Office and Workplace Security Tips
The pandemic changed how—and where—people worked. Hybrid schedules, online collaboration, and work-from-home options flourished. But now, the office is back. And by extension, so is the office building. But just as you take steps to secure your home, your office needs protection. With these workplace security tips, you can keep your business (and your employees) safe and sound.
Why Is Workplace Security Important?
To state the obvious, crime isn’t limited to homes. Break-ins, robberies, burglaries, and other crimes can and do happen at business properties after everyone has gone home for the day.
Offices are attractive targets because they usually contain computers, copiers, and other office equipment and electronics. And, depending on the business, possibly even cash. Beyond valuables, a crook might be after financial records or other confidential information. In fact, the average value of stolen property in a nonresidential location—think retail store or office—is $9,779. That’s nearly $2,000 higher than for residential properties. Every penny lost to a thief is a hit to your bottom line.
Plus, your employees deserve a safe, secure working environment. Robust workplace security is good for retention and satisfaction. Show your team you care about their safety while securing your company’s most valuable resources, human or otherwise.
As a business owner or property manager, how do you protect everything? These security tips for the workplace are a good start.
Workplace Security Tips
Office buildings are public spaces during the day. Employees, couriers, vendors, clients, customers, and maybe even tour groups come and go throughout your hours of operation.
That’s a lot of foot traffic. And a lot of potential risks. Mitigate those risks with these basic workplace security tips. (And of course, these are just the start. For even more tips, try our business security checklist.)
Tip #1: Access Control
Workplace security at its most basic is about access control. You would never leave your front door open at home, and nor should you at work.
Access control can run the gamut from very simple to complicated and high-tech. Let’s look at a few options on that spectrum.
- Natural access control is a pillar of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). It involves using landscaping features, signs, and other cues to guide people in and out. It also makes a clear distinction between public and private space.
- Station a guard or receptionist in the lobby with a visitor logbook. This can help you make a good first impression with guests, too.
- You could hand out badges to visitors granting them permission to access certain areas for a limited time.
- Step things up by giving keys, keycards, or PIN pads to select employees.
- If your budget allows, you could use a high-tech solution like biometrics—retinal or fingerprint scans, for example—to gain access to the building, elevator, or specific offices.
Electronic control systems have the added bonus of automatically creating audit trails and reports. This is an excellent asset in the event of a security breach.
Regardless of your chosen method, make sure your business has something in place. Unfettered access is a crime waiting to happen. So secure and monitor your entry points.
Tip #2: Defend the Perimeter
Both inside and out. This might include fencing or other borders, locked doors, restricted zones, and adequate lighting.
Lighting is one of the easiest things you can do to instantly improve your overall security. Criminals do not love the limelight. Install or upgrade lighting fixtures in parking lots, dark hallways, break areas, entry points, ground-floor windows, stairwells, and anywhere else a would-be thief may try to hide or gain entry to the building.
Security lights both inside and out—either motion-activated or always-on—are practical and effective deterrents.
Tip #3: Prepare Your Employees
Staff training should include emergency preparedness and familiarity with all relevant security procedures and policies. Run drills. Test systems. Consider implementing a “clean desk” policy so that all confidential documents and expensive equipment are locked up at night.
Beyond physical security, data security is important, too. Instruct employees on cybersecurity best practices like creating strong and unique passwords. Additional data security tips for the workplace include:
- Clear wireless printer queues and cache
- Backup data to a secure cloud storage option, and never keep important, sensitive, or confidential data on a physical hard drive
- Avoid public Wi-Fi
- Encrypt hard drives
- Set work devices—smartphones, computers, and tablets—to auto-lock after no more than 60 seconds
- Locate your server room away from walls shared with adjacent businesses and severely limit access to it
- To protect confidential or sensitive documents from theft, disable USB ports, disk drives, and the ability to send email attachments
- Consider laptop locks
- If you can afford it, hire a dedicated IT employee to maintain equipment and online security
Tip #4: Remember the 5Ds
In terms of securing an office building inside and out, remember the 5D system:
- Deter. Warnings, guards, business security cameras both inside and out, and other measures will often discourage a criminal.
- Detect. You need devices in place to detect unwanted visitors or unauthorized access. These include motion sensors, alarms, and cameras.
- Deny. Lock doors, filing cabinets, drawers, and storage areas. Use a safe. Log out of computers. Don’t make it easy on burglars just because they managed to get in.
- Delay. Anything you can do to slow them down before and during a security breach or break-in buys you time until the police arrive.
- Defend. Active security camera monitoring services, onsite guards, or a mobile patrol can intervene as necessary. Just be sure that your system is proactive, not reactive, or real-time defense isn’t really an option.
Tip #5: Assess, Manage, and Monitor
Workplace security is not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. It requires active and ongoing participation from all levels.
At least annually, conduct a security risk assessment and review to identify gaps, issues, and weaknesses. Track solutions for effectiveness. Inspect security devices like business surveillance cameras frequently to keep them in top working order.
A third-party product like SafetyCulture can help simplify and streamline this process.
Tip #6: Deep Sentinel
If you’re looking for one security measure that ticks every box, look no further than Deep Sentinel.
Deep Sentinel’s office building real-time surveillance combines smart cameras with proactive intervention by LiveSentinel guards. By combining artificial intelligence with live security guards, we can offer surveillance unrivaled in the industry at a fraction of the cost. The innovative cameras—either wireless security cameras or PoE cameras—come complete with 2-way audio, night vision, and sirens.
Once motion activates the cameras, AI instantly dismisses non-threats and alerts guards to potential risks. The guards evaluate the situation in real time, engage with suspects, and notify the police of a verified crime in progress when necessary. And all within 30 seconds or less—which is anywhere from 15 seconds to several minutes faster than other providers—with zero false alarms.
It’s the only office building live monitoring solution that protects from the perimeter to the inner core and actively prevents crime before it happens.
Better Workplace Security Means Better Business
Commercial office buildings are a giant target for criminals. Loiterers, vandals, burglars, industrial spies, hackers, and disgruntled employees are just a few of the risks. They’re attracted to office buildings that appear neglected, without security measures in place, with easy access and limited visibility. Don’t be that building. Instead, be the model for all others to exemplify.
The best security tip for the office? That’s easy. Maintain, protect, and control with Deep Sentinel to enjoy unparalleled security before, during, and after a crime.