How to control a security control room

Many businesses have a security control room, either on their premises or at another remote location. The benefit of having a security control room overlooking your business security is that it brings a sense of, well, security and safety to all those who work there or have invested in the company.

Other benefits besides peace of mind include monitoring and recording suspect activity in order to carry out the appropriate security procedure and to provide evidence in the event of a theft or liability claim. Security control rooms secure all the business assets from products to people and even the building itself. This level of security is incredibly valuable as long as you know how to properly implement and control it.

Here’s what you need to know about security control room requirements. Make sure your company’s control room is adequately equipped and ready to do the job.

The right design

Security control room design is an important aspect of the functioning of the room. First of all, you need to make sure that the control room space is large enough for all the equipment and for the comfort of the console operators. In the next section, we’ll be talking about all the equipment needed in the control room and that will prove to you why size matters.

The next design aspect has to do with lighting. Without the correct lighting, you run the risk of over-working control room operators’ eyes. There should be a controllable amount of natural light in the room and dimmable LED lights. You need to think about the light reflecting on the monitors and the visual comfort of the operator. There also needs to be insulation to block out some of the outside noise if the surrounding environment to the room is loud.

Next, we come to the design layout of the equipment itself and how there should always be a clear line of sight from desks to monitors, regardless of the operator’s location in the room. The video wall or bulk monitors need to be able to be seen from almost all angles without any obvious obstructions. And while we’re talking about the desks and workspace, it needs to be organised and free from clutter as far as possible. There will be plenty of wires, keyboards and controllers that need to be organised to free up the workspace and encourage a productive environment.

And then there are the few décor rules that need to be addressed. Lighting is one of them, which we’ve already discussed, and wall colour is another. There are certain colours that encourage alertness and aren’t a distraction from the task at hand. Neutral grey and cream colours are the better options and won’t add to the visual strain already set by the monitors.

The right equipment

Now, it’s not possible to have a security control room without the necessary control room equipment. You need to make sure that your console and its software are suited to your company and its security needs.

You need to consider whether you will have height adjustable consoles and workstations for your operators so they can alternate between sitting and standing throughout their, generally, 12-hour shift. The chairs and desks need to be ergonomically designed along with the setup of the keyboards and monitors.

The right equipment for a security control room won’t really be effective if ergonomics aren’t considered. Ergonomics is important in any workspace environment, which includes the control room. If not more so, considering the long shifts operators have to work and the fact that their job mainly consists of staring at and working with multiple monitors.

The right staff

 

Hiring for your security control room should be taken seriously. You’ll find that many security control room companies offer control room operator staff as part of the package. Or they will be able to recommend training qualifications which your security staff would need to complete.

It can be more than just looking at a screen all day and it’s a job that comes with a whole lot of responsibility. You need the right staff for your fully equipped and efficiently-designed security control room. People who will be able to handle the shift schedule (which should also be designed with productivity in mind), who are able to handle and control a security situation and who are capable of documenting necessary data.

A security control room is exactly what your company needs in order to be efficient and effective. Knowing that there are security measures in place and people (literally) watching over you is comforting and frees your mind from fear to let you focus on work.

If you already have one, make sure it’s got everything it needs. And if you don’t have one yet, well, it’s about time to start investing in one. You now have all the necessary information to ensure both quality and success in controlling your security control room, after all.

Vital leadership skills every small business owner needs

Being a small business owner means that, other than entrepreneurial spirit, you will need to have leadership skills to succeed. You will need to be able to lead your team with ease and have an understanding of all aspects of your business, including financial accounting and marketing. If you are not sure what, exactly, being a leader entails, below are just some of the vital leadership skills you will need as a small business owner.

Organisation

Arguably one of the most important leadership skills you will need is organisational skills, and this pertains to every aspect of your business. Keeping your workspace neat and tidy will help to calm your mind, and keeping your business data in order will help to make your work more streamlined.

Keeping everything organised will help you to quickly access information and make quicker business decisions. You will need to be able to organise your contact information, tasks, sales information, and all the other moving pieces involved in bringing in new business, as well as understand your financial situation. This can be done by taking a diploma in financial accounting. An organised business is one that performs well and provides customers with outstanding service and experience.

Effective communication skills

Being able to communicate with your employees and your customers is essential to the smooth running of any small business. Communication is equal parts talking and listening, with listening being vital for meeting with employees and clients.

