As buildings slowly start to become reoccupied, the role of the security officer is being changed once again. Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen an interesting shift from officers managing occupied buildings to empty ones and then planning for reoccupation with changes to security and access control. With people now back in buildings – albeit in small numbers – another shift is occurring.
We’re seeing some of our security officers taking a leading role in managing the ‘new normal’ in workplaces. They’re the first person that building occupants see when they arrive back to work and they’re reinforcing the instructions around social distancing, taking the time to explain how the new security and access control systems work, talking people through new technology such as thermal imaging cameras, and reassuring them that the building is safe. Essentially being a friendly and welcoming face.
Thanks to lift capacity restrictions, many of our officers are manning lifts for the first time in years. Others are working on the occupied floors, near washrooms, meeting rooms and in staff restaurants, ensuring people abide by the social distancing rules. This is a sensitive and challenging job. Some people are relaxed about catching the virus whereas others are quite anxious and the potential for conflict in the workplace is therefore significant. Our officers are caught in the middle of that, attempting to difuse volatile situations while keeping everyone safe.
Our offices have been on the front-line of this virus since day one. They were working when the rest of us were safely working at home. Their importance was demonstrated when the Government gave them key worker status. Now their role has changed again, and they’re fighting on the front-line yet again. Their role is not dissimilar to police officers, who, during lockdown were tasked with enforcing social distancing rules.
Not all organisations are using security officers in this way, of course. Some have set up the workplace in a socially-distanced way and are leaving people to their own devices. But with more people returning to the office over the coming months – particularly once the schools go back in September – the role of the security officer is going to take on increasing prominence in managing the new normal.
For further information on how Corps is working to support our colleagues and customers during this time please take a look at our dedicated Covid-19 page or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help.