Don't Let Employees Take Risks Over the Holidays

Rob Enderle
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Telecommuting's Powerful Benefits

While it may not be for everyone, the future of telework appears bright.

A few weeks ago, we were reminded that cyber criminals not only don't take holidays off, they seem to work extra hard while we are off. Fortunately for them, the Christmas holiday appears to be the exception, but I'd certainly watch out for May Day or Mother's Day. However, physical crime is common when there are site shutdowns and while the employees are away and a lot of expensive stuff goes missing. However, there is an increased chance that a lone employee will be working inside the firm during this time and might end up on the wrong side of the event.


As a result, during this week you are off, you might want to remind employees going into work to keep their eyes open for suspicious behavior and show them how to report it while quietly getting out of harm's way.




Over my career, I've worked for Pinkerton Security, have been a sheriff, had security report to me on several occasions - the last at IBM - and owned responsibility for security research at two IT analyst firms. As a result, I've been brought in on everything from folks passing themselves off as staff and stealing laptops to clandestine middle-of-the-night thefts of rooms full of equipment. While I've had several instances where guns were used inappropriately - one to shoot a transformer dead from the fabled bathroom sitting position (don't ask) - I'm thankful that neither I nor any of my people have ever been hurt.


That wasn't true of a predecessor who faced the husband of a disgruntled employee who had a loaded shotgun pointed at his nose. The difference is that I learned early on to anticipate trouble and to make sure my folks knew to get out of the way of it.


Christmas Holidays


The Christmas holidays can be particularly difficult and home invasion robberies are common as a result. You have a chase where folks want to provide for their kids and families and can't, and this leads them to desperate measures. So being careful doesn't just apply to being at work. For instance, locally, we had some poor guy shot while defending his Christmas gifts in a parking lot a few weeks ago.


We generally know about how to handle a termination (if not, there are six rules to avoid violence here), but employees who have been fired or laid off may return to vandalize the property and may take their anger out on any solitary employee they find there.


Rules to Remember


Folks can likely more easily and safely work from home over the holidays and should avoid coming in to work. You can argue it will likely save more on electricity since the air conditioning/heating systems will likely be in low power mode and the lights in nighttime mode during this time and powering that stuff up will probably cost more than the value of the employees' work.

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