As in many industries, this year has been a battle for survival for security companies. The need to provide security services is vital, an inflexible demand despite the impact of the pandemic. But the demand has been greatly affected by the closure of shopping malls and schools, social distancing, and cessation of events e.g., sporting events, reduction in both international and regional travel, and remote working.
Who will survive or perish in the market? Who will outlast their competition by learning how to adapt to the new normal?
An essential factor is building resilience into the business model. This means understanding the challenges being faced by the team members and looking for various solutions to curb them. It also has to take into account that security includes different functions and services.
Changing Roles of Security During The Pandemic
During this pandemic, security guards observe changes in their roles as far as helping the government and community as a whole is concerned. Security firms operating all over the world are pivoting. Security is an important component in helping to halt the spread of disease. In Australia, for example, a security company may be held liable for its failure to properly screen guests and employees at a hotel where an outbreak was registered.
Using security guard services outside establishments also ensures shoppers’ safety and can help enforce limiting the number of shoppers in a store at a given time. They also help to ensure the maintenance of physical and social distancing in these stores. The installation of markings has been done in high-turnover areas like supermarkets, indicating the appropriate pacing distance of two meters that customers are required to observe. In different parts of the world, there are varying degrees of how stringent the enforcement of these rules is. In the U.S., these rules may not be as strictly enforced, though this may change as the death toll continues to mount.
Different companies have provided security personnel to ensure the guidelines’ observance. The procedures include ensuring the respect of the social distancing rule and ensuring access to shopping hours to the elderly.
Some of the current roles of security guards are:
- Checking on the welfare of workers
- Preventing theft by protecting high-risk products (items prone to hoarding, like toilet paper)
- Assisting in patrolling, and controlling a site’s ingress points
- Checking temperatures and screening guests and employees
To do all this, security companies have changed their operational procedures to adapt to the reality of the pandemic. These include:
- Providing hygiene equipment, and training to keep workstations clean and ensure health practices
- Giving their staff protective equipment and orienting them on its proper usage
- Making sure guards are aware of best practices in hygiene, like how to wash their hands properly, the use of antibacterial solutions
- Providing periodical testing and screening for COVID-19, and being stringent with not letting employees work if they are experiencing flu symptoms
Although security guards aren’t usually considered front-line heroes like medical personnel, they are essential in supporting critical infrastructure. The public owes the smooth and continued operation of daily services for their work to the men and women dedicated to keeping everybody safe.