January is always a chance to look back on the previous 12 months and look forward to the coming year and 2020 certainly gave us plenty to reflect on.

While the pandemic has undeniably been devastating too many lives and livelihoods, it’s also seen an enormous shift in the security profession. This year will see many of those changes permanently embedded into the way we do things.

Firstly – and most importantly – our people have been recognised as being essential workers, something that many businesses wouldn’t have thought about before. Security officers served on the front line of the pandemic and were a visible presence in empty buildings and those operating a skeleton staff. But less visible, but not less important, were those working in our Alarm Receiving Centre in Glasgow monitoring thousands of alarms and cameras across the country keeping people and premises safe and secure. Businesses now appreciate their security teams a great deal more and that change will be permanent.

While our monitoring teams support our customers, it’s important that we support them. Our teams’ wellbeing has always been our main priority but the pandemic has really brought this to the forefront. As a result,  our colleague portal has been improved up and now has a colleague wellbeing section that offers support on mental wellbeing, exercise and nutrition.

Like everyone else, our customers have needed to constantly adjust their security provision as the pandemic changed working practices. As part of being adaptable and flexible, we’ve seen officers change their shift patterns, often becoming more mobile. We’ve also been increasingly using our monitoring capability, as many customers complemented physical security officers with security technology. We believe this increased use of security technology will also be a permanent change, accelerating a long-term trend.

The pandemic has taught us a great deal. It’s sparked a new level of compassion and made us more united, collaborative, resilient and innovative. It has also elevated the importance of our frontline security workers – both officers and those in our monitoring centre. We have always been an advocate of the Living Wage and we will only beat that drum louder now. Security is not just about security anymore. It’s about keeping people and places safe and secure