Mobile Authentication for the Flexible Workforce

Smart, mobile authentication technologies support flexible models for working —at home, in the office or anywhere.

COVID-19 shut down many workplaces around the globe in 2020, leading to a sharp increase in the number of people working from home. As we move into 2022, many people are still working from home or have adopted flexible working arrangements with time split between home and the shared office. For a number of businesses, these flexible working arrangements are likely to become permanent. Mobile authentication using a smartphone powered by Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) or Near-Field Communication (NFC) can help organizations support flexible working arrangements without sacrificing security.

Flexible and remote working arrangement have been beneficial for both organizations and workers.

  • Knowledge workers, in particular, have seen productivity gains in many sectors with the shift to remote work.
  • Flexible working arrangements reduce absenteeism by allowing people to continue working from home during temporary closures due to COVID surges or even while waiting for the plumber.
  • As more workers shift to fully or partially remote arrangements, some businesses have realized cost savings by eliminating or reducing office space—with some shifting to shared workspaces (“hot desking”) to reduce per person space requirements.

No matter where people are working, security is essential. Mobile authentication technologies can give people access to the data, applications and physical resources they need, both at home and in the office. Mobile authentication is:

  • Easier for users, since there are no passwords or PINs to remember and access is tied to the smartphone, which they always carry with them.
  • More secure than a password, which is easily compromised or hacked.
  • Easy for IT to manage; authorizations can be managed centrally for both in-office and at-home workers, and access levels can be individualized for each user.

Working from Home

When employees are working from home, it is essential to make sure that only the right people have access to company files, applications and digital services. With a single sign-on solution (SSO) that uses mobile credentials, the smartphone becomes the key that unlocks access to everything needed for work, from anyplace and any computer.

  • The user simply plugs the reader into the computer’s USB port and waves their smartphone over it to log in.
  • When they are away from their workspace, the computer is locked, ensuring that children, roommates or others in the shared environment can’t accidentally or deliberately access work files and programs.

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More interesting topics

Want to learn more about integrating mobile into your authentication solution? Read more about mobile authentication.

Mobile Authentication at the Office

When workers do come into the office, the same smartphone credentialing system can be leveraged for access to the building and everything inside, from workstations and printers to vending machines and lockers.

  • Smartphone authentication can be used for physical access control, including building entry and access to elevators, parking garages and secure areas.
  • Workers can book workstations and meeting rooms online and authenticate themselves with their phones using a reader right at the workstation or room. That way there is no confusion about who is supposed to be where and at what time.
  • Mobile authentication is ideal for secure printing, too: users just wave their phone over the reader at the printer to unlock the print job.
  • Individual access levels can even be set for temporary employees or third-party vendors, such as the cleaning service, without the need to issue ID cards for these high-turnover positions.

 A smartphone credentialing system is easier and more convenient for practically everyone—and cards can still be issued in the event that someone does not already carry a smartphone. Unified mobile authentication technologies are helping organizations adapt to the needs of tomorrow’s flexible workforce.

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