One of the most important factors I come across as an Office Manager, that quite often gets overlooked is SECURITY!
When running a business one of the key requirements is to ensure it is secure.
If you have not taken the right steps in keeping intruders out, you may be leaving your business open to an attack and this is more common than most believe. Here are some straightforward steps you can take to improve the security of your premises:
Conduct a Risk Assessment – First and foremost if you want to improve your security, you should try to identify any weak areas that may be in your business. Consult with staff on anything that needs to be improved in conjunction with local news and advice, including that from local authorities such as the police.
Strengthen entry points – There may be several ways of getting into your property that might require improved security to be implemented. For example, installing solid doors with appropriate fittings and secure locks; ensuring they are locked upon leaving the premises and so on. Make sure that staff know the opening up and closing procedures too (along with any of your contractors, such as the cleaning and maintenance teams).
Secure the perimeter – Externally there are many ways to keep your property safe. If a burglar sees your premises is well protected, it will likely deter them from trying to enter; visible items such as CCTV Camera/s, Intruder Alarm etc. However, be careful not to put off clients by making the premises look like too much of a prison or high-security bank!
Install CCTV & alarms – CCTV is a must for protecting your business, not only will it put people off attempting to break in, should it happen, this will help identifying the culprit. Change your alarm codes on a regular basis and be sure to only give this out to trusted contacts. Make sure you have a call-out in place for your alarms through an alarm company and/or connections directly to the local police.
Advertise your security – Making it obvious that your building is well protected could deter potential intruders and make them think twice about attempting a break in.
Know your staff & visitors – Without going all ‘Big Brother’ on your workplace, try to ensure that it is safe from any potentially crooked visitors or employees, it is unlikely, however there are numerous examples where there are insider jobs or direct thefts from contractors, visitors and employees. Background checks can help to prevent employee theft, and using a signing in and out system or visitor passes mean you can keep track of the times people enter and leave – it’s also a Health & Safety requirement! Be sure to do similar checks on your contractors too and if there are any concerns, flag it as soon as you are able to.
Safeguard important equipment – Laptops, tablets and devices can easily be stolen if they are laying about so keep them in a secure location that is out of sight. Anything involving money or important IT equipment also needs to be locked away securely, for example in a fire/bomb proof safe if you have one.
Protect your business online – It is not just physical security that you need to be aware of, as we all know Cyber Crime is on the rise and businesses need to ensure their computers are well protected. Invest in quality anti-virus and firewall technology, as well as asking your staff to choose strong passwords. Back- up systems on a regular basis so you can replace if necessary.
Hopefully with these tips you will be able to make your premises more secure than they perhaps are at present. If you do want any further advice or support, feel free to contact me; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Manager at Vision Security Services