When you see a surveillance camera, what's the first thing you think about? For most people, it depends on where they are. In a retail business, it looks like an anti-theft measure. In a school, the kids view it as a way to track misbehavior. In an office, be it corporate or government, even if there isn't much in the way of illegal activity that employees can do, they assume the cameras are waiting to catch them doing something wrong.
To be clear, surveillance cameras serve those purposes when needed. But if you see a camera high in the corner, the main reason may not be to catch wrongdoing after it's happened; if that was the case, the camera might be hidden. Surveillance often serves a broader set of objectives.
What are the Benefits of Video Surveillance?
Surveillance Improves Employee Productivity
This is especially helpful in a retail setting where there are often down times during the day. However, in most businesses there are always tasks to be completed around dealing with customers. If an employee is having trouble completing their duties and always says, "It was too busy," cameras can let you know how true that is without needing to hover over the employee yourself. In many cases this helps twice over! You can do your own work and simply check the tape when you deem it necessary, and many employees relax and do a better job when their bosses aren't constantly in their pockets, checking up on them a dozen times a day. (Knowing the boss has a way to check on you doesn't hurt.) Employees that stay busy also tend to create more sales.
Surveillance Boosts Regulatory Compliance
If you work in any industry that is subject to regular inspections and some amount of regulatory oversight, staying in compliance is critical. Surveillance cameras can sometimes spot problems that employees miss. Furthermore, if any lack of compliance is due to employee negligence, having video of their behavior shows you the problem and lets you choose how to handle it better than any hearsay or even a supervisor's report.
Surveillance Can be Used as a Training Tool
Over time, maintaining a collection of surveillance videos allows you to show new hires both appropriate and inappropriate behavior displayed by those who did, or still do, work for you. The 'bad' behavior does not have to be anything awful, or even something you reprimanded an employee for; everyone makes decisions that are not the best possible ones. If you have those on video, you can show new hires correct and incorrect actions in the context of your own business or office rather than sit them down in front of a generic video made by a third party that may not make it clear how the lessons they're trying to teach relate to the job your new hire will be performing.
Solving Concerns About Surveillance With VSaaS
Despite all this, some people remain concerned about misuse of surveillance and associated liability. This concern can be separated into two broad categories:
People Misusing Video Surveillance For Any Reason
If you choose to have surveillance cameras, we should assume you will make it accessible only to the most trustworthy employees who cannot do their jobs without that access. There's always the small chance someone isn't the person you thought, but that slim possibility is not a reason to completely forgo all the benefits of surveillance.
Something Breaks in the System
What if you need a surveillance recording, especially for a legal reason, but something breaks in the system and you can no longer access the video? This is much more plausible with surveillance systems that rely on DVRs, NVRs, and software. Any of these systems can fail in several ways; the true problem is that, because recordings are rarely checked on a regular basis, the failure only becomes apparent when you need the video from a certain day or time. The system doesn't break 'just then' - it's been broken and you haven't known it!
This second category is why we now have VSaaS—Video Surveillance as a Service. It may be an unfamiliar name, but it relies on a now common idea: using the cloud for data storage. With this service at your disposal, you're not locked into a set of cameras running to a single recording device tasked with recording and playing back all videos. Rather, all videos are stored in the Cloud, which gives you both a much higher storage capacity and the ability to access your cameras from any device linked to your VSaaS account. Keep an eye on your responsibilities anywhere, at any time, with full confidence that anything you need later will be safely stored and ready for you to retrieve it. Video Surveillance as a Service may sound complicated, but it really is that easy!
Contact VIAAS Today
Cloud-based surveillance services are the new optimal way to keep track of what's happening in retail businesses, offices, and schools. If you'd like to find out more, contact us today.