Law Office Protects Employees With New Workspace DesignSecurity Master Planning
For a law office that protects clients from hostile events and individuals, a new office space called for extra care in security planning and practices to ensure the protection of their staff.
In relocating office space, a successful law firm wanted to ensure the safety of their employees within the workspace and the surrounding property. To accurately evaluate their potential security threats, they turned to RAS to architect workspace controls and procedures. The goal being to prepare their employees to work safely while maintaining the culture to which the firm is accustomed.
The biggest challenge the client faced was the nature of their business itself. Like many firms whose practices involve litigating sensitive matters, the threat of retaliation and physical violence on the workspace and staff were concrete issues that the organization needed to prepare for.
The three immediate needs presented to RAS were:
- Planning the security effort for the new space
The Firm planned to move from a prior space that was highly protected to a new space that offered less security. Though the new space was less secure, the business itself did not change in its need for security. The project required that both the interior and exterior spaces be evaluated and appropriate designs be created to ensure that all employees would be secure at work while still maintaining an open and inviting atmosphere.
- Selecting and installing technology correctly
Prior to engaging RAS, the client made security technology and vendor selections. Through the planning process, it became increasingly clear that the client had been sold solutions that did not meet their current operational needs, nor would it be scalable based on the firms current growth trajectory. Furthermore, the poorly designed solution created additional undetected life-safety vulnerabilities.. Most likely, the client would have had to rip and replace their technology within one year if they had moved forward with the plan as sold to them by their initial vendor that ‘also does security.’ Insuring that decisions made today would scale with the organization.
The nature of the client’s operation was such that a secure office space would be an ongoing requirement. Strategic and operational discussions aided in the design of the space to ensure that employees would be safe and that proposed solutions would scale with any future growth.
The solution provided was an overhaul of the client’s initial plans including changing to more appropriate and experienced security installers and technology solutions that met the business’ current and future needs. Quickly, RAS and the client were able to better understand the requirements of the physical space and refit the space with applicable technology including cameras, access control, duress/panic buttons and intrusion detection.
RAS was able to oversee construction and system installation in an extremely tight timeframe due to the impending move to the new facility.
The client was able to renegotiate a security contract for the organization while RAS managed programming, acceptance testing and vendor accountability. Because RAS understood the technology of the installed systems, they were able to provide assurance that installation was done correctly, something that the client would otherwise have had to rely on the word of the installer, a biased party.
Because of the partnership between the client and RAS, the office buildout was successful. The firm has been outfitted with appropriate security technology and procedures that fit their workspace and operational needs. In the near future, RAS will be providing training to all company employees as a next step to further the understanding of security, workplace safety and incident prevention.
The Firm paid slightly more upfront for a more robust technology package, but are positioned to save up to 300% of their costs, recovering their investment, in just a few short years.
- Reduced long term cost
- Eliminated the need for a technology refresh
- Correctly protected the space
- Prevented error and breach
While workplace violence and active shooter incidents are perceived as rare, the costs associated with unpreparedness can be fatal. It is in the best interest of every business to offer appropriate training and awareness programs to employees and executives alike in order to minimize the potential catastrophic outcomes of these unfortunate events.
Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident.
Studies show that many workplaces are not prepared to handle workplace violence or active shooter situations. In fact, a 2005 study cited by Fox News showed that 80% of companies that experienced incidents of violence in the workplace did not take action to put in place new policies or programs for preventing similar violence in the future.