When a visitor arrives at a company, both the visitor and employees have the potential to cause a security risk (oftentimes, this happens unknowingly). How does this happen? Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that a visitor is an unknown variable introduced into the company and distract employees. This is why not having visitor policies can increase security risk! Therefore, it is critical that companies adopt some kind of a visitor policy to help mitigate and/or quickly solve any issues that might arise.
Business.com has a great definition of a visitor policy, “A workplace visitor policy is a comprehensive document that sets the rules and expectations for receiving guests of any kind at your facilities. It’s an important office policy for every member of the company to follow, regardless of their seniority or job title.”
What should the policy include?
- A visitor record (some kind of timesheet that indicates the date/time a visitor enters and exits the building).
- Some might require that visitors have an appointment
- Some might require time caps
- Release Forms. This will give the visitor an opportunity to learn what is and is not allowed, and acknowledge that they understand the rules.
- What equipment can/cannot be touched
- Various locations are off-limits
- Photography and videography rules
- Nondisclosure agreements in case they see sensitive or intellectual property
- Identification. All visitors should have some kind of identifying badge/sticker that will quickly help employees identify who they are. Additionally, the stickers/badges should be different based on the type of visitor. (The easiest way to do this is by color-coding the badges/stickers.) Friends/family members should be one color, vendors should be another color, clients should be another color, and so on.
- Guidelines for the employees as to who escorts the visitors to/from a particular location.
- If your visitors need to access the internet, be sure to have a separate network and password.
Enforcing a Security Policy
Based on its name, the BBC Good Food’s Toffee Apple Cake sounds simple. Technically, for those that follow the recipe, it is simple. However, since baking is finicky (and ultimately, a chemistry experiment), omitting a single step or poorly choosing ingredient substitutes will result in a Toffee Apple Blob… at best. A company’s visitor policy is the same!
So, it is critical that all employees (regardless of their seniority) are aware of the policy, and follow it because not following visitor policies can increase security risk!