Monthly Archives: October 2016

Key Points For Better Office Security

Modern businesses face a world of potential security threats that were literally unimaginable just a few years ago. There are any number of technological innovations available that dramatically change the way organizations work and make their members more productive; each one of these innovations carries with it new security issues that need to be addressed.

As with most processes in business, an assessment of your office’s security needs to start with a clear understanding of your goals. What are your priorities? Do you simply need to provide a safe environment for your employees when they’re arriving and departing? Does your facility need to meet certain security requirements for formal certification (e.g. UL2050)? No matter what your security goals are, these ten principles should be useful.

1) Clear Communication

It’s impossible to address your security needs if you don’t know what they are, and you’re not going to know that if you have poor communications with your team. You’ll need good two-way communications to keep your organization secure; you need a channel for updating team members about new security concerns as well as one for them to pass you their concerns. You should have a centralized source for all security information to cut down on confusion; your employees should be clear about their go-to resource for security news. Distribute security updates regularly, and try to include positive news along with information about security threats.

2) Access Control

Don’t give out keys (or access codes, etc.) to more employees than strictly need them. Instead of relying on the very fallible “first in, last out” plan for securing your office, assign access point security as a fixed responsibility to specific individuals. Develop and document a thorough and consistent plan for opening and closing your office; make sure this includes checking potential hiding spots like closets, bathrooms, and so on. For physical keys, make sure you get a locksmith to ensure copy is numbered and the assignment of keys to individual employees is recorded. Verify your key registry regularly by having employees present the keys assigned to them.

3) Consistent General Policies

Make sure every member of your organization follows procedures consistent with minimizing your security risks. Implementing a clean desk policy, for example, will cut down on potential targets for theft. If you are using access cards, ID badges, or other forms of personal security, make sure that you have standard policies for carrying and displaying them. Hold everyone using such ID to the same standards. In company directories that are publically accessible, don’t include job titles with names. This makes it harder for criminals or other unwanted intruders to use names and titles to bluff their way onto your premises. Finally, establish receipt procedures that preserve a clear chain of possession for all incoming deliveries. Deliveries should never be left unattended.

4) Make Small But Crucial Security Investments

Protect your IT resources from theft by using locks (cable or plate variety) to secure your computers. This is especially important for laptops. Setting up docking stations can be both convenient and security-conscious. Take extra care with especially valuable or tempting office equipment, including postage meters, check writers, precision machinery, and company checkbooks. Doors between secure and non-secure areas should have keypad locks and peepholes. At especially vital access points, establish an “airlock” entry that forces authorized individuals to pass two locked doors. This makes it difficult for criminals to “piggyback” their way in by following your employees or catching doors when they leave.

5) Cyber Security

It’s virtually impossible to overstate the importance of antivirus software in the modern business environment. Every company needs ample protection against online threats including viruses, Trojans, malware, and other potential problems. Your primary network should be protected by a robust firewall. All wireless routers need security protocols. Your data needs to be backed up regularly, and storing backups off-site is an excellent idea.

Key To A Healthy Work Environment

One of the best ways to motivate employees is to give them a great working environment. Google has its office slides. The Lego HQ has its interesting and funky workspaces, designed to cater to the needs of different employees. And even Deloitte is doing its bit to counter the monotony of accounting and making its offices into places where people can have fun.

So what makes a great working environment in the 21st century? Let’s take a look at what some of the experts have to say.

Make Wellness A Priority

Lauren Lastowka is a manager at American Specialty Health. She says that health and wellness projects are associated with better worker productivity, lower medical costs, and reduced absenteeism.

One of the things that she recommends is to promote preventive medicine. This means getting colleagues out of the office everyone in a while and doing meetings on foot. She also suggests that businesses promote things like on-site flu jabs for their colleagues so as to reduce the number of absences when the flu season hits.

She also suggests that employers work very carefully to lessen the quantity of junk food available at their locations. Lastowka’s advice is to make healthy options as accessible as possible, meaning that if employees do want something that is bad for them, they’ll have to put in the effort to leave the office and got and get it themselves.

