Setting up a new office is usually a good mix of excitement and stress. It is exhilarating to organize a new workspace. It signals new beginnings or an expansion of a prior successful beginning. However, it can be strenuous as well. Many crucial decisions need to be taken to ultimately create a flourishing office space. The location is one, if not the most important, factor to consider when locking down a new office space.
An office location can effectively make or break a business. A good safe location will ensure the physical and mental well-being of your staff, which will have a direct bearing on work productivity and ultimately, the success of your business. So, if you are going out scouting places for that dream office of yours, then do not just focus on the aesthetics and economics of the place, keep in mind the security factors as well. We have compiled a list of security tips you should keep in mind when buying or renting a new office.
Do your research
Before going out to inspect properties, it is always advisable to do a broad search on the area you are warming up to for that new office of yours. Read about the crime statistics pertaining to that particular area. This will give you a lot of insight regarding the safety of the location, which might not be that obvious at face value. Comparing the crime statistics will also reveal which localities are safer than others and what particular crimes are more likely to take place in certain localities. Your real estate agent might not be as forthcoming as you might want to, so, it is always best to do some digging on an area on your own so that you get a holistic view of the locality in question.
Ditch the wheels; walk around
If you want to get to know a neighbourhood intimately, then ditch your car and walk instead. You will notice more things than you would have from a car window. Keep in mind that you are not just buying or renting a new office; you are buying or renting into a neighbourhood. Whatever happens in the neighbourhood will have a direct effect on your business.
So, take a walk and actively try to observe small but crucial details like street lights, police presence and signs of vandalism. Presence of several on-sale properties and vacant buildings can be a bad sign. It might signal a troubled neighbourhood everyone is trying to get out off. Unkempt yards are also a giveaway of a potentially unsafe locality. Broken windows and sprayed graffiti also signal trouble; it could mean a locality where miscreants are more dominant than the law-abiding citizens.
Eye the shops
Notice the kind of shops around the office space you are considering buying or renting. The condition and types of shops in a locality speak volumes about the overall safety. A secure place will have a vibrant shopping space where you will find more stores like coffee shops, restaurants, bookshops and grocery stores. More crime-prone areas will have less of the above-mentioned stores and more of establishments like loan shops and pawn shops.
The layout of the office
Office security can be accurately gauged by the physical layout of an office or the layout of the building that office is a part of. The office layout must include broad open areas that can be clearly viewed at all times. Open offices and equally open hallways make an office more secure. This is because such an office will have no corners and crevices where a trespasser may hide. Similarly, mirrored lifts and stairwells let the staff check corners before turning. This is again a big deterrent for a lurking intruder.
Office entry and exit
When scouting for a new office, pay extra attention to the doors and windows. These are potential entry points for an intruder. Double doors are a security threat since they can be hinged open with very little effort. Delivery doors should be steel for greater safety. Office door hinges need to be facing inwards and include deadbolt locks for added protection. Do not forget the windows; they should have locks installed on them. Ground floor windows are more vulnerable to break-ins, so they need to have steel bars installed on them.
Most of the crimes that take place in a neighbourhood are perpetrated by locals. The offenders most often target people and buildings near them. Therefore, when you go looking for a new office, you need to pay attention to both the particular office space and the broader neighbourhood. Both will have a significant impact on how secure your new workplace will turn out to be. Chosen in haste, your office might become exposed to break-ins and burglaries, endangering you, your staff and expensive office equipment.
Even one such crime incident can have long-term repercussions on your business. It can mean losing your best employees who are too afraid to keep turning up for work or losing the highly valued electronics that jeopardize your work and costs you your clients. So, keep in mind these office security tips to ensure the safety of your new business venture.
Furthermore, here’s a Safety Checklist – 6 Items to Keep in Mind for Workplace Protection.