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Study shows intent to use CCTV for safety

by Andy Clutton

A new study of CCTV system managers, commissioned by NW Security, found that nearly half (46 per cent) of medium and large-sized businesses across England, plan to use their CCTV systems to support remote management of processes and people in the workplace.

The study also uncovered the fact that the primary reason for investing in CCTV systems in the workplace is to keep staff safe whilst working. One clear finding was that CCTV systems are increasingly being used for a new purpose during the pandemic: remote management.

Many businesses from manufacturers to distribution centres have physical operations which need ongoing visual monitoring from wherever managers are based during the pandemic. Frank Crouwel, managing director of NW Security explained: “CCTV systems can provide the eyes and ears for managers working from home or elsewhere. CCTV can help them to make sure systems and processes are running smoothly, ensuring staff are working safely and with sufficient support.”

NW Security’s survey also asked medium and large-sized firms whether they expect their existing surveillance systems to be able to support a safe return to the workplace for most employees, in the light of COVID control measures.

Over half (52 per cent) of businesses felt CCTV could be used to provide another method of identification in support of some workplaces’ drive for contactless access to work premises and buildings.

And half (50 per cent) felt CCTV systems ought to be able to help manage and enforce social distancing in the workplace.

In addition, just under half (48 per cent) thought CCTV ought to be usable to trace all people movements in and around the office to ensure that staff were following directional arrows around buildings and wearing face masks for example.

Frank Crouwel, Managing Director of NW Security, added: “Our study uncovers key areas where CCTV systems are being used to help businesses manage through the pandemic. Video surveillance systems are now supporting observance of COVID control measures associated with ‘back to the office’ pushes after lockdowns for example. CCTV is also enabling more effective remote management during ‘full’ lockdowns when most of us need to be operating from home and minimising travel.

“It seems that there is a new realisation of the role of video in managing businesses. The increase in use of CCTV as a remote management tool has been running in parallel with the exponential rise of video conferencing during the last seven months. The pandemic has forced us all to use these existing video technologies, and it has simultaneously accelerated the demands placed on CCTV systems by managers right across businesses.”

The survey was executed by Opinium and was completed by 101 IT decision makers of firms with more than 50 employees based in England, between 8th and 14th September 2020. Only firms with CCTV systems were invited to complete the survey. Respondents were heavily-weighted towards senior operations as well as security and IT heads of medium (50-249 staff) and large-sized (250 or more staff) firms: 29 per cent were IT Managers, 33 per cent IT directors, 10 per cent CTOs, eight per cent CIOs and seven per cent Operations Directors. The balance were Operations Managers or equivalent. 

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