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Changing The Alarm Monitoring Center Work From Home Policy

Jul 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The pandemic forced many businesses to shut their doors, but for many alarm monitoring central stations, shutting down was not an option. For those central stations and security industry businesses that were fortunate enough to take a hybrid approach, or allow employees to work from home, working from home raised some questions that will need to be answered in the near future.

Is Working From Home Viable?

This truly depends on who you talk to. Everybody’s individual home life is different. For some, working from home is a better situation than going into the office every day. For others, who may have limited internet speeds, no real office or work area, or children and pets, the pandemic has more than likely been a difficult transition. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros

One of the pros for businesses — not necessarily in the alarm monitoring center business — is that working from home has shown that office space might not be necessary to successfully operate a business. Companies like Twitter have made their work from home policies permanent. Work from home policies can drastically cut down on overhead, in some scenarios.

Working from home can actually help people stay in a working mindset. How? You would think that putting on a suit and tie and going into an office would better put you in that mindset. Sure, but employees want to be comfortable, and being able to do their job, also while wearing sweatpants isn’t the worst thing in the world. Plus, being able to take your work with you into the kitchen or living room allows employees to stay connected and continue to be productive, while that wouldn’t be the case in the office.

With the abilities of Zoom and Microsoft Teams and any other chat or video conferencing tool that is available, it’s not like employees are left stranded without personal communication in their homes.

One could argue that accountability could be an issue, but if your business isn’t hiring people who can work without being micromanaged, that’s a hiring issue, and your business could benefit from tips on how to hire top talent.

Cons

Contrary to the previous point made, any way you shake it, working remotely can’t make up for the benefits of being face to face in an office setting. It is much easier to misconstrue an email from a coworker about a task, when that person could have easily walked over and spoken to you in an office setting. And let’s not forget about the countless number of dropped or frozen Zoom calls during meetings (not to blame Zoom, but technology in general).

Cyber security becomes another issue. Thankfully, companies such as AvantGuard used early preparation and planning, as well as going to great lengths to be compliant with virtual UL standards due to COVID-19. But without the safety of your company's internal cyber security structure, this puts more employees and companies at risk of a cyber attack.

The Answer

While there is no real definitive answer to whether working-from-home works as a long term option or not, one thing is for certain — flexibility and adaptability is key for a successful alarm monitoring company. Let the pandemic be an opportunity for your business to evaluate your employees work habits. You may find that adding a work-from-home policy after the pandemic is over may just be the thing that helps hiring in the long run, and helps employees be more productive.

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