There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we work forever. All you need to do is take a look at a company like Twitter to see that an office is not required. But, the security monitoring industry is much different than an online social platform. What about all the technology it takes to keep people safe, even when the power goes down, or a natural disaster happens? Sure, working from home is here now, but is it really here to stay?
TMA, UL and Working From Home
The Monitoring Association is currently in the process of preparing permanent work from home processes. The thought of this might make some people in the industry shutter, but this doesn’t necessarily mean sending all operators and personnel home and shutting office doors. In fact, there is too much technology for redundancy and signal processing for central stations to become obsolete.
When the pandemic initially hit, and central stations rushed to move employees out of the office, the UL created a virtual workplace guideline to keep UL standards while allowing employees to safely work from home. While this temporary solution sufficed, calls for permanent backup power or multiple lines for internet aren’t necessarily feasible for most individuals working from home. For a permanent solution to be found, these items will need to be looked at, and perhaps removed from any standard.
But there are obvious benefits for many employees to be moved to a work-from-home environment permanently. One of the biggest issues with hiring top talent, is a depleted talent pool. Many qualified individuals might be unwilling to commute to the office, but if they don’t have to, this opens up the door. Speaking of, allowing employees to work from home will do wonders for retention, especially when it comes to operators.
And for the business, if all the company needs is a single floor for a server room, central stations can save a ton of money on real estate alone. But, of course, we are solely speaking about the positives here. There are a list of cons that make the future of working from home not so bright.
As mentioned above, the things that make central stations so reliable are the redundancy, network and communication. If that even falters for a moment, the integrity of the central station can be compromised fully. And if your central station is deemed unreliable by dealers, you’re out of business.
What Will Happen
The benefits of working from home are too grand to ignore. There’s no way around it, but we don’t think that central stations will be permanently shutting doors to opt for a “everybody stay home” model, either. It will most likely be a combination of both.
But know that you have a say in the matter. The UL looks at, and replies to every comment made on their public forms. They want to shape the industry that best works for its employees. If you want to be heard, let them know.