In most cases a security guard fights all shift long with the monotony that comes with his job. Most posts require the same activities all shift long, because the security officer is protecting property that might be vandalized or stolen. There is certainly that is might happen and that is why the client has hired an onsite guard. Nevertheless, most nights and days nothing happens. In those cases it is extremely important not to become complacent, because the original risk why the security officer was hired has not gone down. The security officer and his supervisors have to beware of a false sense of security, because the contingency they were hired to protect against might still happen any minute.

Security officers struggle against boredom and sleep all shift long at monotonous posts, therefore supervisors should establish several rules and patterns of behavior. Sensitive spots of the property should be pointed out and should be patrolled several times per hour. That way the guard is moving around constantly. His blood stays in circulation and it is harder for him to fall asleep. Reports should be written throughout the shift. Many officers write their daily activity reports at the end of the shift, which makes it tedious and most of the times inaccurate. The guard will not remember the exact time of his activities at the end of the shift. If he writes notes on his report every hour the report is more accurate and all activities are reported. It also gives the security guard another activity and clients will be able to see that the guard was active all night.

Many security companies do not allow any type of electronic equipment to be used during the security guards shift. From experience I think that is wrong. It should be determined on a case by case basis if a radio or laptop may distract the officer from his job or actually aid his focus. The security guard should definitely not listen to music on an mp3 player with headphones on, because that will inhibit him from hearing what is going on around him, but listening to music on the radio should not be a problem. Even watching movies on a laptop, reading a book or playing games on the phone should not be disallowed as long as the security officer makes his patrols and follows the post orders.

Supervisors should visit the post at random times and not announce their presence. Observing the officer for a couple minutes will have two positive effects. The supervisor will know if the guard is following the post orders and making his patrols and the security officer will be encouraged to do what he is supposed to do, because a supervisor might be watching. As mentioned above electronic equipment might have a positive effect, but the use should be approved by the client. The security consultant or supervisor of the security company should state the positive effects to the client and assure him that the use of equipment is monitored by random visits. The security company should incorporate the client’s decision in the written post orders to avoid any confusion.

While the security guard job might be monotonous at times it is the job we have chosen. The client pays us to protect his property. If a security guard cannot deal with boredom by creating positive energy and tasks that will aid in the protection of the property than he is probably in the wrong field. The best policy of addressing issues like that for supervisors is openness and honesty. Customer expectations should be stated and adhered to without exception. If the client is unreasonable than one should either still follow his expectations or let another company try to fulfill them. Luckily most clients are reasonable as long as the security consultant addresses all issues before the post starts.

Author's Bio: 

Charles Willis is a security consultant for a security guard company in Los Angeles that provides onsite security guards. He has provided security consultations to many Fortune 500 companies and has been working in the security industry for decades.