What is Physical Property?
Property is a resource of financial value and something that an organisation needs in order to do its work. Physical property includes things like buildings, furniture, transport, equipment, stationary, and cash – all things tangible and visible that are linked to a company.
Physical property needs to be protected to maintain the security, profitability and longevity of an organisation. It is important that employees understand what physical property is, and why it needs to be protected.
Understanding Physical Property
The main form of assets in most industries are physical assets or physical property. These are real items of value that are used to generate revenue for a company. The money that a company generates from using physical property is recorded on the income statement as revenue made.
Normally, physical property refers to things that may be liquidated in the event having to pay off debts. For example, physical assets belonging to a restaurant would include chairs, tables, refrigerators, and food.
Service-based businesses use physical property to facilitate the delivery of their service, such as having a space to work, tools that are needed for the service, and resources used to support the service. If you owned a dry-cleaning business, you would need washers, dryers, steamers, irons, tables, and racks to hang the clothes on – these items represent the physical resources of your business.
All types of businesses need physical property, even if a company is based online, the computers used to carry out the work count as an example of physical property.
Protecting Physical Property
Protecting our assets is more important than you may think. It is in everybody's interest to make sure that this happens inside and outside of the workplace.
Good health and safety practice not only affect the employees, but also the equipment companies use, and the buildings they are working in – this can be done by carrying out regular portable appliance testing.
We have more devices available to us than ever before, which means there is more opportunity for others to get access to the company data on these devices. Smaller devices such as laptops and iPads should be locked away securely as the portability of these devices increases the chance of theft, loss and access. This can not only lead to a loss of profit in the physical loss of the technology, but the business data on the device could be lost too – and potentially end up in the wrong hands.
As well as being careful about the password protection of the company devices that we use at work and take home with us, we need to be vigilant about the documents we store on our devices and ask ourselves whether what we use our devices for is appropriate business use.
Being trusted with physical assets like a mobile phone, company car or credit card means that you have been trusted to use them wisely for authorised business use only. If you aren't sure, you should always check. The same goes for any property in the office like a desk, a sofa, or an office plant! Take care of physical company property as if it were your own.
It sounds obvious but turning off any appliances and machinery when they are not in use increases their lifespan, reduces downtime for maintenance and saves on energy costs.