June 9, 2020
Why should you protect your business from burglary? Browse the news, and you’ll find many reports that crime rates have dropped around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. And, indeed,...
During the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. in particular has seen an uptick in commercial burglaries due to businesses being closed. To safeguard their assets, savvy business owners and commercial property managers are looking to increase security during COVID-19.
But as many businesses remain closed or slowly reopen, and the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains a very real threat, is it wise to hire or add more on-site security guards to your staff?
In this post, we’ll assess the risks and costs associated with hiring physical security guards, along with alternative options for bolstering your business’s security.
The financial costs of hiring a security guard will vary based on the location and size of your business, the type of property you rent or own, and the person’s experience. The average cost for a security guard can range from $15 to $50 per hour, per guard, depending on these factors. And these fees can quickly add up, which may affect your ability to manage your bottom line during these uncertain economic times: U.S. gross domestic product fell at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. This is the first decline since 2014, as well as the worst quarterly contraction since 2008.
There are also pandemic-related costs associated with hiring an in-person security guard. For example, there’s hazard pay, which is extra pay for dangerous or physically taxing work. It’s meant to incentivize staff to take on jobs that may or will cause extreme physical discomfort, distress, and hardship that isn’t adequately alleviated by protective devices, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While hazard pay is not required by law, it can be included as part of employment contracts.
You may also need to provide childcare benefits to hired guards to help minimize productivity losses. Before the pandemic, companies were losing 43% of female employees when they had their first child, and parents who returned missed an average of 24 full and partial work days due to childcare issues. These numbers will only grow during and after COVID-19 because of the financial burden of paying for childcare, along with less availability of the service due to social distancing and shuttered businesses.
Additional security guard cost considerations include overtime pay, especially if your business is operating with reduced hours, as well as outfitting security guards with personal protective equipment (PPE).
The biggest risk to hiring a security guard is that he or she could contract and spread COVID-19. Hiring multiple security guards exponentially increases that risk, and also threatens the health of your current staff, customers, suppliers, and anyone who comes into contact with your property.
Another risk to hiring an in-person security guard is that if they become ill with the virus, or need to take care of a family member who has contracted COVID-19, they will need to take leave.
This puts you back at square one: Who will protect your property and your livelihood?
Virtual security services like ECAMSECURE provide a cost-effective and safe alternative to hiring in-person security guards. In addition to 24/7 services like mobile video surveillance, CCTV, video analytics, and drone and radar surveillance, ECAMSECURE offers Virtual Security Officer, which blends traditional video surveillance with two-way audio and rigorous guard protocol. The service provides easy access to recorded footage and instant video verification to law enforcement and clients should an issue arise.
Securing your business and property is critical, but there are high risks to hiring in-person guards. As businesses make considerations for practicality, safety and cost, virtual security services provide an excellent alternative.