The traditional 9-to-5, five-days-a-week office routine is a thing of the past, according to HID’s newly released 2024 State of Physical Access Control Report. With the advent of broadband internet and the widespread use of smart devices, a more flexible work environment has been emerging. Cloud-based solutions for document storage and access, along with instant messaging and video conferencing platforms, were already transforming traditional work setups. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated this transition, according to the report.

Prior to 2020, approximately one in eight working adults reported working from home at least once a week. However, HID’s survey conducted between November 2023 and January 2024 revealed that 44 percent of workers now work outside the office. This group includes 28 percent who are hybrid workers, splitting their time between the office and home, and 16 percent who work exclusively from home.

This shift toward flexible and hybrid working arrangements is posing substantial challenges for the physical access control industry, as highlighted in the responses to HID’s 2024 State of Physical Access Control Report.

RELATED: Key Market Drivers Shaping Access Control in 2024

In collaboration with HID, IFSEC Global surveyed more than 1,200 security professionals worldwide, revealing significant transformations within the industry. The survey identified five key trends that are shaping the future of access control. They are:

Mobile access and digital ID set to become ubiquitous 

While physical ID is still prevalent within the access control industry, there is no doubt that mobile access credentials and digital IDs are quickly gaining ground.

According to this report, nearly 2 in 5 organizations (39 percent) now actively use mobile identities with respondents naming touchless/contactless solutions (48 percent) and mobile access (44 percent) as the two largest trends shaping the wider access control industry.

Open standards driving smart buildings phenomenon

Open standards have become key drivers for more converged security solutions, where physical access control data is helping not just to decide who should be allowed into the building, but also how that building can best be used. As the report shows, almost half of organizations (48 percent) already have access control/badge scanning systems in place to monitor building usage throughout the day, at least to some extent. Additionally, 43 percent of respondents cited smart buildings and flexible workspaces being among the top three trends shaping the wider access control industry. Integration with other business functions was also listed by one in three respondents (32 percent) as another top trend.

Sustainability becoming a greater influence on business decisions

Sustainability is playing a significant role in access control with nearly two thirds (63 percent) of respondents citing that those with responsibility for sustainability have either some influence or are fully consulted when it comes to upgrading physical access control systems.

The rise of artificial intelligence for analytics use cases 

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in physical access control is becoming more common as AI technologies and expertise are developed. Asked if they are looking to incorporate AI/machine learning into their access control solutions, 38 percent of stated they were (although the same percentage said they were unsure of the benefits). Only 23 percent said they didn’t have any plans to incorporate AI technologies.

Growing role of biometrics — especially contactless solutions

The biometrics market is growing at a rapid pace. By 2031 the worldwide market for biometrics is expected to reach $136.18 billion while the global facial recognition market alone is predicted to grow to $16.74 billion by 2030, up from $3.83 billion in 2020. That’s a CAGR of 16 percent from 2021 to 2030.

To download the full report, go here. Registration is required.