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Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure at their workplace, regardless of position. Nonetheless, it might feel intimidating to bring up security issues to your supervisors or managers. No one wants to risk coming across as accusatory or risk overstepping some invisible line... But, at the same time, maybe a former employee is making threats against the company, or perhaps the parking lot lacks adequate lighting. Whatever the issue, if you feel you or your co-worker’s safety is at risk, speaking up is the right thing to do. Here, we’ll show you how.
Signs Your Office Isn't Secure Enough
Before you raise a concern, it’s important to evaluate whether or not your workplace safety is truly compromised, and if your company already has security measures in place to deal with the issue. It’s likely that your office isn’t as safe as it could be if it has any of the following:
- No security system or surveillance: Whether or not there’s been a workplace incident or break-in, a total absence of an office security system is a cause for concern. Despite how safe the area may be, without an alarm system or security cameras in place, the office will always be vulnerable to outside threats and unable to be alerted in case of an emergency. This could lead to heightened anxiety among employees, reducing their productivity and overall wellbeing.
- Unsecured entrances: If you work at an office with multiple entrances, it’s important to check that each point is secured against unauthorized guests. The front entrance may have a receptionist, key-card reader, or keypad lock, but if other, less conspicuous doorways are left open and unmonitored, you’re still every bit as vulnerable to intruders.
- Threats and violence: If your office recently let go of a disgruntled employee, received threats of violence, or was the site of a violent attack — and higher-ups did nothing to improve security measures — it’s time to take action. Not only is it nearly impossible to work under the threat of an imminent attack, but employees are now directly in harm’s way. Dangers of this nature should be taken seriously, and security should be ramped up in order to prevent anything bad from happening.
- Poor visibility: Take a long, hard look at your office campus. The large shrubs, concrete pillars, or dark corners scattered around the perimeter or parking lot may add to the aesthetic appeal, but they also offer convenient hiding spots for thieves or assailants. If the area has weak lighting (or no lighting whatsoever), the chance of potential threats has now doubled.
How to Ask for More Security
When raising security concerns to your boss, it may feel like challenging authority or, if you’re alone in your concerns, like presenting a losing argument. But this is hardly the case. If you’re working for a company that truly cares for its employees, supervisors would be grateful that you brought up an issue they likely overlooked and would fix the problem immediately. After all, the office climate improves and everyone produces better work when they feel relaxed and cared for.
Below are a couple of pointers for making a strong case for greater security:
Bring up specific incidents: When making the claim that you or others feel unsafe at the office, it helps to provide some specific examples of security breaches or dangerous incidents, especially if your boss wasn’t there. You can also describe how such incidents made you and other employees feel, and how morale was impacted afterward.
Point out weak spots: (And how they can be improved). After detailing safety breaches, explain why you believe beefing up security could have prevented the incident from ever taking place. If a former employee breached a back entrance, for instance, you could mention that by placing a keycard reader at every door, only current employees would be allowed entry. Should employees feel unsafe walking back to their cars at night, you can suggest greater lighting. Your boss will be more receptive to claims of danger if you provide a concrete solution for mending the problem.
Get co-workers involved: Finally, before raising concerns to your supervisors, it’s best to have some people in your corner. Consider collecting written testimonies from co-workers, or creating a document for everyone to sign. There’s safety in numbers, and if you can prove that the office supports your efforts at improving safety, your superiors will feel more pressure to improve security as quickly as possible.
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