Back to School? Back to the Office
After an interesting year of home schooling and work-from-home demands due to the global pandemic, this fall many of us will be returning to our offices as the kids head back to school. The safety and security of our offices should be a top priority for review as we return to reduce liability, insurance costs and ultimately provide a safe environment for our workers. There are several steps to be taken to ensure that your office and commercial space have a safe and secure environment to greet returning workers.
Have a safety and security program
Safety and security is everyone’s responsibility. Having a safety and security program that is regularly reviewed with your team is critical to ensuring that everyone will know what to do in the event of an emergency (Milano, 2021). Your program should include an audit of all safety and security needs, like adding door alarms and cameras to easily monitor the premise. Lighting in parking lots, stairwells and other traffic areas should be examined with replacement bulbs in hand for any areas not well lit. Adding employee badges and key fobs can provide an additional layer of protection that only allows entry to the building for those who are approved. This also provides an audit trail of who is on site at any given time. Buzzer systems should also be considered to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering your facilities.
Engage Your Team in The Process
Gaining buy in that everyone is responsible for safety and security can have its challenges. Before you begin to review your safety and security programs, ask your employees for ideas that could make the office more secure. There may be areas you have not considered, like landscaping obstacles that could hinder an exit plan or a broken lock on a supply closet or bathroom door, potential hiding places for employees if they are unable to exit. Involving the team in the creation and periodic review of safety and security protocols not only increases the likelihood that people will know what to do in the event of an emergency, getting them to sign off on the training will reduce liability and insurance costs (Milano, 2021).
Great communication in the workplace can not only improve relationships, productivity and profitability, it can improve safety and security too. A regular conversation that presents scenarios of real-life possibilities related to safety and security provide employees with an opportunity to imagine their own behavior in the event of an emergency (Bucata & Rizescu, 2017). Communications strategies could include a regular email or text message that describes safety concerns. Posters and flyers can be placed in lunchrooms, break rooms and other areas where employees regularly gather to provide visual cues around safety and security. Banners can be placed on internal websites in use, like human resource dashboards or other intranets that are readily accessed by employees. The most important attribute to providing a safe and secure environment for your workers is to create an open communication culture where concerns can be expressed and security is reviewed often.
If you are interested in a security professional review of your offices, facilities or other commercial buildings, please contact All Secure Lock & Security for a complimentary and customized audit of your safety and security technologies. As 3rd generation security professionals, we understand the successes and the pitfalls business leaders may be missing when reviewing their own safety and security protocols.
Bucata, G., & Rizescu, M. (2017). The role of communicatino in enhacing work effectiveness of an organization. Land Forces Academy Review.
Milano, S. (2021, June 4). How to explain the importance of security to employees. Retrieved from Chron: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/explain-importance-security-employees-22886.html