in thinking that flexible working has no impact on individuals’ ID cards but it’s worth considering its effects. New members of staff may have joined the company, others may have left. Some people you may see regularly while others may pop in on rare occasions. As a result, the staff seen around the workplace may not necessarily be known to each other or immediately recognisable. In addition, while many companies do regularly update their staff ID credentials, many more do not, and it is not uncommon to see people with very obviously younger versions of themselves on their ID cards.

When we haven’t seen someone for a while, we are often struck by changes to their appearance which we wouldn’t usually notice if we encountered them regularly. Over even a short period, it is inevitable that colleagues may not look quite the same as they used to. This could be due to:

  1. Changes in weight, both gains and losses
  2. Hairstyle and hair colour
  3. Facial hair

While photos on ID cards should be updated whenever there’s a marked alteration to someone’s appearance as a matter of course, the trend towards distributed working provides a unique opportunity to undertake a comprehensive programme to update all employees’ credentials: after all, an organisation’s stringent ID management should be maintained in the same way that its IT security is addressed.

With that in mind, consider your options to add extra layers of security to your workplace’s ID cards: incorporate defined access permissions to both data and physical areas, include electronic payment capabilities and consider recording time and attendance as employees’ daily schedules at least until if and when the “routine 9 to 5” five days a week becomes the norm again.