As a business owner, you can build your success by being able to communicate your goals clearly to your team so that they are able to implement them. Listening to the opinions of the people on your team will also enable you to become a better boss, and it can improve your business operations. Without the ability to communicate your value to potential clients, you are unable

Confidence

Confidence is more of a personal attribute than a skill, but it is important nonetheless. Without confidence, you are unable to inspire trust and respect in your employees and customers. Leaders need confidence in order to make decisions and stick to them.

Self-confidence is important for small business owners as you will need to convince clients to use your skills and buy your products. If you are not confident in your business and in yourself, this will shine through in your business and will increase your profits. Confidence is an attribute that is inherent in entrepreneurs and can be built on with courses and conferences.

Strategic thinking

Thinking strategically is important to  the success of any business. This means that not only do you have a vision for your business but the ability and drive to move forward with this vision. You are able to think on your feet and use all the information available to come up with a plan of action to reach your goals.

Strategic thinking is a leadership skill that can be applied to your entire business, such as marketing and finances. Strategic marketing means that you will look at what is trending in the media and use this to your advantage in your campaign. Using strategic thinking financially could mean that you take financial accounting courses in order to better understand your bookkeeping process.

Emotional intelligence

Being emotionally intelligent means that you are able to understand and control your emotions. It will help you to understand yourself and those around you, namely your employees and your clients. It also means that you are able to act diplomatically rather than simply following a whim or an emotional reaction.

Having empathy is a part of having emotional intelligence, and empathy is what drives a small business that wants to connect with customers and give them the best customer experience possible. You should be able to effectively demonstrate emotional intelligence and use it to form connections with your employees and clients. Emotional intelligence also means that you are better able to make smart business decisions with your head rather than your heart.

The ability to adapt

Having the ability to adapt to difficult situations is vital for any small business owner. Change in the economic environment is constant, and being unable to adapt to these changes is highly detrimental to your business success. The ability to adapt also means you need to have the ability to embrace change, too.

Leaders are also able to implement changes easily and efficiently in their business. You should be able to do this without disturbing the organisation’s balances and should provide your staff with help as they strive to adapt to these changes too. Adaptability is highly important in this digital world we live in, especially for small business owners.

6 effective tips for managing your time at work

Sitting at your desk and watching the time tick on is one of the most common, shared frustrations amongst employees. While there are certainly days when you’re extremely productive and ready to take on the day like a champion, there are other days when you can’t think about anything worse.

Well, there are various reasons why you cannot concentrate, for example, you’re tired, emotional, hungry or simply don’t have the drive to move forward on that particular day. It’s perfectly normal to experience these symptoms every once in a while, however, when it becomes a frequent thing, it’s a problem.

In order to get rid of those ‘where did the time go’ moments, and not in a good way, here are a few tips and tricks to improve the productivity of your working day and your life as a whole.

  • Organise your life

We’re all aware of the term ‘time management’ which might, in fact, be a myth, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to how organised you are. There are only 24 hours in a day, so if you have responsibilities and requirements beyond work, make sure you wake up early and kickstart your day on the right foot. It’s important to remember that your time is your own. You are in control of what you’re able to get done in a day, so once you learn to prioritise your time, you won’t be able to blame anyone.

  • Find out where you’re wasting time

Often times people leave work thinking ‘where did the time go’ when you know you’ve worked hard with little interruptions but you still can’t seem to get your work done. In these cases, you need to take a step back and reevaluate your activities. Perhaps you’re wasting precious time doing things that are absolutely unnecessary? Or you’re spending too much time doing admin or research which is stealing good, valuable time. Now, both these tasks might play an important role in your job, but if they’re causing you to slack in other areas then you certainly need to take a step back and start time tracking your tasks.

  • Align your surroundings with your goals

The old school to-do list is one of the best ways to manage your time and set goals. The first goal you set should be organising and cleaning your desk. Once you declutter your space, you will be able to sort out your priorities and plan accordingly. If you want a clock at your desk, there are many modern wall clocks in South Africa that you could order online to spruce up your desk space. The same goes for any other space in the office. Take the kitchen, for example. Small things such as kitchen accessories and, again, modern wall clocks in South Africa are a few of the essential items you need to make a difference to yours’ and your colleagues’ space. After all, you spend the majority of your life at the office, so you need to purchase any kitchen utensils for sale and office accessories that will give your working space a revamp.

