There are several security considerations SMEs need to take when expanding their team and office space.
Here are three important tips:
1. (Re)evaluate your space
Security risks are tied to how your business operates (is it 24/7) and its physical footprint. Growth in teams typically lead to the need to expand existing office space, or move into new premises. However, SMEs may also decide to move to a shift pattern that can preclude the need to move. Before deciding for either of those, SMEs should review your access needs based on operational needs and risks (e.g. out of hours access, and determine whether existing security will scale or adapt to the new business reality.
Space evaluation also provides those looking to rent or adopt a co-working mode with an opportunity to check whether landlords do provide a good level of security. For example, it would be important to know if landlords provide custom access to occupying companies through electronic partitioning, or if the space access is shared. Shared access would mean all occupants can access each other’s offices, which isn't ideal.
2. Proactively consult a security specialist
When expansion plans are clear, SMEs should consult a trusted security specialist to discuss what this means for their security needs. A security specialist will also carry out an evaluation of the space and provide guidance on the best security systems and measures to implement. If SMEs are renting, they can request prospective landlords to provide a specialist, or source their own and provide feedback to landlords. This is a topic best discussed ahead of signing a lease, as making changes to security policies or systems in shared spaces are typically very challenging.
3. Invest in access control
Technology brings many benefits to small businesses: from opening up the world markets through online selling, to facilitating the management of tasks. Security is no different. While the type of security technologies and their scope will be driven by the needs of the business, as we’ve seen in the 4 growing pains we covered, managing access quickly and efficiently becomes a challenge in growing organizations. To combat this, SMEs must invest in understanding and leveraging modern access control technologies. A modern system allows businesses to do more than just control staff access, it also helps to manage employees and their shifts more effectively (without the need for someone to open or lock up necessarily), and makes onboarding new staff or contractors more seamless.