The Three Main Types of Locks

You know employees need their own personal storage space, you’re passionate about improving their workplace experience and see lockers as way to create an extension of your brand.


But you’re swimming in a sea of locks with little idea about which one will best fit your desired experience, aesthetic, and budget. This page is for you. Immerse yourself in expert content that will enable you to choose the best locking strategy for your needs. 


Lock options can be split into 3 categories: Mechanical, Digital and RFID. 

Mechanical Locks

Mechanical locks are the simplest and least expensive choice. They include keylocks, padlocks and manual combination locks. The keylock and padlock options require each employee using a locker, to be issued a specific one within the bank and a corresponding keyThe mechanical combination lock has two categories within it. The first is ‘assigned’ which means every employee using a locker must be issued a specific one within the bank and a corresponding combination code.


The second is ‘unassigned’ which means that combination codes on each locker are reset every time an employee has finished using it, allowing them to use any locker, provided it is not already occupied. Although this option is a cheap one and gives employees a permanent personal space for their utilization at any time, the mechanical strategies can become a problem when keys are lost, and combinations are forgotten. 


The principal benefits of choosing mechanical are that they are cheap, simple and good for locations with few employees. The principal drawbacks of the mechanical options are that keys and combinations are often lost/forgotten, assigning a permanent locker to all employees takes up a lot of space andthe manual opening method is not easily accessible to all.  However, if you are looking for the cheapest and simplest solution to improve your employee experience - mechanical is your best option. Click here and go to the mechanical dropdown. 


Key Locks

Combination Locks

Digital Locks

The Digital category includes combination locks which are battery powered and do not require a manual turning of a handle to open but, instead, are operated by a keypad. They are available in various aesthetics including horizontal and vertical keypadsSome options have greater accessibility and are ADA/DDA approved enabling an equitable experience for all employees. 


Digital combination locks can be ‘assigned’ meaning every employee using a locker must be issued a specific one within the bank and a corresponding combination code, and ‘unassigned which means that combination codes on each locker are reset every time an employee has finished using it, allowing any employee to use any locker, provided it is not already occupied. All locks can also have a master code override which can be programmed and used whenever a code is forgotten. The principal benefits of a digital lock as opposed to a mechanical lock are that they are more user friendly and accessible, and they have a mastercode override


They are also cheaper option compared to the RFID locks. The principal drawbacks of the digital strategies are that they still require a code to be remembered by the userbatteries may run out eventually and if the ‘assigned’ option is chosen, a lot of space will be taken up providing lockers for everyone. Digital combination locks are ideal if you want an upgrade from fiddley mechanical combination locks but don’t want to invest into a fully-fledged RFID system. Click here and go to the digital dropdown.  




RFID Locks

RFID locks are the most technically sophisticated and adaptable. RFID means Radio Frequency Identification and allows employees to claim, use and lock their personal storage space using one card or an existing badge or tag. Real time, detailed usage data is recorded on a central system allowing the manager to see how often the locker bank is being used, who is using the lockers – a full audit trail allowing more streamlined and easier locker management. The central system also allows for emergency unlocking as well as easy onboarding of new employees with no need to remember additional codes and keys. 


There are two main categories within the hypernym of RFID locks – battery and wired or networked. Battery RFID locks are integrated with the WIFI system and require no wires to be run, also having a stand-alone function if the WIFI goes down. Wired or networked RFID locks are all connected to the mains and therefore are a more environmentally friendly option as no batteries are needed. Running wires to each lock mean extra expenses for structural and aesthetic purposes, however with the wires already in place, it is easy to add power, USB charging and an internal light within each locker. 


Available in assigned or unassigned, choosing a RFID locking strategy will ensure that you can provide the most streamlined experience for all employees and offers you the most effect management system for the tracking and maintenance of your lockers. Click here and go to the RFID dropdown.  




Shared Lockers


Shared Lockers allows for a flexible locker system where employees can claim any locker in a bank which is not already occupied and render it unavailable for others to use. The benefits of choosing a shared locking strategy include extra flexibility, enhanced experience and savings on space and money.  


Shared Lockers add an extra flexibility to the storage solution as employees can choose a locker which is suited to their needs that day. For example, if the employee has a foldable bike to store one day they can use a larger locker, and then only a small bag another day, they can choose a smaller locker.  


Employee’s experience will be enhanced as shared lockers offers maximum efficiency and convenience, with no need to remember keys or codes.  

The locking strategy also means saving money and space, especially in a hybrid work environment. With not all the workforce in the office every day, the number of lockers provided can be reduced, therefore reducing the cost and physical space taken, as the shared system expertly assists with selecting a locker suited to employee needs.  

Explore Shared Lockers

The Locker that Supports You

Whatever your needs, it is possible to find a lock that supports your strategy and resources. Critically, you should know that there is no right lock to choose so let's discuss a few key factors which will influence your decision.


Physical space constraints: if you have tight constraints on space, an ideal option is the ‘unassigned' locking strategy. However, this is only ideal if you have employees who are not always in the office or do not have a permanent high demand for lockers. 


Budget: Mechanical locks are the least demanding monetarily however, you may feel that the time and bother caused over lost keys and the lower quality employee experience is more of a cost than the initial investment.


Level of demand: It is always beneficial to assess the demand for lockers. It may be that certain teams need them more than others or that smaller lockers are more popular. You may find that, whilst essential, less lockers will be used at one time that you previously thoughts, and this was give you the opportunity to go for more quality RFID locks, but less lockers. See our 7 points of consideration before choosing your locker strategy.

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