Another tip with work goals is filtering out any negativity in your personal life. At the end of the day, you spend most of your time in front of your computer or speaking to clients, so if you’re struggling with personal challenges, you’re going to need to focus on them before you can eliminate them. Personal behaviour always has a way of interfering with your work life, so clear your head before you set goals.

  • Use time management tools

Some companies make use of computer time tracking tools where employees are required to track their every task. As far as organisational tools go, make use of digital calendars and event scheduling to remind you about particular tasks. You will also be able to manage project success online as you ensure that whatever process you use works best for what your daily tasks are. It should also be trackable, so that you can be fully aware of your performance, and what you should be doing better.

  • Prioritise your days

Each morning, you need to prioritise your tasks for the day. Be realistic with your pace and with how many tasks you think you’re going to get to. Within saying this, you need to prioritise properly. Learn how to allocate your time according to urgent and least urgent so that you can make a concerted effort to work on tasks that play a bigger role. At the end of the day, having an organised and structured approach to your day will make you feel more focused on achieving your goals.

  • Learn to delegate

People who enjoy being independent and doing everything themselves will understand how difficult it is to delegate their work to other members of the team. If this sounds like you, you need to make an effort to pick up this skill and learn to be okay with passing work on to others for your own personal state of mind. It’s not always ideal having to delegate your work, especially when you want to finish something yourself, but if everyone has to rely on you all the time you’re going to have a breakdown. The problem with doing everything yourself is that one day an issue is going to arise which is going to set you back, so rather accept assistance and focus on completing what you can to the best of your ability.

Final words

As a result, there are so many different ways to be more productive in the workplace. As they say, time is money, and it’s important to take control of your time and maximise your days to their full potential. Once you’ve set your mind to something, it’s up to you to achieve it. 

Telecommuting for startup businesses

With the wonder of flexible work schedules, comes the increase in telecommuting for business. And as young adults start up their own businesses with flexibility in mind, we look at the aspects of telecommuting for startups. There are advantages and disadvantages to consider and you should know that telecommuting isn’t a viable option for every company.

Here is all you need to know about telecommuting for startup businesses.

What is telecommuting?

Telecommuting, in the simplest of terms, means working from home with the help of information technology. Many startup businesses start out in people’s homes. As the business grows, there may be an official office space setup to accommodate more employees and make it feel like a more professional venture.

But most people won’t complain about working from home and having the flexible work schedules that come with telecommuting. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting, especially for small businesses.

What are the advantages of telecommuting?

  • Cost-effective growth opportunities: By allowing employees to work from home, you’ll be saving yourself money on office supplies, rent for an office space (if you’re able to use your home as a makeshift office for special occasions) and travelling to and from work every day (for you and your employees). Telecommuting allows for startups to grow exponentially without being overly expensive to do so. It also allows for you to scout for talent over a larger area as distance won’t have to be a turn-off for potential star employees.  
  • Employee retention: The flexibility telecommuting allows is also an attractive feature for employees that isn’t offered by many other companies. This means you’re also likely to retain your employees and easily attract new talent. This also reinforces the confidence employers have in their employees, which is always a great feeling for an employee to have. Not to mention, it shows that the company cares about their employees’ work and life balance.
  • Increased productivity: Because of the care, trust, confidence and balance this flexibility brings employees, they’re more likely to be motivated to work hard and, therefore, be more productive during their chosen work hours. Telecommuting may also require an internal business software through which employee hours and tasks can be monitored, which will also keep them productive and accountable.

What are the disadvantages of telecommuting?

  • Management difficulty: Getting to really know your employees and apply a management style according to their personalities and abilities becomes a difficult task through telecommuting. You don’t see them every day or even every week and you don’t know how they’re handling everything unless they choose to communicate that with you. Solutions would be to incorporate different forms of communication and include video conferences to simulate face-to-face conversation.  
  • Accountability: Now, we mentioned how telecommuting can make employees productive and accountable. But, accountability can also be a problem when employees start taking advantage of the flexibility of telecommuting. This is why performance and internal monitoring software is a necessity.
  • Miscommunication: Another disadvantage of telecommuting is the frequent instances of miscommunication. Because it’s not as simple as popping over from one office desk to another, many things get lost in translation and that can cause many issues between employers and employees, as well as with the company and clients. It’s very important to implement strong and strict communication practices to make sure everyone is on the same and right page at all times.

How can you be successful through telecommuting in your business?

