In 2016, the British retail consortium estimated that £613 million pounds was lost to crime with cyber- crime making one third of this cost. Another survey, commissioned by an office fitout firm, suggests £190 million worth of company property is stolen by employees every year.
Every company needs to have an effective security policy in place to keep their business, employees, visitors, equipment and goods secure and safe. Having the right security measures in place can help prevent and deter criminals or people who intend to enter your business premises without permission. Security is something to always be concerned about, so take the time to carry out some basic security checks.
Here are a few things to think about to improve your office security…
- Start as you mean to go on
When a new member of staff starts, does their induction include security awareness? Instilling a culture of security at the very beginning is far easier than trying to educate them later.
- Are all external doors kept closed?
Fire exit doors, being kept open for your staff who smoke, are one of the most common entrance methods for unauthorised personnel.
Installing access control or door entry systems will stop anyone who is unauthorised from entering. Fobs or cards issued to all staff will enable access to the areas they need to get to, without compromising security or impacting efficiency as they move around.
- When was the last time your security was tested?
It’s all very well having security devices and processes in place, but you need to test them to ensure that they are working and that staff are following procedures.
- Is your CCTV fit for purpose?
Are you able to see all main entrances, exits and other key parts of the building?
Can you identify people? If the image quality doesn’t enable this, it’s not a lot of use.
- What happens in your car park?
Encourage all staff to check they have locked car and van doors. Burglars will often test doors, even during the day.
Do you have barriers to the car park? Stopping unauthorised vehicles will help reduce theft and keep the car park for the people who are supposed to be using it.
- Is your lighting sufficient?
Car parks are often poorly lit. More light will discourage theft and provide more security for staff who arrive or leave when it is dark.
Lighting that is controlled either by movement sensors or by access control systems provides better security for your staff (no hunting around in the dark for light switches) and helps manage power costs.
Windows are a great access point, especially when they are left open in the summer.
Encourage people to check the windows by their desks when they leave.
A clear desk policy will reduce temptation to opportunists passing by. If they cannot see anything worth stealing, they are far less likely to break in.
- What do your staff do if they don’t recognise someone?
Encourage people to talk to people they don’t recognise. Get them to ask “how can I help?”
Make carrying identification mandatory. Their access control cards are a great way to do this, especially when they have the person’s image on them.
- Add random security checks into the business
With staff theft on the increase, you are entitled to protect your property and that of your staff. Random bag checks are not invasive and people are unlikely to object unless they have something to hide.
If you have security staff, they should do these. If not, management should take it in turns, so there is no animosity against an individual.
- A security culture
Starting from the top, a culture of office security will demonstrate to your staff that you take their security and safety seriously and that they are expected to be part of the security of the building and their colleagues.
Ensure you are reviewing your security arrangements and individual incidents regularly, so that you can see what is working, what is not and how things may be improved. Listen to your staff as well; they will have some great ideas too.