Remote Video Surveillance for Office Buildings: An Overview
With tight profit margins, most small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can’t afford to lose revenue to theft, vandalism, or work stoppages. Nor can they spare employees, given that, in many industries, quit rates outpace hire rates. This is especially true in sectors where in-office attendance is a requirement, finds data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Video surveillance for office buildings can help you to put a dent in both business headaches at once by deterring criminals from targeting your office while creating a sense of safety among workers and customers.
Now, we’re not saying a sense of safety is the only factor employees weigh when deciding to leave. Pay and job satisfaction are certainly high on the list. Still, workplace safety is a big one, and intelligent managers should take it into account.
Below is a brief but comprehensive overview of office building video surveillance. You’ll learn about typical building security threats, what the latest remote video monitoring systems can do, why they’re essential, and what to look for when purchasing.
Office Building Security Threats: What You Should Know
Depending on your type of business, you may have cash, valuable technology, or gear in your office building. All of these can attract the attention of criminals.
Beyond that, you can also have internal problems. Think of employees who don’t follow safety protocols. Or the ones who think office supplies are free to take home in bulk. What about more dire threats like disgruntled employees? Or employees with complicated personal lives that could bleed over to your office building?
These security risks are capable of draining revenue and resources. They also contribute to an unpleasant work culture at best. At worst, they make the workplace unsafe, driving your best employees to look elsewhere for work.
Now, with all that said, let’s get into the benefits of remote video surveillance for office buildings.
What Is Remote Video Surveillance?
Remote video surveillance involves viewing security camera feeds on any device connected to the cloud, no matter your location.
Older security cameras didn’t connect to the cloud, so security guards needed to be onsite to view the footage. Because a continuous feed requires several full-time guards to watch for issues, these older systems were typically too expensive for most SMBs to contemplate.
Today’s newer cameras can stream their footage to any device anywhere in the world. That means you or a security team can monitor and view live video feeds from anywhere without needing onsite personnel. And the more advanced cameras incorporate features like motion detection and AI analysis to cut down on the burden of keeping watch.
In short, next-generation remote security surveillance is a game-changer for SMBs with office buildings. When you install monitored cameras at crucial entry and exit points, in common areas, and around the perimeter of your building, you reap plentiful benefits.
The Benefits of Remote Video Surveillance for Office Buildings
Office building live monitoring isn’t just for catching criminals. With the right technology and strategy, you’re making a valuable investment in several key aspects of your business.
Benefit #1: Crime Prevention
Remote video monitoring can do much more than help law enforcement identify and catch perpetrators after they’ve committed a crime. These systems also allow you or your security team to watch for trouble and take action, even if no one is onsite. By alerting authorities promptly, you have a greater chance of catching criminals in the act long before they’ve made their getaway. Even better: some systems incorporate a two-way speaker, allowing you or a security guard to warn suspicious people that someone is watching and that the authorities are on their way, scaring them off before they cause trouble.
Benefit #2: Improved Safety
Remote video cameras can also monitor hazardous areas and ensure protocols are followed, preventing accidents and injuries. For example, cameras at entrances where employees use swipe cards can pick up “tailgating.” That’s when an unauthorized person follows someone through a secured area. Use any insights during your next employee training session.
For that matter, visible security cameras remind employees to follow protocols in the first place.
Benefit #3: Fewer Incidents of Employee Misconduct
When employees know they’re being watched, they’re less likely to stick their hands in the till (literally and metaphorically). Remote surveillance can also discourage other unwanted behaviors, such as wasting time, bullying, harassment, unethical practices, or reckless use of expensive equipment. To maintain goodwill with your team, be very transparent about the presence of surveillance equipment in your office.
Benefit #4: Enhanced Evidence Collection
In the event of an incident or dispute, video footage can serve as crucial evidence to understand what occurred and who was involved. This can be valuable for internal investigations, legal proceedings, or insurance claims.
Benefit #5: Training and Development
By reviewing footage of employee interactions, you can find areas of needed professional development. The footage can also be used as a teaching tool with employees, showing them positive examples to emulate and negative ones to avoid.
All this is possible at a relatively low cost, especially compared to the price of hiring security guards. If budget is a concern, start with a few cameras and scale up over time.
Remote Security Systems: What to Look For
If you’re sold on the benefits of remote video surveillance for office buildings, be sure to invest in newer cameras with these value-added features.
- Night vision or motion-activated floodlights: This technology lets outdoor cameras capture a clear picture in low- and no-light environments.
- HD resolution or better: Your cameras should offer clear, full-color footage that captures every detail.
- Live security monitoring: If your cameras merely film a problem in progress, they’re not much of a deterrent. On the other hand, if a live guard warns criminals and alerts authorities within seconds, you increase the chances that your office building will remain a safe place to work.
- 2-way audio: Cameras equipped with this feature enable direct intervention with potential criminals, scaring them off.
- Artificial intelligence: Some video systems require humans to monitor them at every moment. Not only is that expensive, but it’s also not as effective as newer technology that scans the footage with artificial intelligence. AI can sort “normal” from “abnormal” more quickly and accurately than humans can. Once it picks up on suspicious activity, the system alerts a remote guard who quickly takes action.
Which office building video surveillance system has all of these features? Deep Sentinel.
Create a Complete Office Building Security Plan
To ensure your office building is as secure as possible, there are several workplace security measures that can augment a remote video surveillance system. They include:
- Access control: Technology can help restrict who can enter your building and critical spaces. For example, perhaps you want to keep valuable inventory in a locked room during non-business hours, giving high-level employees access only during certain times. RFID, card readers, biometric sensors, and similar tools are perfect for this task. You can often program these remotely, allowing you to change who can access that room—and when—at the press of a button. For added security, place a security camera inside that room or facing the entrance.
- Alarm sensors: A wide range of sensors can alert you to open doors or windows, the sound of broken glass, and movement.
- Lighting: Proper lighting helps deter criminal activity. It also provides a safer environment for employees or customers arriving or leaving after dark. Make sure your building’s exterior and parking lots are well-lit.
- Employee training: Educate employees about security best practices, including the importance of safeguarding access credentials, reporting suspicious activities, and following emergency procedures.
- Visitor management: Require all guests to sign in and wear visible identification badges while in the building. This helps identify unauthorized visitors quickly.
For more ideas, see our Business Security Checklist.
The Best Office Security for Your Budget
Deep Sentinel’s office building security solutions come with the latest, most advanced technology. When the AI-enabled business security cameras are paired with expert Deep Sentinel guards, you get more protection and a faster response for less money than onsite security guards. No one offers faster or better crime prevention for office buildings and other business properties.