Ladies, Don't Be a Workplace Victim

Unfortunately, we see the headlines all too often...

"Purse snatched in office parking lot" 
"Wife of business owner robbed at gun point" 
"Woman attacked at bus stop on way to work" 

While both men and women are victims of crime, women are inherently more vulnerable due to their size, strength, and nature. Without a doubt, personal safety should always be top-of-mind, but it seems to take a back seat when juggling childcare duties, upcoming meetings, and ever-growing project lists. Whether working in a home office, on the road, or in a typical nine to five setting, women need not fall victim to predators. The following guidelines can help. 

Be Confident 
Walk purposefully and confidently. Hold your chin up, keep your back straight and carry yourself with authority or even a little attitude. Women typically have a giving, helpful nature, but it's okay to be aloof or unfriendly until you get a feel for the situation and intent of those around you. Criminals look for fearful, cowering individuals who won't give them any trouble. Don't let that be you. 

Stay Alert 
Anytime you're outside day or night, stay aware of your surroundings by looking for possible dangers behind trees, fences, alleys, and parked cars. This is not the time to daydream, blast music through your earbuds, or even chat on your cell phone. A lot of people think talking on their cell phone keeps them safe because the other person can call for help. Unfortunately, this doesn't usually work. Preset an emergency number into your cell phone and be ready to press it quickly. 

Trust Your Gut 
They don't call it "women's intuition" for nothing. Too often we discount our gut instinct as nonsense, but listen to it. If something feels odd, trust it and do what you need to do - be rude, run, create a scene - whatever it takes to stay safe. Worst case scenario? You misread the situation and laugh about it later. 

Guard Your Purse 
Identity thieves know that women carry their life in their purse. Keep yours tightly zipped and held close to your body, especially in busy locations where a thief can grab and disappear into the crowd in an instant. 

Take Special Precautions When Meeting Clients in Your Home Office 
As more women work out of their home, they face unique safety challenges. When setting up a home office, locate it near the front of the house with windows to the street. For client meetings keep your phone close by and your drapes open so passersby can see in. Maintain distance by sitting across from one another with a table in between. Position yourself near a doorway for easy escape if needed. Let others know who is coming to your home and when. Have them check up on you with a phone call a few minutes into the meeting and even towards the anticipated end. Besides protecting yourself, secure sensitive personal or client information by keeping it out of sight. 

Remember, criminals come in all shapes and sizes. The well-groomed 35 year-old who wants to hire you to market his new business? The woman who's looking for a job? They could be perfectly legit, but you don't want to learn the hard way. 

Make safety a top priority. Talk to your local Office Supply Dealer for even more ideas on how to stay secure wherever your work day takes you.



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