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Preparing Safe Office Spaces for Worker Return

Many business leaders are taking a proactive approach to office safety, even before the throngs return to their cubicles – if they ever do.

The key is to provide some level of normalcy during and after the transition, so business managers are altering their policies for issues such as social distancing and other health-related matters, data and personal security and scheduling.

It is essential to communicate all such changes to employees to ensure they understand and adhere to them.

Good security measures are essential to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of this transition time. Avoid harm to employees and the company by blocking access to data breaches and sensitive data. Such breaches can cause multiple hours and money to regain access to critical records. They can also harm a company’s reputation.

For now, workers continue to work in an unresolved state. Communicate often, so employees understand where the company is going temporarily and permanently. Ensure they know about updated rules and how to operate new technology, such as Zoom for online meetings or access spreadsheets.

The Importance of Security

Companies should do everything they can to prevent workplace attacks and threats to the personal safety of their employees.

But, sadly, such incidents do occur and there are statistics to back that up.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 21,000 people in private industry experienced intentional injury by someone else in 2019, the most recent year for which such statistics are available.

While data security may seem less threatening to individuals, remind employees that any such breaches will impact their jobs. The cost to rebuild operations and reputational damage can be huge. Many companies end up having to cut employees or even go out of business due to cybercrimes.

Keep in mind that both physical and data security are highly relevant to employees and can have tremendous negative impacts. Therefore, every team member has a stake in following the proper protocols to keep everyone safe.

Security is Personal

Train team members in security methods, including:

  • How to use mobile credentials that cannot be shared or copied
  • Refraining from allowing anyone unfamiliar into an office building
  • Being aware of company systems and policies
  • Using access systems that are synchronized to a human resources user directory so that access can be denied immediately for fired or disgruntled employees
  • Ensuring that regular software upgrades occur and that hardware is properly maintained.
  • Synchronizing video surveillance to verify who enters and exits the office.
  • Understanding that there are strict policies about who is allowed in certain places and implementing real-time alerts to be aware if someone is in a restricted area.

Because human error is to blame for so many cyber and physical intrusions, reduce your company’s chances of such incidents by providing robust training and not just one time. Repeat training as necessary.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.