 

For startup businesses, telecommuting is an affordable way to invest in the human capital of their business while they’re still trying to grow. But not every type of business can pull off the telecommuting work-style. You first need to decide whether you’re in a telecommuting-compatible business before you can start driving success from it.

  • Compatible job positions: Some jobs may be able to be done from a fully remote position, but others may require part-time or zero telecommuting ability. You, as business manager, need to look at how jobs can not only be done but also be more effective through telecommuting. And make those decisions accordingly.
  • “Tele-suited” employees: It’s also not as simple as having a compatible job position. The employee who fills that role needs to be inclined in the department of information technology if they have a chance of being successful from a remote location. They need to know how to operate online and remain accountable and dedicated to work on their own.
  • All the rules of telecommuting: If you want to be successful, you need to lay down all the rules of your telecommuting agreement. Are there requirements for time logging, dedicated workspaces, in-office appearances, cloud-based data storage processes, compulsory information technology courses or flexible schedules that need to be met? And how are you going to monitor these requirements?   

Telecommuting can be an amazing asset for a startup business and might even be the edge that sets their business above the rest. You just need to implement and monitor it correctly.

8 things productive people do before bed

Ever wondered why some people are seemingly more ‘successful’ than you are? Well, it’s simple. They have their own daily habits that contribute to a happier, more organised routine. Productive people understand that their success is all dependant on their mental and physical well-being, which is why they always take the time to reflect and adjust their strategy each night before bedtime. In order to be just as productive as the person you admire at work, perhaps you should consider trying the following tips:

They sit back and review their day

According to Steve Jobs, everyone should always strive to do something wonderful. Hustling through life to be the better than the person next to you is a great motivator, but when you’re so focused on your career you’re likely to become obsessed which is dangerous. When you think, breathe and live your job, you forget about the finer details in life: the part where you contribute to society or your community at large. Understanding and living your purpose are the first two steps to making a difference. Before you go to bed at night, try and think about your contribution to the world and how that effort is directly aligned with your goals for a happier and healthier life. The simple act of laying down and thinking back on your day will inspire you to be better each day, which will guide you to achieving your goals and aspirations

They write down their thoughts

Often times you lay awake at night thinking for hours. If you simply took the time to write down your thoughts and emotions, you will be able to sleep better and it will allow you to analyse yourself and your actions more accurately. Many successful leaders tend to do this because they get the time to review what they did or didn’t do in the day, or how they spoke to someone in the workplace. Writing down your thoughts will help you to clear your mind and slip into a peaceful, much-needed sleep.

They read interesting books

Great leaders and influential people read before bed. More often than not they’re reading self-help and learning books to give them advice on particular areas in their lives, but either way, reading something that provides you with something to incorporate into your life is well worth the time. Reading is also an ideal way to distract your mind and work your brain in different areas.

They set priorities for the next morning

Many people can vouch that one of the first steps to a successful day is making your bed. If you feel disheartened because of your bedroom setup, buy yourself some new duvets and comforters available for sale in South Africa to keep yourself motivated and inspired.

Wake up, make your bed and go over the list of tasks you need to get done for the day. Knowing you have things to attend to the following day will make you feel more prepared and ready to tackle the new day. Every minute you spend planning in advance saves ten minutes in execution.

They spend quality time with people who matter

Whether it’s family or friends, never neglect the people who matter most because of your job or business. While life is about earning a living and being successful, success can be showcased in various ways. Never give up quality time with your family for something that could be completed the following day. There are always going to be times when you need to work overtime, but you cannot be stretching yourself beyond capacity. Life is already stressful as it is. Don’t miss out on ‘life’ because of something temporary.

They get things done

Productive people use their skills and talents to reach their full potential. Simply by planning ahead to get things done, they make it their mission to work hard and commit themselves in every department of their lives. No matter what industry you’re in, there are going to be days when you’re feeling unproductive and slower than usual, but you just need to push through and try your best.

They go on a digital detox

Something that has become extremely popular is digital detoxing. While digital plays an important role in how we operate and do business, coming home and spending time on your mobile is not the way to go. In order to rest your body, mind and soul, you need to take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. Spending plenty of time on social media is wasted time that you could be spending with your family.

They spend time outdoors or meditating

Spending time outdoors is a wonderful opportunity to clear your mind. Sometimes when you’re feeling down or stressed, going for a walk or meditating can help you turn off your thoughts for the time being. These activities are also good in moments of anger as they allow you to calm down and rethink a particular situation Taking the time to unwind will leave you feeling focused and rejuvenated.