As the number of coworking spaces continues to grow, so does the need for effective shared working space security measures. While this type of workspace was once in the minority, coworking has continued to gain traction as the demand for hybrid and remote work is on the rise.
What is a coworking space or flexible workspace? Coworking spaces offer users everything they need to get work done, such as high-speed internet access, meeting rooms and other amenities, without the need for long-term lease contracts. Members can access an inviting atmosphere where they can focus on their work while socializing with like-minded professionals.
However, with this popularity and convenience comes an increased risk of coworking security threats due to the nature of shared spaces. The conveniences of coworking spaces are also what make them vulnerable. Beyond all the bells and whistles, one thing users expect is to be safe and secure.
Before delving into how a business can maximize security for coworking spaces, let’s explore the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of this type of shared office space.
While shared offices can offer many benefits, many people raise coworking space security concerns. In fact, 48% of people say that lack of privacy is a top issue when it comes to security for coworking spaces.
Coworking and flexible workspaces house a variety of professionals, ranging from freelancers and remote employees to start-up founders and entrepreneurs, all using their own devices. Along with the shared Wi-Fi connection and other cloud-based services, this can present significant risks for data security.
In 2020, the FBI stated that cyberattacks had increased by 400% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts attribute the rising cybercrime partly to the fact that many more people are working remotely, such as pregnant workers or single parents, and often use devices and networks that aren’t as secure.
Internet security in coworking spaces is especially important, as multiple businesses and professionals are each connecting to their own servers, software and databases through a shared network connection. Operators must be proactive and ensure data and internet security in coworking spaces is as robust as possible. Some options include:
Another shared office security challenge revolves around protecting the physical premises and occupants. Some of the unique challenges include:
Implementing coworking access control systems is critical in safeguarding coworking spaces from potential security threats. Coworking access control solutions such as electronic door locks and key card access systems allow for a secure way to limit who can enter the space. Here are some of the benefits of access control security for coworking and flexible workspaces:
Access control for coworking security systems come in various forms, from physical keypads to electronic door locks. Here are some options for coworking access control systems:
Keypad entry systems are a cost-effective shared office access control solution. Coworking space security operators can opt for mechanical keypad locks, which require users to push buttons to enter a code. They are relatively inexpensive but vulnerable to wear and tear. Another option is the modern touchpad lock, which can be controlled remotely via smartphone and enable remote access code updating.
While keypads are better than nothing, they have some significant drawbacks, including the lack of monitoring capabilities when all users share the same PIN, and a high level of vulnerability to hacking. Furthermore, members can share their PIN with others without authorization, compromising shared office security for all users.
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) coworking and flexible workspace access control systems are excellent for managing access to shared office spaces. They can be revoked remotely if someone cancels their membership, making it even easier to ensure no unauthorized users enter the space.
There are some drawbacks to this type of shared working space security system to consider. For one thing, members may pass on their credentials to non-authorized users, making it difficult to keep track of who is entering and leaving the space. Additionally, since RFID cards are easily replicated, this can present a significant security risk, especially for credentials with outdated encryption technology.
These coworking access control systems use biometric data, like fingerprints or facial recognition, to provide entry. This system eliminates the need for keys and cards, ensuring only authorized individuals can enter the space. Although this security solution is highly effective, it may be overkill for a coworking and flexible workspaces, unless specific areas require high levels of security.
For instance, server rooms, data centers and other parts of the coworking space which contain sensitive information or equipment could benefit from biometric access control systems for the staff. In addition, biometric access control systems can also safeguard private offices or conference rooms used for confidential meetings or projects, and assist with timekeeping if needed.
However, in common areas such as kitchens, lobbies or workstations, simpler methods offer a more practical solution. Plus, biometric data can be cumbersome to collect for coworking offices, which usually see high turnover rates for their members.
Keyless coworking and flexible space access offers the most convenience and security in coworking spaces. By relying on smartphones as credentials, users can easily access the space without needing to carry special keys or cards. In addition, the powerful encryption built into smartphones significantly reduces the risk of hacking, and the coworking security system is easily scalable to accommodate changes in membership.
Remote cloud-based coworking access control systems are also highly flexible. They allow coworking space security operators to set up custom rules and regulations for different levels of entry, such as giving members with certain membership packages access to restricted areas or scheduling access times for specific areas.
The cloud-based management software also allows operators to manage and configure the system from any location. And since many of these platforms support multiple locations, shared office security operators can easily manage access control for multiple coworking spaces or buildings in one place.
Security turnstiles can be a great option for coworking and flexible workspaces that have a high level of foot traffic. These security devices only let one person pass through at a time, helping to manage the flow of people entering and exiting the space. Additionally, they act as a physical barrier to deter potential security breaches or unauthorized access.
Turnstiles can also be easily integrated with other coworking access control systems creating a more comprehensive security system that’s simple to manage.
Access control systems are an invaluable asset in protecting flexible workspace security. They provide an effective way to track who has access and can be tailored specifically for the requirements of any shared working space. Shared office security operators have plenty of options to create a customized coworking access control system that’s tailored to the unique needs of their buildings and members.
When determining the best security for coworking space, it is crucial to consider the associated costs, the possibility of scalability and how secure the shared office security system needs to be. Ultimately, these systems are critical for protecting users, equipment, and sensitive information stored in a coworking space, while also giving users the freedom to use the space with ease.
Our video security experts can help you implement the right security system for your business.