Running on empty – How to keep empty offices safe and secure during COVID-19

While the world might slowly be getting back to normal there, there are still thousands of offices across the country that are quite literally running on empty as staff are being told to continue working from home.

There are those that have suggested that Coronavirus might change the way we work indefinitely, of course, but while the era of the big office might be coming to a close, there are still offices lying dormant and it’s important to keep on top of maintenance and security measures – otherwise your workforce could be returning to an incredibly unsafe environment.

Leave the lights on

One relatively cost-effective tip is to ensure your office buildings are not kept in complete darkness when they are not being used.

A dimly lit or completely dark building can be seen as an open invitation by certain rogue individuals.

You don’t need to keep them on all day either, as there are plenty of office lighting systems that can be automated to only come on at certain times of the day or night.

Inform the neighbours

It might sound a little counterintuitive to promote the fact that your office is vacant, but if local businesses know that you are closed and notice any suspicious activity, they’ll be more inclined to contact you and let you know.

Furthermore, it’s incredibly important for customers to know that you’re not open and this can be done via social media and by changing the opening hours on your Google Business account.

Secure valuables

We appreciate that, in some cases, it’s simply not feasible to remove all of the valuables from an unoccupied office.

So, while we would recommend removing all valuable equipment from the premises, if this isn’t possible then at least ensure it’s locked away and hidden.

Check your insurance

In a post-coronavirus world where the goalposts are constantly being moved and insurance companies are fighting to catch up on a daily basis, insurance may be the furthest thing from your mind.

But with things so uncertain right now it’s never been so important to ensure you review your documentation and make sure you have all the necessary cover.

Protect your skeleton crew

Many offices are not shutting down completely and are instead operating with minimal staff. In this scenario, you’re going to want to fully brief your remaining workers on what is expected of them.

Underline the importance of locking up the premises before they leave the office and that all electrical equipment is turned off and even unplugged if the office is going to be vacant for an extended period.

Revamp your security system

Now might be the ideal time to upgrade your security system. Installation can often be disruptive, so what better time to upgrade your system than when you’re running on empty? It’s also the ideal time to run tests and really get to know the system inside and out.

This might also be the perfect time to invest in a remote monitoring system or have a security survey performed on your offices.

Whatever steps you choose to take, now is not the time to sit on your hands. The world might be slowly returning to normal but it’s not the normal we once knew and with any major shift in the status quo, preparation is vital, whether you’re running a full office or running on empty.