Smart vs. Traditional Lockers - Why offices need to transition to smart lockers

Aug 2, 2023 10:56:23 AM | Team Vecos | 5 minute read

With the emergence of flexible working and fixed desks moving out, storage for employees’ personal belongings, assets and more needed to be rethought. As a result, smart lockers have gained immense popularity in flexible workplaces.

What drives this increased demand for smart lockers as opposed to traditional lockers operated with a key or PIN code?

Unlike traditional lockers, smart lockers offer flexible and automated storage on demand, which makes the lives of the Facilities Team and employees easier. This article discusses 6 benefits of smart lockers over traditional office lockers and why modern offices choose to upgrade to this modern solution.

This article discusses 6 benefits of smart lockers over traditional office lockers and why modern offices choose to upgrade to this modern solution.

1. Less floor space required

With traditional office lockers, users are typically assigned a permanent locker operated with a key or PIN code. This type of setup requires a physical locker for every single employee. Even more if you include lockers for visitors or assets, for instance.

And due to the limited verification options, employees can end up occupying even more than one locker. This all often leads to companies having a lot more lockers than employees. While large-scale flexible working is making the inefficiency of traditional lockers painfully visible: more office lockers than ever remain unused every day. 

Up to 40% less floor space required

By offering lockers as a flexible on-demand service, smart locker systems require, on average, 40 percent fewer physical lockers, greatly reducing the amount of floor space needed for storage. 

Employees can open, release and switch lockers themselves, using an access card, smartphone, their fingerprint or facial recognition. Customized programming ensures availability, automatically assigning the lockers for specific windows of time or to specific users.

The lockers are released after the work is done, making them available again to others. This way, a smaller number of lockers can accommodate more employees and storage needs. 

The fact that smart lockers can be programmed and are offered as an on-demand service also means more efficient and time-saving facilities management. 

Read more: What is a smart locker? 


2. Time-saving for the Facilities Team

Managing traditional lockers is notoriously time-consuming because of the ad hoc and manual work involved for the Facilities Team. Logs need to be checked manually to see which lockers are available before one can be assigned. Lost keys, forgotten PIN codes and requests for locker changes are regular occurrences, which inconvenience both employees and the Facilities Team. Smart lockers, on the other hand, automate processes and are less prone to locker access issues, which frees up staff time for other tasks.

Automated processes

Smart lockers are designed to optimize the use of space, save time and simplify the process of managing locker access. This is achieved by automating processes such as assigning lockers, tracking usage, and collecting usage data. The automation of these processes not only reduces the time and resources otherwise spent on manual management but also improves overall operations (also see benefit no. 5: Access to real-time usage data).

Lockers as an on-demand service

A smart locker system turns regular office lockers into an on-demand service that employees operate themselves. Employees can select and use a locker or switch lockers when and where they need, without requiring the involvement of the Facilities Team. The rules regarding locker use are already set in the management software with the implementation, which is then automatically enforced. For instance, if you can only use one locker at a time, requests for a second locker are automatically denied.

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3. User Convenience

From the users’ perspective, convenience is key. That means fast and easy access to a safe storage space when needed. For employees, smart lockers have two major advantages compared to traditional lockers. First, no more hassle with lost locker keys or forgotten PIN codes. Second, on-demand storage wherever and whenever they need it, so they can work from the location that’s best suited for the task at hand.

Fast and easy access to storage

Traditional lockers need to be actively assigned. And they’re operated with a key or PIN code, which means one more thing to bring and keep or remember for employees. With smart lockers there’s no waiting time or need for involvement of the Facilities Team. Lockers are available on demand and operated with a method employees already routinely carry with them or always have with them: an access card, smartphone, their fingerprint or facial recognition. Your organization can opt for the best fit for your specific work environment.

A customized user experience

With a versatile smart locker system, you can use and adapt the settings in the software to create a smooth and truly customized work experience. Assign lockers within easy distance or at a specific height for employees with disabilities. Include locker sharing to accommodate colleagues working together on a project. Lockers for visitors, a parcel service or spare parts. A built-in USB charger to always be able to charge devices in a secure place.

The latter touches upon another important issue: storage also needs to be safe.

Read more: Top 9 benefits of smart lockers for dynamic workplaces

4. Increased security

Smart lockers and traditional lockers also differ significantly when it comes to security. While traditional lockers rely on physical keys or PIN codes for security, smart lockers use high-quality locks, sophisticated software and real-time data to secure and protect users' belongings.

Authorized access

Smart lockers offer more control when it comes to managing locker access. Facilities Managers can easily set access permissions for each user (group), ensuring that only authorized users can access specific lockers. Authentication technologies such as biometric authentication (facial recognition or fingerprint scanning) or RFID card readers verify the user’s identity. All locker usage is automatically logged.

Sturdy locks and security via the software

The safety of the contents of smart lockers is secured both with the physical lock and in the software. Traditional lockers can be easily opened by using a key or a simple tool to break the lock. Smart lockers are more resistant to tampering or forced entry. Also, the software allows the Facilities Team to monitor locker usage and access in real-time, which can help detect unusual activity or potential security threats. Moreover, smart lockers can be programmed to sound an alarm or notify security personnel if someone tries to break into a locker.


5. Access to real-time usage data

Smart locker systems collect and store data on locker usage, occupancy rates and other relevant metrics, allowing Facilities Managers to analyze this information and make data-driven decisions. To optimize locker usage, improve resource allocation and increase overall efficiency.

Data-driven customized locker management

Smart lockers can track a wide variety of usage data. For instance how often lockers are used, on which days and times, and the average usage duration per locker, locker setup and building. All usage data are combined to help understand user preferences and behavior patterns, and give insight into high usage areas, peak times and current storage needs. Facilities Managers can then make data-driven decisions and adjust locker configurations to optimize the locker usage and space usage where needed.

Read more: What are the top 10 Features of Workplace Smart Lockers?

6. The locker system as an integrated part of your workplace ecosystem

In modern, flexible workplaces, all facilities are connected, for easier and data-driven workplace management, and to create a pleasant and optimized work environment. In that setting, a traditional locker setup, which offers an offline storage solution with a separate method of access (a key or PIN code) and manual administration, misses the mark. A smart locker system, on the other hand, blends right in.

Operating lockers with your access control method

As mentioned before, with a smart locker system you have the option to use your method of access control to operate the lockers as well. This can be an access card, an app on a smartphone or biometric verification. Using one access method for multiple purposes and services eases the administrative burden for the Facilities Team and creates a smoother work experience for employees.

Integration with a workplace app

Smart lockers can be operated with the smart locker system’s smartphone app or the locker functionalities can be integrated into a workplace app. For instance, Capgemini and Vodafone have designed their own workplace app. Employees can use it to access a building, use a locker, book rooms, and more.

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Want to streamline your locker management and improve the employee experience? 




Want to be future ready?

Hybrid working is here to stay. Dynamic storage gives your people the freedom to work anywhere, easily. Contact us to find out more about smart locker technology, and the role it plays in flexible workplace success.

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