In the not-too-distant past, co-working was heralded as the future of work. That future is now. These days, an unprecedented number of people are working from home. This has turned the conventional office space into a wasteland and a relic of the past.
Instead of maintaining a large, empty office space for a select few who opt to go into the office, many organizations have moved towards hot desking and co-working. Not only does a shared office model save money, but it also offers the same benefits that a traditional workspace offers, such as continued connection and collaboration along with access to shared resources.
Co-working supports flexibility for workers who enjoy the option of working from a shared space. Research also shows that co-working increases productivity because it reduces loneliness and provides more structure to the workday.
Co-working offers a ton of amazing benefits for both workers and organizations. However, when you operate a co-working space, you must take extra precautions to create a safe working environment for all of your clients.
A lot of the same amenities and benefits that make co-working spaces fun and flexible also make them vulnerable to common security issues, both physical and digital. In this post, we’ll explore the top ways to increase co-working security. Let’s get started.
1. Install Cameras
One of the best ways to secure your co-working is also one of the easiest: Install surveillance cameras.
Surveillance cameras offer a ton of benefits. One benefit is that with a surveillance camera you can see who’s coming in and who’s leaving out of your office. Another benefit is that your visitors can see your surveillance camera, too. The very presence of a camera can be an instant deterrent for malicious actors.
When using security cameras, remember to keep them in high-traffic areas. Also, consider splurging for cameras that have night vision. With night vision surveillance cameras installed, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your facility night and day.
Also, have a plan for long-term storage of your camera footage. Many modern camera systems offer storage in the cloud. This allows you to store a huge amount of data without worrying about erasing or overwriting your previously recorded footage. This way you will have footage on file in case you need to review it at a later date. Cloud storage also allows you to access camera footage remotely if you’re not at the office.
2. Control Access to Your Office Space
It’s essential that you control access to your office space. While you may operate a public facility, visitors should not have unfettered access to all areas of your building. It’s a security best practice to manage the flow of your visitors, and that starts by controlling how your visitors enter your office, what they can do once inside, and how they will get to their desired destination.
Since the first entry point is the lobby, this is also where you should focus your efforts. Make a plan for how your visitors will move from the entrance through the lobby and ultimately to their co-working destination. Consider installing a lockable door to co-working areas beyond the lobby. This will provide a physical barrier to secure your co-working space.
3. Enhance Your Check-In Process
All of your visitors should be accounted for. The easiest way to do this is by creating a solid check-in process for all visitors, including your clients, employees, and vendors. When visitors arrive at your co-working facility, require them to check in. But don’t hand them a paper and ask them to sign a log book. Not only is that process outdated, but it also risks your visitors’ privacy.
Instead, use The Receptionist for iPad, our check-in kiosk system that allows you to register visitors without relying on human staff. The process is simple: Visitors arrive and check in with the kiosk. In fact, the visitor doesn’t even have to touch the kiosk to check in. With features such as contactless check-in, all the visitor has to do is scan a QR code with their smartphone and complete the check-in process remotely. During the check-in process, the visitor can sign paperwork such as NDA, as well as review important privacy information that they need to know in order to secure entry into your co-working facility.
Another benefit to using The Receptionist for iPad is that you can keep a digital log of your visitors in real time. You can use this information to know who’s in your space at the click of a button.
4. Issue Badges
A great way to secure your co-working space is by requiring everyone to wear identification badges. Photo badges allow for visual identification confirmation. This makes it easy for your staff to immediately recognize who’s who. You can also go one step further and create customized badges that indicate clearance levels for your visitors. ID badges can be printed right from your check-in kiosk. And because these badges are created during the check-in process, you’ll also have a photo ID on record for each visitor who arrives in your co-working office.
5. Protect Your Network
Cybercrime is predicted to cost $8 trillion USD worldwide in 2023. Which is why it’s so important that every part of your network is protected. This is true for any office space, but especially true when operating a co-working space. Be sure to set up two separate networks: one for your visitors and one for your clients who need to access their work from a secured connection.
The constant threat of cybercrime means that you must take your network security seriously. Here are a few networking best practices to implement:
- Require that your co-working clients use strong passwords. Also enable multi-factor authentication, such as asking for smartphone confirmation, for added protection.
- Use a firewall to prevent unauthorized access and antivirus software to protect against breaches.
- Ensure that your WiFi network is encrypted so that no one can decipher the information that’s transmitted from your location. Use a VPN (a virtual private network) to encrypt the connection.
- Turn off your WiFi when the office is closed.
- Remember that having fast Internet is non-negotiable but it should also be secure.
5 Additional Tips to Secure Your Co-Working Office
Here are five more ways to keep your co-working office space safe for all.
1. Add Passwords to Your Devices for Extra Protection
Prevent unauthorized use of shared devices, such as printers, fax machines, and computers, by implementing passwords.
2. Implement an Alarm System
Use an alarm system to secure your co-working office space after hours. An alarm system can work well with your surveillance cameras and alert you of potentially suspicious activity.
3. Offer Privacy Screens
if you provide shared equipment such as desktop computers provide, also consider offering privacy screens that can protect your client’s privacy.
4. Hire a Security Team
If you don’t already, hire a security team to serve as an extra layer of protection for your co-working space. It’s even better if you can hire a security team to work around the clock especially when your facility is closed. However, if you cannot consider, hiring security for a night watch to protect your space from malicious actors.
5. Keep Staff Onsite
If you decide to use a digital kiosk such as The Receptionist for iPad, it might be tempting to rely exclusively on this visitor management system. However, it’s always a good idea to have a human receptionist working at your front desk in addition to a registration kiosk. Your human receptionist can be the face of your organization and provide support to your visitors while also working as another set of eyes for potential security breaches.
Securing your co-working space is a top priority, not just for your clients but also for your staff. Use the above tips to ensure that your space remains a fun, flexible, and safe space for all.
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