Get a Detailed Safety Evaluation From Coworking Security Experts
In 2017, the number of reported cases of property crime in the United States was around 7.6 million. While this number has consistently decreased year-over-year, it is a daunting task for coworking operators to contend with as they fill their spaces with valuable technology and attempt to safeguard members’ belongings. In an industry that values openness and flexibility, common security and safety protocols become harder to manage, particularly for small or independent spaces that lack a dedicated security staff.
CoworkingResources has developed a simple survey to help coworking operators understand their current safety status, and what they can do to improve member safety. Using data from Kisi, a leading physical security company that specializes in coworking spaces, this 1-minute survey is a quick consultation on what is needed to ensure safe and easy access to a workspace or office.
Access control is quickly becoming the standard allowing coworking spaces to monitor all doorways and streamline security for members and visitors. The technology consists of all major entry points into the space being fitted with electric locks and door readers that are programmed to lock or unlock the door according to the specific instructions. With cloud-based access control, coworking admins can grant or deny access to specific members and visitors based on their membership plan, or get notifications when a door is being tampered with after hours. Learn more about the benefits of access control for coworking spaces here.
It goes without saying that security cameras are a crucial part of securing any type of space. But for coworking businesses in particular, cloud cameras can provide analytics on who does what in the space and decrease liability conflicts in the case of a break-in or theft. Though it’s understandable that cameras (and the accompanying software) are not possible for spaces with a small budget, the are highly recommended and will go a long way towards maximizing security.
Great for easy and quick access, key fobs are a common way for offices to avoid traditional keys that can be easily stolen and copied. However, fobs and access cards are not completely tamper-proof. They can still be copied by someone with the right IT skills and equipment and they are just as easily lost. They simply have the slight advantage of being easily deactivated when it’s clear that the fob or card has been lost or compromised.
Paid security guards are a luxury that most coworking spaces don’t have, so they aren’t absolutely necessary. But if the property or building where the coworking space is located has it’s own security guard, this is a strong advantage in cases of emergency. They may add some value to coworking members who appreciate more visible displays of safety efforts where they spend most of their time.
Alarms are, by far, some of the most important features of airtight office security. From fire alarms, to motion sensors, to glass break monitors, alarms can be used to regulate every vulnerable point in a shared workspace. Great for protecting assets in private offices, most modern alarm systems are easily integrated with access control so that you don’t have to give out security codes to everyone in the space, just admins or management.
Storage facilities (whether it be locked desks and safes, or lockers for bags and equipment) add value to coworking memberships, promote trust with the space, and create a private yet open culture. When members feel comfortable leaving their belongings, the extra layer of security brings a level of credibility to the space. Apart from security, lockers can also be a valuable source of added revenue that requires relatively little overhead costs for coworking owners.
Technology is one of the most important assets that a coworking space has to offer its members. Say what you will about the community and social benefits, the most concrete services in a space are its internet connectivity and any software that streamlines operations for businesses. This means that any internet routers, servers, computer hardware and other tech tools need to be secured at all times. Only authorized people should gain access, like an onsite IT associate or community manager. Without a locked IT room, your network, hardware and any other expensive equipment in the space is vulnerable to theft and damage, along with the data that members entrust the space to protect.
Also known as an autonomous front desk, a visitor management system streamlines and automates the role of a traditional receptionist. This usually takes the form of a tablet or touch screen place near the entrance of the space, containing an interface that visitors and members can use to sign-in, book appointments or rooms, and where managers can log entry information. Though it does not actively protect the space from unwanted intrusions, visitor management software is a valuable tool that coworking operators can integrate into things like alarms and access control protocols. It can also eliminate the need for a full-time receptionist on-site and allow the community manager to focus on other important aspects of running the space.
Though it depends on local code regulations to know whether this is mandatory in your space, this is a simple thing to implement across the board. Not only is it safe for members and employees, clear fire and emergency exits protect visitors who may not be familiar or comfortable in the space just yet. For clarity, check the local building and fire codes to be sure that you are placing signs the right way and have the right door types needed in case of an emergency.
Data breaches and malware attacks are a major issue for companies across the globe. Coworking spaces are particularly susceptible to internet attacks since they are places that normally experience high traffic, and where people often bring their own computers for long periods of time. Even a small breach in network security or a single attack on one person’s laptop could compromise the data of everyone in the space. To avoid this, coworking spaces should set up encrypted ethernet and WiFi connections with proper firewalls in place, block sites that are known to be harmful or vulnerable, and store the router and any network equipment in a secure location. You can learn more about network security protocols unique to coworking spaces here.