Employee Badges: Security Badges at Work

Security in the workplace is not something to be taken lightly. Security cameras, alarms and personnel all do their bit in keeping the office and its workers safe, but security badges for employees are a must-have regardless of the industry you’re in or the size of your business. For instance, if there’s a particular area of the building where you keep expensive assets, cash or even sensitive and confidential files, access to them can be restricted so that only those who are authorized can enter

Security badges or simple office nametags also a good non-invasive way to identify staff, which is just as beneficial for small companies as it is for large. (Not to mention that if you’re bad with names, no one will know!)



Why are employee badges useful? 

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Increase Security

Security in the workplace is significantly important. By implementing a system with security badges for employees, you can safeguard more effectively by specifying who is allowed into your building. This not only protects your company and your staff against security threats, but also makes sure that only authorized people are allowed entry. Particularly if your office has a large amount of expensive equipment on site, it’s wise to make sure not just anyone can walk in. 

Using employee badges with magnetic strips will enable you to restrict or permit access to particular areas of the building; staff can just swipe their work ID badges in order to get through. 

A step beyond this would be to use a smart card – security badges with a small chip embedded inside. This chip can be filled with all the information and permissions that staff need to get around the office.

You can also link smart cards to printers and other office machinery. This reduces the likelihood of materials, sensitive or otherwise, getting left in the printer and forgotten. Employees can press print and the documents will only come out once they’ve scanned or swiped their badge or entered their employee ID number.


Smart cards can also be used as a cashless alternative in the office – allow staff to top them up with credit to be used in the cafeteria or on other rewards!


provide accountability

Provide Accountability

Another benefit of having magnetic swipe cards for the security of the building, is that they log the entrance and exit times at which they were used. This knowledge provides a sense of accountability for all staff when it comes to time keeping or breaks.

However, it’s important that from a management perspective you don’t go too mad on monitoring this activity. You want employees to be motivated and to boost their productivity not act like Big Brother. Promote culture from within and trust your staff. This goes a lot further than imposing lots of stringent rules. An honor system where employees are trusted to manage their own time at or away from their desks will likely work much more effectively than an ever-present threat of being checked up on.

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Remember names

Starting a new job is tough enough so equipping staff with name badges makes the tricky field of remembering all co-workers’ names just that little bit easier to navigate. There’s nothing worse than being introduced to someone on your first day, then seeing them later in the week only to draw a complete blank on their name!

Providing photo ID badges for employees are also helpful for existing staff in getting to know who’s who; it’s nice for staff to put faces to names if they see someone from outside their own department. Work ID badges also make it easier to tell who belongs where from a security perspective. 

As well as name and job title, office nametags can also hold some extra information such as medical requirements or allergies in the case of an emergency.


build relationships

Build relationships

Implementing office nametags or security badges can make staff feel much more part of a team and add a sense of belonging. With your company branding on the badge too, it can become an unofficial uniform for all teams without enforcing an actual uniform or dress code. By simply pinning on a nametag or wearing a lanyard around your neck, you’ve created a kind of community. 

For any staff in a customer facing role, employee badges can help build a rapport with customers. They also have the added benefit of making staff more noticeable in the workplace and more approachable. Badges for employees in these roles would also benefit from having a ‘specialty’ added in alongside their name and title so that customers are assured they’ve gone to the right person for their query.


Take it a step up from the standard with some cool nametags that include a little fun fact about the owner as well as all the standard information such as name and department.



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Provide perks

ID cards that state your business name can be a great help in getting you deals in the local area. Speak to shops and restaurants around that your staff frequent and negotiate some lunch time discounts and deals. Staff just need to show their company ID badges in order to get a cheap lunch! This has the added benefit of boosting your employees’ moods and motivations too which, as we know, is brilliant for improving workplace culture. 

Food deals aren’t the only thing you can get if you’re bold enough to ask. Many local stores might be happy to provide some coupons or discount codes for your employees, and bars may allow an extended happy hour or 2-for-1 deals on certain drinks on certain days.



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Where to get custom security badges

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can create your own security badges in house. Badge printers are available to buy online and come with everything you’ll need to make your own badges for employees to use. Usually the badge printer will come with the following: printer ribbon, ID card software, camera, and cards to print on. From there, it’s easy as pie – install the software on your computer, create your badge designs, and print!

To make a simple employee badge template, you typically will need to include spaces for:

  • Company logo
  • First and last name
  • Job title
  • Department
  • Photo (nothing too large, usually about passport sized) 

As mentioned above, you can also include a fun fact, medical info, or anything else you might want. Office nametags don’t have to be boring and corporate – get your design department involved to make some really cool nametags for the office. Depending on your preference and what information you want to fit on, security badges and office nametags work as landscape or portrait.

If you don’t have the time or resources to print your own cards, there are many companies out there who can provide this service. By using a specialized company, you can also get much more specific about what kind of work ID badge you want. Alphacard, for example, offer custom security badges. They provide options for both magnetic strip cards and smart cards with chips inside, and also what are known as ‘prox’ badges. This canny abbreviation simply means the cards work on a proximity basis where staff wave the card in front of a reader in order to be granted access.



How to wear work ID badges

There’s no set correct way to wear a security badge unless you feel like implementing those rules yourself. For ease and convenience, it’s popular to wear them on a lanyard. This way, they’re always within reach and staff won’t be caught out if they forget to take their security badge with them on the way out only to not be able to get back in. 

To wear employee badges on a lanyard, you can simply use a heavy-duty hole punch to punch a hole in one corner and clip it onto the lanyard. Alternatively, invest in some plastic holders to slide the security badges into. You can buy these in bulk quite inexpensively depending on your budget or the material you go for. Heavier duty plastic ones will of course last longer but be more expensive to buy for the whole office than a softer and more flexible laminate plastic. SpecialistID.com has a variety of materials and styles.


If you’re opting for something closer to a plain nametag that you pin to clothing, for the sake of uniformity you may want to suggest that staff wear them on the same side, the left lapel for example.


For using smart security badges, you also might want to consider purchasing some shielded badge holders. They work much like anti-theft card holders and will minimize the possibility of the smart card being cloned and any sensitive information or permissions getting into the wrong hands.

From building security to giving employees access to work perks, work ID badges are a universally good idea. If you haven’t already, consider putting a security badge system into effect in your workplace.




What are some other ways you keep your workplace safe? Let us know in a comment below! To see what we’re up to, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And, as always, feel free to send us an email – Larry loves to hear from you.


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Elodie McClean is a writer and former newspaper advertising professional based in London, England. Often found in the nearest Starbucks having to spell her name out to the barista, she will also talk for days about all things dogs, lipstick, and gin related.

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