With companies doubling down on employee retention and investing in new technology like smart lockers to streamline their workflow, flexible ways of working have undoubtedly introduced new business challenges. However, a surprising side effect that many enterprises still tend to overlook is the importance of Office Security.
Since companies across various industries are doing a mixture of in-office and remote working, Office Security is facing new challenges and has become more crucial to the modern workplace. With statistics revealing a 171% uptick in theft insurance claims, and research showing British businesses alone seeing figures of over £183 million lost annually due to workplace theft, today’s blog will highlight and go over:
Beyond the physical office security: Employee Safety & Wellbeing
From expensive laptops, cameras, and personal valuables such as smartphones – it is not unheard of for equipment to suddenly go missing or get stolen. However, unlike hardware that can be insured and replaced, employee safety and wellbeing remain a major point of concern if they do not feel secure during in-office days, or their employers cannot guarantee their physical protection. Much like systems getting hacked, unwanted, or unknown, visitors at workplaces can cause uncertainty and discomfort, and thereby induce damage control that further affects overall workflow between colleagues.
Common forms of security risks in the workplace
Now more than ever, people in various lines of work rely on their equipment to stay connected, enhance productivity, and collaborate digitally – as and when they need to. Being aware of the following common security risks will only help keep your employees safe, minimise disruption, and unlock further workplace potential.
As mentioned, security for offices is the most common threat, risking:
Strangers or unexpected people gaining entrance to the building
Lack of identification and motives of strangers
Unawareness about which employees are in the office, or might have had a change of heart and decided to work from home
Many small businesses wrongly believe that cyberattacks are aimed at larger companies, but a report by the 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity has shown that 14 million hacks in the USA were aimed at smaller businesses. Regardless of size, businesses can risk:
Failed at data protection: loss or leakage of sensitive data, which could lead to financial damage and password theft
Phishing and identity theft
Malware including computer viruses, spyware, and ransomware
A simple but often overlooked aspect of security, traditional lock-and-key lockers regularly show risks of:
Losing keys and having to pay for replacements throughout the year
Locks getting picked, or broken into, within a shared workspace
People placing personal items in a locker without having their key - just to have a storage space whilst they go about their day
Unawareness across the organisation about which employee(s) had access to certain lockers
3 ways to improve security in the workplace
Although many businesses apply a “clear desk” policy to reduce the risks of equipment theft and sensitive information getting in the wrong hands, there are many corners being cut that could be solved with smart workplace technologies. These were created to make your business stay on top of these premeditated steps that ignited “clear desk” policies in the first place and can be applied both physically and digitally.
Improve visitor management
The security risks at your Front of House are critical but are easily overlooked. From employees and company guests to contractors and couriers, there are different kinds of visitors coming into the office. Through visitor management, security and reception teams should know who comes into the office, and when they leave the premises.
With the help of technologies, security teams can enhance office security by monitoring visitor logs and visitor access while ensuring data protection.
Visitor management systems automatically create a visitor list when employees send out a meeting invite with a check in QR code to their visitors, and track if they have checked in or checked out. They also keep a visitor log of who visited at what time which assists in security for offices in general by staying in the loop of operational coordination.
With General Data Protection Regulations posing challenges to organisations, visitor management systems are an effective security measure that helps companies stay compliant whilst protecting personal data.
Access control and ID verification
According to Security Magazine, physical IDs will be obsolete by 2030. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as digitisation has shown no signs of slowing down, and recalls the importance of access control for increased office security.
Workplace technologies can further assist with visitor registrations by having people register for a desk before coming in. This not only lets you know who will be at the office and when, but if something abnormal happens, like an employee unexpectedly using access control to enter a building, the right teams can be notified immediately.
Through the visitor management system's integration with building access control systems, you can customise access based on visitor type, digitally tracking visitors while implementing a 24/7 security control.
Introduce staff storage lockers
The precautions we take are, eventually, inclusive of internal risks we typically don’t like to assume of colleagues. However, research has shown that over half of employees steal from work. Although most office supplies as well as toilet paper and food items, some employees take advantage of insurance claims for equipment. Staff storage lockers can be automated, and easily accessed with a QR code, RFID card, or PIN. They offer a safe and smart office environment to store belongings for hybrid workers while enhancing the employee experience. Multi-purpose smart lockers are a great, cost-effective solution that implements an all-in-one point of storage to keep track of employee belongings and co-working space needs, including:
Staff storage lockers help eliminate the risks of misplaced keys and replacement key costs, and it lowers sanitary risks from previously having key systems in place by being digitally accessible with remote management. They also provide extra security by letting you know who has booked the locker and when it will be in use, as well as data reports of what the locker is being used for.
Through responsive and intuitive technology, Vgreet is the key to a safe and connected workplace.
Vgreet not only upgrades physical security in the office through its visitor management features, but also provides an end-to-end experience for both employee and visitor experience through catering, software integration, wayfinding, and live video support from virtual receptionists, and more.
VLocker Smart Locker System is a single bank of lockers with multiple purposes for parcels, personal storage, and IT devices.
Smart locker systems help you digitise and automate your entire locker system and keep your workplace connected. They revolutionise staff storage systems and protection of equipment while bringing better peace of mind security-wise in knowing activity usage through data reports.
In short, physical office security and staff wellbeing are still just as important as cybersecurity. As the workforce continues to navigate flexible working and hybrid offerings, it is important that businesses ensure that they are keeping up with the digital times by improving safety measures through:
Avoiding unexpected guests and understanding employee whereabouts by implementing visitor management systems
Curbing cyberattacks and unauthorised access with improved access control and ID verification
Strengthening asset security, maximising flexible working, and saving on space and costs by considering new technologies like smart lockers to replace traditional lockers
At Vpod, we strengthen workplace safety with our partner, HID. They specialise in visitor and access management technologies that offer first-class security improvements. Together, we can enhance your office security without compromising your high-quality visitor and employee experiences.