According to an investigation by CBS news, most companies lose about five percent of their revenue to an inside job: Employee theft. The Department of Justice asserts that 33 percent of employees commit some type of fraud and--not surprisingly--about 33 percent of all companies that file for bankruptcy are directly put into that position by employee theft. However, the US Chamber of Commerce cites an even scarier statistic: 75 percent of employees will steal from their company at some point, and many do it repeatedly.
Employee theft can range from seriously toying with accounts to taking home a stapler from the office, but it all adds up. The first thing to do in order to prevent employee theft is to simply expect it. Employers should also be firm, and institute a zero-tolerance policy for theft. Theft will happen inevitably, but here are 5 technologies to reduce the occurrence of it.
1. Remote Monitoring
Remote monitoring involves placing cameras throughout a work environment, which is especially useful for businesses with lots of inventory, such as retail stores. Whether or not the employees know about the monitoring is up to the discretion of the employer. However, letting employees know they're being monitored can help sidestep any potential "privacy violation" finger-pointing down the road.
2. iPad DIY Filming
If investing in a high-tech security system isn't in your budget, there's other technology that will suffice. An iPad paired with DropCam can be a great deterrent for potential thieves. Employees who steal don't want to be caught, and if they know an employer's watching--even from an iPad--it can significantly decrease theft.
3. Traditional Video Surveillance
Outsourcing video surveillance to a professional company is more costly but it saves employers time and effort. There are many options available, and some are budget-friendly. For example, the Hi-Res 65 foot day/night outdoor bullet retails for just under $80.
4. Keystroke Logging
Not all employees steal tangible things like office supplies. Some steal company time, whether it's spending all day feeding a Facebook addiction or perusing Craigslist. Keystroke logging can help employers see exactly what employees type throughout the work day.
5. Hidden Surveillance
Companies that decide to monitor secretly have a wide selection of possibilities. Hidden cameras can be stashed in everything from a pen to a mirror, so there's bound to be something that works within any office or workspace. One example of a budget-friendly solution I was able to quickly find is the Plant Surveillance Camera, which retails for $169. Sometimes being covert is the best way to weed out immoral employees.
Extensive options are available for automated residential security systems, so why are workplaces lagging behind? Large companies like Vivint and corporate global giants like Comcast and AT&T are beginning to offer services for consumers in almost every U.S. city and at every income level. For small business owners, companies are beginning to offer the option to link their home security system with their work system and score a discount to boot. After all, homes may have plenty of expensive belongings, but often, work places have even more valuable property (including intellectual property) that need to be protected.
Home automation as well as security are growing at a rapid rate. It's becoming more affordable and centralized to make things easier. Automated security solutions for businesses can help avoid financial pitfalls caused by employees gone rogue.