2020 has made us all rethink our working lives and the way we conduct our business day to day. Whole industries have needed to adapt dramatically, including redesigning workspaces, optimising their online presence/revenue and, perhaps most notably, enabling staff to work from home. And all these things require investment, such as new equipment and software, to run as smoothly as possible. Keeping up with it all is serious business!
Aside from these more obvious changes, companies have also used the time to review their policies, procedures and expenses. Questions like:
- How do you ensure GDPR is being protected when your staff are working from home?
- When is it appropriate to question employees’ request for leave?
- Are we being conned into spending more than we need to in the name of being ‘Covid Secure’?
These things can be really nerve-wracking for employers – it is hard to know where you stand legally in the new normal!
You may not have realised it, but these are exactly the kind of questions a Private Investigator can help answer. As someone with legal knowledge and access to tools others simply don’t, I can provide discreet services and peace of mind for business owners in a number of different ways. Below are a few examples of what a PI can do for you.
Investigate Employees’ Sick Leave/Quarantine Claims
Pulling a sicky is a common workplace taboo, and one that has always been difficult to prove. Now with strict rules in place about what to do if you feel sick, as well as elevated concerns about employees’ mental health, this situation is harder to navigate than ever. Your staff could even exaggerate concerns about returning to the office in an effort to continue working from home or claim they have been told to self-isolate after mixing with others.
While it is important to be considerate of and have a flexible approach to these types of situations, for the sake of your team, your clients and your business it is equally important to remain vigilant. Using different investigative techniques including surveillance and interviewing other staff members, I can ascertain whether an individual is being honest about their situation and provide any evidence necessary.
Survey Staff Working From Home
When working from the comfort of home, it is all too easy to slip into bad habits. Most commonly, you might see an increase in distractions and procrastination. To help ensure staff productivity, a PI can implement a number of different surveillance techniques, including taking on a kind of ‘secret shopper’ role to see if the customer experience has been affected at all.
Wherever staff are working, as an employer you also need to be confident that company policies and regulations are being adhered to. In a more relaxed setting, it can be difficult to maintain office standards. Staff may forget to lock their computers when they are away from their desk or discuss confidential information over the phone within earshot of others. This puts your company at serious risk of violating GDPR. But don’t panic! Again, by implementing surveillance tactics, I may be able to help you monitor this.
I can also report on an employee’s home office set up to ensure against fraudulent requests. Has someone insisted they need a new laptop for home working, when they have a perfectly good one already available to them? Have you paid towards ‘additional’ expenses such as electricity or a speedy wifi, when their bills have remained the same? These are the sort of questions that I can get to the bottom of quickly for you, without raising any suspicions.
Vetting Outside Suppliers and Their Products
Adapting how and where we work has meant a rush to find suitable software and equipment, making the transition as smooth as we can. Some less reputable individuals and companies have taken advantage of this, preying on the simple fact that it is all new to us! Touting a product as necessary to achieve ‘Covid Security’ or quietly changing the Terms & Conditions for the use of their software are a couple of things you need to watch out for. If you are suspicious that you are being taken for a ride, a PI such as myself can vet a company before you make any final decisions. Transparency in business is key and something I take very seriously.
In short, while enforced lockdown and Covid regulations made the world stand still, behind the scenes things have been changing quicker than ever for many businesses. Using the skills and tools I have at my disposal, my aim is to offer support where I can through these unchartered waters. If you are unsure of anything or just want to chat about your options, check out my corporate offerings [here] and get in touch today!