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Sometimes having a big brother is great. You can tell him your secrets, mess around doing dumb stuff and know that he’ll never tell your parents, right?
But not all big brothers are like that – especially if they’re the type that sprout wires and are permanently fixed to the ceiling. (And unless you’re from a really dysfunctional family, I doubt that’s the case. . .)
The type of Big Brother we’re talking about today is, of course, the surveillance camera, or CCTV. Hated by freedom-lovers and worshipped by security services the world over, these little metal devices have gotten themselves a bit of a bad rep.
But, if you ask me, it’s not really justified – especially in the world of business and technology.
Today I’d like to celebrate the role of surveillance cameras in the workplace. Because if they are used in the right way, they can help create some major gains for both employers and employees.
So, what is ‘productivity’?
Well, the most basic dictionary definition is: ‘the state or quality of being productive’ – which doesn’t help much.
A slightly more sophisticated version might be: ‘the rate per unit area or per unit volume at which biomass consumable as food by other organisms is made by producers. . .’, which is helpful – if you’re in the business of organic vegetable farming. But we’re not. We’re in the business of BUSINESS.
So, what does productivity mean for us?
The answer is: it depends on what you see value in. In other words, it’s determined by the currency of the holder, whether that be euros, pounds or yen (or giant tomatoes).
Overlooking the potentially massive boosts in productivity that can be experienced by doing something as simple as installing a few cameras is crazy. If we think in terms of a return on investment, it really is a no brainer. . .
So, let’s crack on and have a look at 3 of the best ways that cameras can supercharge your business’ productivity.
Promote Employee Performance
It might be counterintuitive to think that being watched increases productivity, but that seems to be the case – most of the time.
It’s been found that non-invasive monitoring with cameras can be effective in promoting cohesion and productivity, as long as the initiative is introduced in combination with a clearly explained rationale, management framework and description of the benefits for both the company and the individuals. After all, no-one likes to be dictated to or snooped on, especially without their knowledge. And don’t forget, in a lot of commercial and public settings, security cameras must be installed by a licensed professional. This varies from state-to-state.
Recent studies have revealed that employees working in organisations that have introduced CCTV are often more productive as, among other things, time-wasting activities (such as chit-chatting) can be reduced by up to 80%. Naturally, this provides a massive boost to productivity.
It also seems that the very fact that your employees know they are being observed doesn’t only have a positive effect on productivity but also on responsibility and accountability – more on that last one in a moment.
Of course, there will always be one or two who might object, regardless of how sensitively and respectfully the initiative is introduced – but you probably already know who they are anyway… right?!
Wipe Out Workplace Bullying
It’s precisely those types of people that might also be your workplace bullies. . .
But fortunately, installation of surveillance cameras can put an end to their abusive behaviour once and for all; it’s an excellent way to wipe out workplace bullying.
Bullying or abusive behaviour in the workplace not only undermines the confidence of your employees and damages their mental – and sometimes physical – health; it also undermines you and the ethos of your organization.
If left untreated, a dangerous cocktail of low morale, absenteeism, and sickness due to health issues can lead to a high turnover of staff, which is not only bad news for your teams’ productivity, but can spell disaster for your business as a whole. After all, unhappy employees are usually inefficient employees, and inefficiency is the antithesis of productivity.
Installing a suitable CCTV system allows you to monitor exactly what is happening and empower yourself to take immediate and effective action. This results in you having more time to focus on other issues and it allows the potential victims the opportunity to turn their attention more fully to creating more of the currency you require.
Preventing or Limiting Loss
Lastly, we have preventing or limiting loss – and it’s a big deal. Let’s have a look at some shocking stats.
According to comparecamp.com:
- 95% of all businesses have experienced employee theft.
- 3 out of 4 employees admit to stealing from their employers at least once.
- 3 out of 10 employee theft cases lasted for more than five years.
- It’s estimated that 33% of corporate bankruptcies in the US are linked to employee theft.
Now that’s pretty scary. Especially if you’re a business owner.
But the good news is that installing cameras in your workplace has the potential to significantly reduce, or even possibly eliminate, workplace theft, whether it be more minor incidents, such as the odd stapler or ten disappearing, or more major incidents such as the removal of hardware or information
Not only do cameras work as a deterrent, they also hold perpetrators to account by providing invaluable evidence of criminal activity, should you ever need to take disciplinary action. Most importantly, they protect all your assets, assets which are usually crucial to the smooth running and ongoing productivity of your organisation.
So, those are three super-simple ways in which the installation of CCTV can help to streamline your operations and supercharge productivity.
Hopefully, it’s given you some food for thought. . .
I’ll finish up today with the wise words of leadership legend Stephen Covey – you know, the guy who wrote “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”:
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
So, why not make productivity a priority and consider how installing a kick-ass camera system can help you create more of the currency you need?
I’m Chris Machut. See you next time. Until then: Stay safe, protected and productive out there!