By Chris Scalise

A quick evaluation of the different threats that businesses face today makes it simple for business owners to understand why surveillance is crucial. Robberies, vandalism, shrinkage, and workplace violence are big ones. But the benefits of having an eye on your business don’t stop there. As an owner or manager, it ultimately helps to keep an eye on things like workplace harassment, and employee workflow

Investing in the right security system helps to deter all of these threats, but a surveillance system becomes significantly more useful and effective when you’re able to conveniently access the footage.

Remote viewing of security camera feeds is the capability of doing exactly that for business owners and managers around the world. Let’s take a look at the best features to watch for and why.

Why Remote Viewing Security Cameras are Great for Business Owners

Remotely viewing your security cameras while you’re away provides you with the flexibility to run your business from anywhere, while also promoting security and safety for everyone. Forgoing surveillance entirely would be a big mistake, even if you weren’t using your system to its potential.

1. Enjoy Peace of Mind When You’re Away

One of the biggest concerns for business owners is knowing what goes on inside and outside their business when they’re away. Remote monitoring of your business premises and workers via your video surveillance system can give you the peace of mind that you’ve always wanted. No more worries about your store being opened on time, workers being productive, doors being left open, or missed security risks. With remote viewing, you can see live footage of whatever is going on in your business from any location and at any time.

2. Easily Monitor Potential Threats

From robberies to harassment and violence within your business premises, there are many potential threats that your business could face. With remote viewing, you can keep a close eye on your building and operations from anywhere. Recorded footage can be used as evidence in case of an incident, and is instrumental for insurance purposes. Make sure your complete surveillance system comes with everything you need to enjoy remote viewing and other features like wide-angle viewing and infrared night vision.  

3. Check In with Your Employees Any Time

Remotely viewing your business security cameras gives you an opportunity to check in on your employees even when you’re away. While we’re not advocating that you micromanage your employees using security system, remote monitoring gives you oversight for critical processes like implementing a new customer service process or security protocol. In fact, a recent report by the American Management Association noted that 82% of managers are using technology, and more specifically, business security cameras to monitor employees.

4. Monitor Customer Interactions within Your Store

With a complete remote monitoring system, you can also check in on customer interactions within and outside your store at any given time. Whether you’re stuck in meetings all day or on a business trip, you’ll be able to monitor what customers and your employees are up to and evaluate customer traffic. If you have multiple stores, you can also compare them in real time. The insights you get via remote viewing your business security cameras can help you tailor how you run each location to improve the customer experience.

Where to Place the Security Cameras in Your Business

To make the most of your business security cameras, you need to install them in certain strategic areas both inside and outside your business premises. Security cameras can only be effective if they’re properly installed in the right locations and combined with other security measures like strong door locks and lighting in dark areas to better protect your business. Here’s where you need to install them to enjoy reliable and convenient remote viewing:

  • Exits and entrances of your building or premises to track who comes and goes.
  • Point-of-sale areas to discourage customers and employees from stealing.
  • Reception area and other customer interaction points to keep an eye on everyone that visits your business and ensure customers are being treated courteously.
  • Exterior or outdoor areas to protect cars in the parking lot, as well as to keep tabs on employees and visitors.
  • Secluded spots like dumpsters, rarely-used alleys, and corridors to deter theft, harassment, violence, or any other illegal activity in proximity to your business.
  • Warehouses and loading docks to keep an eye on your inventory and prevent internal and external theft.
  • All working areas such as offices where business operations run to keep an eye on employees, work habits, and behaviors. Before you go ahead to install cameras in your office, learn more about the finer points of video surveillance in office environments.
  • Storerooms and office supply areas to monitor who is accessing what, and when so you can prevent unauthorized access to documents or supplies. 

Say No to Monthly Fees

For many years, businesses have relied on company-monitored security systems. These systems mostly require you to sign a contract and pay monthly monitoring fees. Today, that is changing as more business owners look for more flexibility when it comes to monitoring their businesses. The solution lies in self-monitoring security systems with features like remote viewing security cameras from anywhere at any time.

Self-monitoring security cameras can be remotely viewed through a mobile app or computer software. It enables business owners to enjoy unlimited access to their surveillance footage free of charges such as monthly fees. All you need to do is install your security camera system and monitor the system yourself. If you’re willing to do this in-house, you can save thousands of dollars in installation and ongoing monitoring costs.

Analog vs HD-CVI vs Network IP Systems

Choosing the right security cameras for your business surveillance needs also determines the overall experience you’ll get when it comes to ensuring the security and safety of everyone, especially if you’re able to make use of the remote viewing feature. Understanding the differences between analog, HD-CVI, and network IP system is crucial.

  • Analog systems are low-cost and low resolution (720 x 480 pixels) surveillance systems that have been used for many years, but are quickly being phased out by better resolution systems like HD-CVI and IP systems. These systems produce low-quality images that have less detail. They also tend to have fewer customization options. These systems operate over coaxial cable.
  • HD-CVI systems are a cost-effective surveillance option for businesses that want a smart and user-friendly option. They offer a resolution of up to 2K (2688×1520) and work over the same standard coaxial cable as analog CCTV cameras. The video format can be transmitted over long distances over a single coaxial cable with virtually non-existent latency. As coaxial-based analog security cameras were standard for well over a decade, many buildings are pre-wired for HD-CVI systems.
  • Network IP systems have become the new industry standard for business surveillance today. Offering higher resolutions of up to 4K (3840 X 2160), IP network systems easily connect to network video recorders to provide a complete surveillance system that is easy to install and monitor, but also flexible and simple to upgrade. They may be a more costly initial investment than other security systems, but they are the most future-proof and capable option, especially for remote surveillance.

Analog, HD-CVI, and network IP systems all support remote viewing on mobile phones, PCs, tablets, and other internet-enabled devices with the correct recording technology. When purchasing a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or NVR (Network Video Recorder), ensure that the model you select has these capabilities.

Security cameras with high definition video or better are ideal for capturing details like faces. If this is important, consider a system capable of recording 2K (2688 x 1520) or 4K (3840 X 2160) resolution video.

Security Camera Laws You Should Know

While remote viewing of your business security cameras offers many benefits, it’s important to understand the laws that govern the installation of security cameras in the workplace. You have the right to protect your business assets and employees, but must meet the workplace privacy laws in your state.

For instance, you may be forbidden by law to install security cameras where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in bathrooms, locker rooms, elevators, and dressing rooms. Where you’re monitoring workers, it’s advisable to notify them. Having a legitimate reason for surveillance is reason enough to install cameras, but state privacy laws take priority.

Upgrading Your Business Security

Understanding the basics of remotely viewing your business security cameras will help you make the right decisions when it comes to selecting the right security camera system for your business, installing them in the right location, and understanding how best to take advantage of the different features offered to protect your business and ensure the safety of your employees and customers.

The next time you install or upgrade a surveillance system for your business, it’s best to ensure that it comes with this important capability, that it’s compatible with your smartphone & computer, and that it comes at no monthly cost.