Posts

Why now is the ideal time to make security improvements at your workspace

By David Alessandrini, Pasek Corporation

The work from home movement continues, with much of corporate America postponing the full reopening of offices as part of efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result, office occupancy numbers remain low compared to pre-pandemic rates.

This scenario – with many offices remaining virtually empty – provides an ideal opportunity for corporations to make improvements within their facilities, such as security and HVAC upgrades or workspace and traffic pattern reconfigurations.

For near empty facilities, one of the greatest advantages of tackling a security project now – whether to install new surveillance cameras or touchless door openers – is that noise and infringing on working employees is less of an issue.

Security integrators often work closely with customers to map out an installation timeline to ensure as little impact as possible on employees or customers inside a building. An occupied building can limit when, where and how an integrator can install or repair systems, with work often getting pushed to the evening or weekend to minimize disruption. This can turn a project into a more expensive job because it now requires overtime pay for the security technician.

With fewer people in offices these days, contractors gain more access to the building since their movement and work is less likely to disrupt business operations. Employees working at their desk are not impacted when a technician runs wire through ceiling tiles, for example. Entrances that would need to remain open to accommodate employees coming and going to work can now be taken offline during regular business hours to install hands-free entrance solutions.

As a result, end users are finding that projects are being completed within a shorter period of time. This, in turn, can result in an overall cost savings for the project.

Reduced occupancy numbers also create a safer environment for everyone, limiting contact and interaction with others as people continue to follow social distancing guidelines. While many businesses have adopted procedures to screen visitors, such as temperature checks when someone enters a facility, lower occupancy numbers support a safer environment for contractors as well.

As companies postpone reopening offices, now is the time to plan for the future. Nearly empty workspaces enable contractors of all types to complete projects in a timely, and less disruptive fashion, enabling corporate America to lay the groundwork to welcome back employees in what many hope will be the not too distant future.

Protecting your Empty Facility

By John Krumme, CPP, Cam-Dex Security Corp.

These are unprecedented times globally, as businesses transition as many employees as possible to work from home in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result of this shift, many once bustling facilities – schools, corporate offices and places of worship – are now seeing limited visitors, if any at all.

Even though many facilities are now nearly empty or in limited use, security remains a top priority to protect assets and those employees who may need to venture in from time to time to retrieve important files. With this in mind, if your frequency of visitors has significantly changed, you should also review your security system to ensure a few measures are in place.

Revoking access privileges of employees may be a little extreme, in order to keep them from entering a facility once business operations move to remote operations. However, if your building has multiple unlock schedules on its doors to enable employees or customers to enter at a set time in the morning, it’s time to review that schedule and make the necessary adjustments to ensure the building remains secure at all times.

Many places of worship, for example, have moved away from being open 24/7 and have implemented an access control system that will automatically unlock the doors before Sunday worship, or before committee meetings during the week. These facilities can have a dozen or more automatic unlock schedules as part of its access control system. The same can be said for buildings on a college or corporate campus, for example.

The majority of surveillance systems installed today provide the ability to remotely review video footage – keeping tabs on employees, customers and deliveries. However, now is an ideal time to review whether your facility is taking full advantage of the remote monitoring capabilities your surveillance system has to offer.

If you have not done so yet, look into how you can remotely access your surveillance system, either through a mobile app or desktop option. Many manufacturers offer this capability as part of the system, or for a small monthly fee.

Being able to access your surveillance system remotely will enable you to periodically check your parking lot for vehicles left behind for a long period of times. If you receive an alert that someone has entered the building through the access control system, remote surveillance will also enable you to view the interior of the building to see if the person coming in is an employee to retrieve files, a cleaning person, or someone who is not authorized to enter at a specific time.

Security remains a top priority, even when a facility is empty. Investing time today to review the systems you have in place, adjust unlock schedules, and leverage remote surveillance capabilities, will help ensure your building remains secure and ready for occupancy in the near future.