Enhancing Office Safety: 8 Suggestions for Ensuring Workplace Security
Introduction of Workplace Security :
Workplace security is crucial for employee well-being and productivity, guarding against cyber threats and workplace violence. It demands constant vigilance and adaptable strategies, especially in dispersed workspaces.
In this blog, we delve into the methods of maintaining and enhancing workplace security within any office space setting. This includes the formulation of policies and the adoption of straightforward strategies that enhance safety, even in the context of hybrid workforce models and other emerging workplace arrangements. Although our primary focus is on office space security, it's important to note that most of these strategies are universally applicable across a wide range of workforce environments.
What does workplace security entail?
Workplace security encompasses far more than the mere safeguarding of your office space premises against intrusions. In essence, it revolves around the ongoing protection of employees, whether they work on-site or remotely, as well as the preservation of assets, data, networks, and even the building automation system.
In the contemporary landscape, business proprietors and facility managers (FMs) are confronted with an array of security facets, including cybersecurity, information security, and asset security. Additionally, the introduction of hybrid office setups or entirely remote work arrangements brings about fresh security challenges, particularly when remote workers handle sensitive data. The adoption of modern, flexible seating arrangements, where employees share workstations, can also expose vulnerabilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that workplace security requirements can evolve rapidly. For these reasons, it is imperative for companies to establish robust workplace security policies and procedures. This serves as a safeguard against existing, emerging, or potential threats. As elaborated below, achieving this typically involves continuous risk assessment, well-structured security protocols, and heightened visibility within the workforce.
Why is workplace security important?
There are multiple compelling reasons behind the significance of workplace security. Businesses have a fundamental responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees, which is also mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Moreover, there are financial incentives to enhance physical security, as security breaches can result in substantial costs and operational disruptions.
Additionally, prioritizing workplace security aligns with contemporary concerns such as improving employee health and well-being, enhancing the overall workforce experience, and empowering the workforce. By placing emphasis on workplace security, organizations show their commitment to the well-being of their employees, fostering an environment where employees can thrive.
Importantly, a 2022 State of Employee Safety Report revealed that 97% of American workers consider feeling safe a crucial factor in their choice of workplace, and 89% view workplace safety as more important than ever. Furthermore, 83% of respondents reported experiencing at least one emergency situation during their careers. This data underscores the growing demand for improved workplace security among employees, and employers who neglect this aspect do so at their own risk, facing potential consequences in various aspects.
How can workplace security be effectively maintained?
The initial and paramount step in upholding workforce security is to give it the utmost importance. According to David Brunsdon, a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Cybersecurity Analyst and Consultant at Dark Ivy Consulting, security should be a top-down approach. In essence, this means that leadership should not merely install security cameras and consider the job done. Instead, they should formulate a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses regular risk assessments and a constant emphasis on the significance of office security. This strategy should also encompass thorough training of all staff regarding security protocols.
Enhancing Work Space Security: Key Measures for Companies
Workplace security is a paramount concern for companies, and there are eight critical measures to implement for a comprehensive approach:
1. Badge System:
Implement a badge system that controls access to the physical workspace. This system grants authorized individuals access through key cards, mobile apps, or ID badges, ensuring that sensitive information is protected. It offers real-time data on office usage, enhances visibility, and improves the overall office experience.
2. Advanced Alarm System:
Integrate badge systems into smart buildings and IoT sensors to automatically monitor individuals' locations. Develop an advanced alarm system, regularly test it, and educate employees on appropriate actions during alarm activation.
3. Asset Tracking:
Safeguarding business assets by including asset tracking within workplace management software. This feature simplifies monitoring individuals and assets, enhancing visibility and theft prevention.
4. Provide Resources:
Equip employees with resources for safeguarding assets, including encryption policies, antivirus software, password protection tools, and two-factor authentication. Ensure employees have secure internet connections and VPN access, along with guidelines on their effective use.
5. Safeguarding IT Data:
Collaborate between IT and Facilities Management (FM) teams to protect vulnerable access points, educate employees on security policies, and establish guidelines for access control and data sharing.
6. Empower Employees:
Raise employee awareness about security issues, focusing on recognizing phishing attempts and manipulation tactics. Provide training sessions and the right technology for employees to contribute to a secure work environment.
7. Strengthen BAS Security:
Address vulnerabilities in the Building Automation System (BAS) by conducting penetration tests, implementing security measures, and utilizing the BACnet communication protocol. Educate employees on the separation of BAS and corporate network access.
8. Ensure Physical Security:
Prioritize traditional physical security office space measures, identifying and addressing potential entry points. Install robust locks, sturdy barriers, and security cameras. Collaborate between Facility Managers (FMs) and IT personnel to establish a secure recording system.
Implementing these measures ensures a comprehensive and effective approach to workplace security, safeguarding both employees and business assets while minimizing security threats.
Workspace security is an imperative concern for organizations, encompassing the protection of employees, assets, data, and infrastructure. Prioritizing security aligns with employee well-being, operational stability, and overall workplace experience. Implementing a comprehensive strategy, including badge systems, advanced alarms, asset tracking, and empowering employees, ensures a safe and productive workforce environment. Organizations must adapt to evolving security challenges, ultimately safeguarding their workforce and the continuity of their operations.