Survey: Improved Mail Handling Makes Employees Feel Safer

For companies looking to create an increased sense of office security, workers say employers should focus on the mail center, according to a recent workplace survey commissioned by Pitney Bowes.

More than half of the employees surveyed indicated that increased training on secure mail handling would make them feel safer at work and 49 percent want more secure mail facilities. In addition, 45 percent of the respondents felt that having more experienced mail center employees is essential for creating a secure environment.

"Traditionally, not enough attention has been paid to the corporate mail center," says Sheryl Battles, vice president, External Affairs, Pitney Bowes. "Smart companies realize that the mail center is the information portal through which all of a company's communications, information and mission critical transactions flow. It is important that companies consider security when they are engineering the flow of their communications. While companies invest heavily on software to protect their computer systems and data, they should also invest in processes and technology to enhance the security of the integrated mail, package and document stream."

In fact, the survey found that compared to mail security, more traditional workplace security procedures were less important to respondents. Fewer than 2 percent of respondents said that having more armed security officers at work would increase their sense of security and less than 1 percent indicated that having more surveillance equipment at work would give them a better sense of well-being. The survey also found that 62 percent of respondents want more information and communication about office procedures.

Pitney Bowes offers these tips to help increase security:

  • Never accept mail or package deliveries from an unknown person who cannot provide proper identification and be alert of any packages left unattended.
  • Train and re-train mail center employees on screening procedures and have a clear and defined communication and disaster plan in place (33 percent of survey respondents indicated that their offices have already put these precautions in place since last year's anthrax scare).
  • Red flag mail pieces that have poorly mistyped or incorrect addresses; packages that have oily stains, strange odors or that display evidence of wire or foil (47 percent of those surveyed said that these procedures are already in place at their workplaces).
  • Use computerized tools that can track, trace and create an audit trail for each package and mail piece (21 percent of respondents said their offices updated their mailing equipment and 11 percent said that their companies acquired new equipment).
  • Use of metered mail is inherently secure. The meter indicia serves as a fingerprint and can be easily traced to the sender (43 percent of workers surveyed use a mail meter and 27 percent use the meter indicia to verify the sender).

"Industry leaders have long recognized that there is no single solution that can protect against all perceived threats that may come through the mail," notes Battles. "However, through an increased focus on people, processes and technology, businesses can create a more rigorous mail screening and handling environment."

Pitney Bowes has developed a dedicated Web site and free booklet, "Mail Security: The Pitney Bowes Executive Advisor" available at www.security.pb.com.

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