It’s also important to implement adequate dust collection, using parts like Nord fab QF, to reduce the number of respiratory problems suffered by employees.

Have Fun

Research has shown according to Amanda Gore, the author of the Joy Project, that happy workers who are having fun are much less likely to take days off sick and will each have higher profitability. In fact, she says, it’s this attitude that lies behind companies like Zappos which have seen considerable success thanks to their “have fun” take on work.

So what does this mean in practice according to Gore?

First off she says that there needs to be a culture of permission to have fun. Many workplaces are stuck in the past where working and having fun were seen as two separate things. If you want your place of work to be a fun place to work, then employees need to have permission to enjoy themselves from both management and their other colleagues.

It also means collecting data on the happiness of the people in your organization. Gore suggests collecting happiness reports and tracking happiness rather like you’d track any other metric in your business. Knowing what makes people happy and when things are going wrong, enables you to take action and remain in control of a situation.

Finally, she suggests that businesses work hard to let go of the past. Often businesses get stuck in a rut, thinking that they have to do things the same way that they always did them. But there are plenty of ideas to help small businesses spice up their workplaces a little bit. One idea is to have a happy hour on Friday afternoon to play games.

Create A Buzz Around Your Business

When starting a new business, the most difficult part is getting noticed by the public. In fact, many companies give up so quickly on marketing activities if they do not see a return on investment immediately. The truth of the matter is that brand awareness takes time. Short of a publicity stunt or national scandal, you will need to work hard and long to get the word out and build a following.

If you are up for the challenge and take the right steps, then you have a good shot of imposing a lasting impression on your target market.

Advertisements

Back in the “olden days,” if you wanted to drum up some new business, you would place an ad in the local paper. Guess what! Newspapers and magazines still exist. That’s right – print is not totally dead, and it’s still a good space to promote your brand.  Likewise, the internet has created a bunch of web space to place ads. Be sure to find websites that make sense; you wouldn’t want to put a web banner up for your plumbing company on a website for crafting classes.

Exhibitions

An even more effective way to promote your brand is by getting in front of your audience. Consider attending a local business exhibition for your industry. Depending on the show, you could reach thousands of potential clients or customers in just one day. The challenge will be standing out in a hall full of your competition. You know what they say – Go Big or Go Home.

Run a contest on social media driving attendees to your stand; have them mention your company in a post for a chance to win a big prize. This is a quick and immediate way to generate buzz for your stand at the show, while simultaneously pushing it out over the web. Another vital aspect to perfect is your exhibition stand. Differentiate yourself by building a stand with a company such as Nimlok, this will add an element of professionality and your competitors will be left hidden in the crowd.

Social Media

Social media is often thought of as a way to promote your business for free. True – most social media sites offer a public forum for you to showcase your brand. The problem is that your content is only getting pushed out to those in your immediate circle (usually). In order to expand your reach, you’ll either have to get clever with hashtags or pay for sponsored posts.

That said, social media profiles are necessities. Sign up for (and maintain) all of the accounts that are available to you. It is very important to have multiple points of visibility for your company.

Industry Forums

Look for ways to get involved with your industry community. A great way to do this is by finding out where your target market goes for advice in your industry. Many times, you will be able to chime in on open forum where you can voice your expertise. The main focus should be building up your reputation as an expert in the field. Don’t try to sell yourself or your business to those on the forum threads. Just leave your business email address or website as your contact information. It’s subtle and you won’t come across as a money-hungry sales person.

The rise of technology has made it a lot easier to create buzz around your business. While the opportunities are more accessible, the challenge is finding the right strategy. With patience and hard work, your business will receive the recognition it deserves. Cover all the bases by creating numerous points of visibility, from in-person events to print ads. Focus on distributing your brand everywhere and building up your reputation as an expert in your industry. Your audience will have no other choice than to trust the best.