Setting up an office, particularly a large one, can be a complicated process. In order to ensure that it runs smoothly, you often need to consider many things, including anticipating some problems that might occur during the day to day running of the facility. One of such events that most people don’t think about is a scenario where staff members are locked out or in.
It isn’t that uncommon to have staff locked in or out of the office, or to lose the keys to the office. To ensure that such problems do not become a major pain, you might need to come up with protocols that will reduce the incidences of lockouts and key losses, and which will also give your staff an idea of what to do in case this happens. Some of the things you need to consider to achieve this include:
Come up with a protocol for locking up the office
If the office will be populated with many people, it should not be locked on the whims of the person who has the keys. You should have very strict policies regarding who locks the office and what time they do it. The specific issues you need to keep in mind include:
• Have a limited number of people be responsible for locking up. This will enhance accountability, and will make it easier for you to control the process. For instance, if you need certain procedures to be followed when locking up, it will be easier to give this information to a small group of people rather than a large one.
• Make sure that the steps are well laid out: You might want the person locking the office to do things such as checking for anyone who might still be working before doing so, so that they don’t lock in people. These steps need to be carefully documented. This makes it easier for people to follow them, as opposed to simply issuing verbal commands. You should also make it mandatory to have the office locked up at a specific time, unless there are circumstances that make this impossible to achieve.
Execute the protocol in case of a lockout
What happens if employees are locked out or in the office? There are many offices that do not have any protocol governing how they should behave under such circumstances. In such settings, things can become very chaotic, since people tend to panic particularly if they are locked in the office.
To avoid this, you should plan for it. For instance, you could find an emergency locksmith such as MTL Express. You can then include their number as one of the emergency numbers that people can call in case of a lockout. This is particularly important if it turns out that the key is not readily available.
For you to do this, you might need to come to an agreement with the locksmith. This way, in case of such an emergency, they will simply come and unlock the doors and then charge you later. There won’t be any need to start haggling over the cost since you will have agreed about the rates before.
Include lockout situations as part of the drills
It’s usually important to carry out drills in an office so that during an emergency, everyone will know what to do at any point in time. You should include lockout scenarios during such drills. Remember, there are some people who can panic a lot if they find out that they have been accidentally locked in the office, particularly at night. Such drills serve to help them stay calm, and to get the help they need in a more levelheaded manner.
Install newer locks
One way to reduce the chances of a lockout is to install locks that are intelligent. For instance, you could get electronic locks, which might not require a physical key and which can be unlocked from a remote location.
Vet whoever handles the keys before giving them the responsibility
Many times, you will need at least one individual to have keys to the entire facility. When choosing such an individual, you should make sure that they are trustworthy enough to handle the responsibility. This is not only due to safety concerns, but also for convenience as well. An individual who is trustworthy and responsible is less likely to lose the keys, forcing you to get a locksmith to fashion new keys or replace the locks for you.
In summary, preparing for a lockout should be one of the major things you should do when planning on opening an office, particularly if it’s going to be large. This might seem trivial, but it will go a long way in reducing the inconvenience that is normally associated with office lockouts. The above mentioned are some of the factors you might need to consider when coming up with such a plan. Working with a high quality locksmith is advisable when coming up with such policies, since experience will be a valuable asset when it comes to handling issues related to locks.