Out of office hours – are your staff safe?

Extending office hours can be a by-product of the flexible working approach. But employers must consider the safety of their staff and security of their premises, says Phil Braniff of A1 Shutters. 

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With flexible working hours breaking up the mainstream 9-5, businesses are facing new challenges when it comes to the safety and security of their staff and premises. As we adapt to the obvious changes to trading and client relations, it’s easy to overlook the issue of security as often we don’t realise there’s a problem before it’s too late.

Have you ever thought about how working late could affect your business from a security perspective? What about your staff: if a colleague needs a key to enter the building an hour or two before everyone else arrives, who’s to say they won’t take advantage of your trust?

It’s in our nature to trust the ones we work with and we’d like to think staff can come and go as they please, however this is not always the case. If you’re considering implementing flexible working hours for your staff, there are a few things that you should consider.

DBS check

Formally known as a CRB check, you may only associate these data checks in professions where you’d be working with vulnerable people and children. However, anyone who is given a key for your office should be checked. Whilst you may have known them for years and trust them with access to the office, you never know who could be keeping their criminal record a secret.

Before you say yes to an employee’s request for flexible working hours, you should see if they pass a DBS check as this will certainly impact your decision. The A-Z of DBS checks provides a handy resource, providing further insight into the process.

Securing all entry points

Having a plan in place for your employees to check that all your exits are secure is absolutely vital. You can’t be around all of the time to ensure they have effectively locked up all entry points, so make sure there is a checklist set aside for them. Sooner or later they’ll get into a routine, but a visual reminder of the process will always be handy for them.

Staff being allowed onsite without supervision must be trained in all emergency procedures and maintaining onsite safety.

Knowing your responsibility

Whilst you can’t be there all the time, there are ways you can directly impact the safety of your employees by adding extra security measures to your premises. From CCTV to shutters, you should also be aware of your responsibility to your staff as much as their responsibility to take care in the office out of hours.

Adding shutters on vulnerable entry points such as downstairs windows can add an extra level of security for staff coming and going at unconventional hours. Even just the sight of shutters can put deviants off from targeting your premises, as it is a visual sign your shop/office is kept under tight security measures.

Shutters don’t have to be an unattractive bulky security measure that hide your business. If your staff are staying late you could actually use their presence to your advantage. By fitting shutters that passers-by can view your shop front through, you’ll be able to allow passing shoppers see in to your shop window display out of normal working hours. Just make sure they remember to turn out the lights on their way out!

Lighting

For the safety of your staff you must ensure emergency lighting is in place for time when they are coming and going in the dark. Whether it’s early morning or late at night, motion sensor lights add a much needed security measure. These handy, energy efficient security lights only illuminate the premise upon motion sensor, so you need not worry about extra cost on your monthly bills.

Phil Braniff is brand development manager for A1 Shutters

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zebble/

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