The importance of CCTV in the post-COVID workplace
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As companies emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and shift towards a post-COVID workplace, it is worth taking the time to think about the need to focus on greater security. In particular, CCTV or cloud based video surveillance technology is going to have a key role to play and the precise nature of this role may adapt as workplaces change.
In this article, we examine some of the ways shops, offices and other work premises may transform in a post-coronavirus world, with a focus on the role that CCTV is going to play in keeping businesses and their employees safe.
Maintaining post-COVID workplace security
One of the more unfortunate realities associated with the coronavirus pandemic has been the way opportunists have taken advantage of the situation. For example, there have been reports that break-ins surged at points during the crisis where shops, offices, pubs and other premises were either left unattended, or left with limited staffing.
As we emerge from the pandemic, a growing number of businesses are embracing concepts like hybrid working, where staff have the option of working from home or working on-site. While this flexibility can be great for workers in many ways, it does also mean many workplaces will have less people on location than they did prior to the pandemic.
A good cloud video surveillance system, operated with full GDPR CCTV compliance, can serve as invaluable protection against theft, criminal damage and other threats that may face businesses in the post-COVID landscape. This is important for everything from protecting property and equipment, to ensuring customer data is kept secure.
If the worst does happen and a criminal does target your business, these systems can also be useful for bringing perpetrators to justice and eliminating the chances of your staff coming under unwarranted suspicion.
Ensuring employees feel safe in the workplace
Of course, when the risk of break-ins, vandalism and criminal damage goes up, employers also need to take steps to make sure their employees are kept as safe as possible and that they feel secure in the workplace. This is another area where a good CCTV surveillance system can play a vital role as businesses emerge from the pandemic.
When operating a security system, in order to achieve full GDPR CCTV compliance, it is a requirement that the operator informs people why they are being recorded. In almost all cases, this is achieved by putting up a sign, which will state that CCTV is in operation for the purposes of detecting and preventing crime, or for personal safety.
The simple presence of such a sign can help to keep staff safe by deterring the most opportunistic criminals. They may see that their actions may be recorded and avoid targeting the business. CCTV systems can also help staff to feel safe, because they know that action can be taken in the event that a crime does occur while they are on duty.
Enforcing post-COVID workplace regulations
Another significant role for CCTV in the post-COVID workplace could be in helping to enforce any of the relevant regulations that may remain in place, or which may return in the event of a resurgence of the virus.
For example, a recent study found that 45% of UK-based businesses had already started to use their video monitoring capabilities to monitor social distancing at work and an additional 34% stated that they had plans to begin using their CCTV systems in such a way over the course of the next year.
As organisations begin to welcome their employees back to the workplace, there is going to be some natural trepidation. Regardless of the effectiveness of vaccines and the suppression of the virus itself, some workers are likely to find the adjustment difficult and monitoring social distancing can play a role in helping them to feel protected.
It is important to note that, due to GDPR, people have the right to know they are being recorded and to know why they are being recorded. If your CCTV sign states that you are using the system to detect and prevent crime, you cannot legally use it to monitor your employees, so you will need to adjust any written explanations accordingly.
The last word
As businesses emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, there may be significant adjustments made to the way work is carried out. One prominent feature of post-COVID workplaces is likely to be a reduced presence of people on-site, as companies embrace hybrid working models and as employees continue to enjoy the possibility of working from home.
Unfortunately, this brings with it an elevated level of risk in terms of theft, damage to property and other criminal acts. A good CCTV system can help businesses by serving as a deterrent, providing evidence in the event that crimes are committed and by helping employees to feel safer in the workplace more generally.
By Logan Bell, Head of Product, Cloudview
Logan Bell has over 20 years of experience in the technology sector, working with industry leaders such as Blackberry and Sony. As Head of Product for Cloudview, a CCTV cloud storage provider, he uses his extensive product management experience to drive the company forward as one of the leading names in video surveillance solutions.