Staffing shortages are one of the unfortunate side effects of the pandemic. That’s because companies are scrambling to do what is needed to stay in business. As such, they are cutting staff to save on costs.
Companies want to do everything they can to retain their employees. In some cases, they may do for a furlough as a temporary measure. This allows the company to hold on to its employees and get short-term relief. When you take all of this into consideration, contractors are often the first to go. This includes security guards because they’re one of the most expensive line items on a budget.
How the Pandemic Has Caused Staffing Shortages
Many variables come to play in creating staffing shortages. One employee complained about a coworker who coughed constantly. She asked to work from home to stay safe. She lost her job. Others who have underlying conditions end up quitting because their employer wouldn’t allow them to work from home. A lost paycheck can be replaced. A lost life cannot.
The pandemic has caused absenteeism to hit record numbers. Anyone showing any signs of illness has to stay home. Someone with a headache may be having a simple headache. But it requires staying home to avoid putting others at risk.
The employee could be sick or have symptoms. This requires quarantining until they’ve recovered. Another possibility is that the employee could be responsible for the care of a loved one who is sick. And that will call for quarantine after recovery. Some employees may struggle to commute to work because of the risk of exposure on public transportation.
Then there are businesses on the other side of the coin. Grocery stores, ecommerce companies, and other essential businesses have seen their revenues climb. They need to maintain acceptable staffing levels to support customers. No one can work from home in these businesses.
Again, when employees have any kind of symptom, they must stay home. They may not have COVID-19, but it’s standard practice to quarantine until they are cleared. Businesses that flourish in the pandemic are struggling to keep enough employees to support business operations.
How the Pandemic Affects Crime
With businesses not being fully staffed, employees are less likely to have their eyes on what’s going on around them. Add to that not having security guards and you may encounter expensive problems.
Researchers reveal the global pandemic has greatly affected almost every kind of crime. The good news is violent and property crimes have seen a huge decline. Simple assault, rape, and drug crimes have also dropped.
Unfortunately, other crimes have jumped. With more folks staying home, commercial burglaries and car thefts skyrocketed according to “COVID and Crime: An Early Empirical Look” from the University of Pennsylvania.
Fortunately, there is a way to close the gap between staffing shortages and protecting your business.
The Effects of Staffing Shortages
Leasing was already on the decline prior to the pandemic, and it’s continuing to decline. In the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, for example, the overall office vacancy has climbed to more than 20 percent according to The Dallas Morning News. The article mentions that commercial real estate recovery will be slow.
Furthermore, JLL Research
finds that gross leasing activity in Q2 and Q3 of 2020 fell far below normal levels. The report indicates conditions will continue to be “highly volatile and rapidly changing, dictated by the trajectory of broader economic indicators and public health conditions.”
Your company may be one where almost everyone works from home. Perhaps, you have a few employees in the office building. In either case, your building stands vacant or close to it. A vacant commercial property can become a target for criminal activity.
Unguarded, an empty property will cost commercial property managers a lot more than the cost of the mortgage or lease. That is because a vacant property will attract the wrong element. If you have some employees in the building, it could put them in a dangerous situation.
How Unwanted Visitors Become a Problem for Vacant Commercial Properties
A handful of employees and cars in the parking lot will attract the wrong kind of attention. The homeless, squatters, daring teens, and criminals will take notice. Each one of these can damage the property in different ways.
The homeless and squatters will turn the property into their new home. The parking garage and other easy access areas will protect them from the elements. Out of desperation, they may find their way into the building to access running water for bathing and drinking. This won’t be a good look for the property when people drive past.
As for teens and dauntless adults, they turn the property into a playground. The parking lot is converted into a racetrack or a place for doing donuts. Or just for grins, they’ll break anything and everything they see while others transform the property into a place to display their artwork in the form of graffiti.
Other adults view the property as the perfect spot to deal and use drugs. This could be a gateway to bigger and worse crimes.
Criminals view the vacant property as a treasure chest. They look for anything of value and resell it for money. This could be copper piping, fixtures, or wiring. A building with easy access to the roof may have roof-mounted HVAC units. They climb up to find out. In doing so, they get hurt.
If this happens, they could sue the property. Yes, even if they had bad intentions. This turns into a liability issue. Your property could be held liable.
How Video Surveillance Helps with the Effects of Staffing Shortages
With fewer employees or no one on the property, who is going to report problems on the property? It’s possible for flooding to happen without anyone using the faucets or bathrooms. Inclement weather, frozen pipes, and general plumbing problems can get out of hand.
Humans are not the only living things that hunt for empty buildings. Wild animals, insects, and rats find them a perfect place to call home.
Video surveillance can help prevent all these potential problems. While security guards are an option, the cost to hire them could hurt your bottom-line. Video surveillance is a better option. It costs up to 60 percent less than what it would cost to use security guards.
Besides, video surveillance can see the entire property at once. Security guards can only see what is around them.
You benefit from video surveillance in many ways. It involves more than installing video cameras around the property. Smart remote video surveillance uses video analytics and trained monitoring operators. Whenever analytics discovers a match on one of its many programmed scenarios, it warns the operator who checks it out and acts.
How the operator responds depends on the situation. It could be a sign of flooding. The operator calls the right people to handle it ASAP. In the case of intruders, the operator could issue a warning through an on-site speaker. If they don’t leave the property, next is a call to law enforcement.
By the way, the operator is not on the property. They are safely located in a remote monitoring center. This adds another advantage. They’re unlikely to be involved in internal theft like security guards can be.
Most importantly, any employee who comes to the building will feel safer knowing someone is watching the cameras. Anytime a business has cameras and no one watching them, it can create a liability issue.
Video Surveillance Benefits
Unlike many security solutions, video surveillance is proactive. It can help deter crime and prevent damage. Security guards can’t. They can only respond when they see something. By the time they notice, the damage could already be done. They could also be responsible for damage as a video surveillance clip caught a security guard doing donuts in a parking lot. After watching the video, you won’t be surprised to learn that security guards are a liability.
That’s not all. It turns out many security guards have a criminal history according to a study from CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting. The industry also experiences such a high turnover that 31 states do not require background checks.
Video surveillance offers these benefits and more:
- Faster response times:
Companies like Stealth Monitoring have an established relationship with local law enforcement. The police officers put a higher priority on calls from Stealth.
- 24/7 monitoring:
Around-the-clock monitoring helps deter crime and prevent damage.
- Liability protection:
Recordings provide evidence for police investigations and insurance claims.
- Complete site coverage:
Cameras can see the entire property simultaneously including areas where security guards can’t venture.
- Delivers savings:
Helps cut risk, avert crime, and save on insurance premiums. It costs up to 60 percent less than security guard services.
You will have peace of mind knowing there are eyes across your entire property. Since everything is recorded, you’ll have the support you need. When you add video surveillance to your team, you will see a fast return on your security investment.
In working with Stealth Monitoring, you have many security options. Our experts review your requirements to customize a security solution to address your biggest security challenges. Here’s a case study of how Stealth Monitoring’s video surveillance reduces crime and saves money. For more information about a proactive security solution that fits your needs and budget, contact us.