What is a smart locker?
Smart Lockers are lockers electronic locks (wireless or hardwired) installed on each door, connected to IoT hardware (touchscreen kiosk) and software (user app and management dashboard). Smart lockers are also referred to as digital lockers, automated lockers, electronic lockers and IoT lockers.
Fundamentally, smart lockers within workplaces provide employees with a seamless way to access locker storage within the workplace, whilst significantly reducing the cost of manual labour in managing lockers.
How do employees use smart lockers?
Employees are first either allocated a locker by management and are sent an automated email with instructions, or can self-serve allocate themselves a locker.
They can open and manage their locker through a variety of different access methods, including using their existing RFID swipe card, their workplace app, a QR code, Touchscreen (PIN) or the Yellowbox app. This provides a flexible, self-serve and seamless experience compared to emailing facilities to get a locker, and constantly carrying around a key.
If the workplace allows, they can also book and use multiple lockers, setup team lockers and even pickup parcels or IT equipment. Smart lockers provide flexibility for workplaces to use lockers not only as storage lockers, but as team lockers, parcel lockers and IT exchange lockers.
How are smart lockers managed?
Traditional lockers require consistent manual labour-intensive tasks, including:
- Physically onboarding each employee with a locker section, number and key or code.
- Tracking of keys, employees, and lockers, through sheets of paper or spreadsheets.
- Locksmith call outs for replacing locks for missing or shared keys.
- Managing locker requests and trying to figure out who ‘isn’t’ using their locker.
- Offboarding employees that are leaving or moving, ensuring their locker is clear and updating tracking.
Smart lockers make locker management easy through a connected system, made up of seamless and self-serve access methods, a powerful dashboard and integrations with the existing workplace environment:
- All employees are either integrated into the system through an Active Directory or simply uploaded.
- Onboarding can be completely self-serve with automated email instructions.
- Offboarding employees that have left the company is automated.
- Web dashboard tracks all lockers across levels and offices with audit trail.
- Employees can request lockers online, whilst facilities management can manage and allocated lockers from the locker request list.
- System tracks ‘Camping’ behaviour, which identifies which employees have lockers but are not actually using them.
- Lockers can be customised to be hot lockers, team lockers, parcel or IT lockers.
Where do smart lockers fit in within the modern workplace?
Hybrid working has reduced the amount of time employees are in the office on an average work week. Workplaces have and are evolving to meet the changing needs of their employees, without wasting valuable resources. One of the major evolutions have been the transition from fixed desks and under-desk storage to hot desks and lockers. Hot desks allow workplaces to be space efficient, whilst lockers enable employees to maintain a ‘homebase’ for belongings they would have kept within desk storage.
Workplaces then run into the need to have a locker for every employee. However, based on our extensive data, we know that not every employee needs a locker or even uses a locker on a regular basis. For some workplaces, this can be up to even 60%, depending on the flexible working and clean desking policy. Smart lockers provide workplaces with the ability to provide both permanent and hot locker types, so employees that need a locker regularly or not, have access to a locker when they need it, without any administrative burden.
Hot lockers are a flexible locker type that can be set on a locker which can be used for a set time, e.g. single day / multi-day / week. Once the time period has elapsed, it can be re-used by another employee. Notifications are always set to ensure the employee is notified when their hot locker use is ending soon.
Why are so many workplaces using smart lockers?
The cost for a workplace to have a locker for every employee and to manage key lockers is infeasible, especially for workplaces with over 300 employees.
Significantly savings in facility management time of 270 hours annually per 200 lockers, having eliminated several manual labour-intensive tasks.
Employee time savings of 100 hours per 200 employees initially through onboarding, and an additional 10 hours annually per employee, from removing time managing keys, travelling to non-optimal allocated lockers, requesting and booking lockers, managing shared keys/codes for team lockers, and lost keys/codes.
Savings in lockers of 30-40% less lockers are required using smart lockers. The ability to have both permanent and hot lockers, ensures all employees can access a locker when they need. Camping insights ensure that lockers are able to be used fairly and efficiently for those who need and use them.
Savings in space of 30-40% less space for lockers required through smart lockers creates savings in floor space and office rent.