Key holding security challenges post-Covid-19

The challenge of flexible working and employee key holders – are you ready?

There is finally some light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, with all lockdown measures and restrictions set to be lifted by early summer (if all goes to plan).

But for many businesses, the workplace environment - along with how and where employees carry out their duties - may have been changed forever, as a result of the pandemic.

Some big names, including Unilever and HSBC, have already said that their employees will never again work five days a week in the office. And it’s a message that has been echoed by many small and medium-sized businesses too.

What we’re likely to see when restrictions are lifted, is a mix of remote and office-based working. And for facilities teams, this could present some new challenges; particularly in relation to the locking and unlocking of the premises.

Potential key holder issues

If you currently outsource your locks and unlocks function to an external security provider, such as ourselves here at Venture, then little will change. You may simply need to review the agreed timings, to ensure they are still in line with your planned office opening hours and any other access requirements.

However, if you look after this function in-house – ie. employees hold keys and take on this responsibility themselves - then there are a few issues you need to consider ahead of staff returning to site:

  • How are new flexible working patterns going to impact on who is on site and when?
  • How will you ensure a key holder is always present when required?
  • Have you put a rota in place?
  • What happens with holidays and sick leave - what is your contingency plan?
  • What will you do if your current key holders choose to work remotely for the long term?
  • As a result of the pandemic, has the layout or location of your sites changed in a way that might impact on employee key holders? For example, have you changed the location of certain departments, or opened satellite offices?
  • Do you have enough resources in place to manage these changes?


Lone worker safety

If you discover you are going to need to increase the number of employee key holders, then remember to think about lone worker safety. The law requires all employers to deal with any health and safety risks before people are allowed to work alone. You’ll find more advice on the topic in this blog, including tips for ensuring you’re fully compliant.

Another potential implication is cost, if employee key holders need to attend outside of their usual contracted hours, or at unsocial hours.


Take the pressure off your employees

At Venture Security, we work with businesses big and small to help manage their locking and unlocking and alarm response requirements. We hold keys to clients’ premises and will accompany employees in their duties, or entirely manage opening, locking up and alarm responses for them, removing all risk from employees. 

Our fully trained and licensed security personnel are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can respond to an alarm very quickly and every officer is also trained in conflict and crime scene management, so no matter what they might find, they are ready to take appropriate action.

“It gives us great peace of mind knowing that a trained and experienced security operative is dealing with things, rather than placing any risk or responsibility on our staff members. They are the perfect security service for us and I would highly recommend them.”  (Norman Cave-Browne-Cave, IT & Facilities Manager, Lawton Communications Group, Southampton)

Call us for a quote on 01264 391538 or email