Guest blog written by Carly Dell, Senior Marketing Manager at KISI, a commercial access control system
Having a secure coworking space is more than just making sure all your exterior doors and windows have working locks, or having someone on staff to greet guests as they enter your space. The security of your space is something that should be taken very seriously, as your members are completely dependent on you to ensure that their personal and professional belongings, information, and documents remain safe.
A break-in at your space could potentially be very damaging to your reputation – wouldn’t you think twice about joining a coworking space that had been compromised? Because of this, it’s important to take all types of security into consideration for your coworking space in order to keep the belongings of your and your members safe.
We’ve outlined some of the most important areas for you to analyze when evaluating the security of your coworking space below.
The security of your space is largely dependent on physical systems or objects working together to monitor your space at all times. Physical security can be broken down into infrastructure and people management.
Locked access points – For a very secure space, doors to the exterior and/or critical areas (i.e. an IT closet) should be locked 24/7, giving members the ability to enter your space through a restricted key synced with your access control system, such as KISI. If you choose to keep your door open during business hours, however, make sure there are appropriate standards in place to lock those doors at a specific hour each day (upon closing, after dark, etc.)
Cameras for monitoring – Camera systems like Nest are great for 24/7 live streaming of your space. If anything unfortunate is ever to happen in your space, you’ll be able to capture it via Nest.
Alarm that activates – Ensure that no one enters your space during off hours by installing an alarm system designed to detect break-ins.
Preparation for emergencies – Security doesn’t always have to mean break-ins or theft; you also need to protect your space from events like fires (especially if you have a kitchen) or floods. Be sure to have working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits.
If you have meeting rooms where members can host business meetings, it’s important for you to have a visitor policy in place.
T-Jump (San Francisco, CA)
For some spaces, visitors simply checking in when they arrive is enough security to make management feel comfortable. Others, however, require more security via measures like wearable badges or workspace management software which allows venues to manage members’ access to the venue and individual spaces. Because no two communities are the same, every visitor policy is going to vary.
Attacks on your coworking space’s security don’t just have to be physical – they can also be via the Internet. Establishing a strong and secure network for your members to use is key to keeping all digital information in your space safe.
- Password protection – Your wireless Internet network should be protected by a password that is hard to crack; make sure it includes numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters. Only give out your Internet password to permanent members; if you want to provide Internet for guests, create a second, separate network for them to use.
- Educate your members – Internet safety from computer viruses and hackers is a growing concern for businesses throughout the world. When your members join, provide them with some literature on how to safely surf the Internet and monitor their emails. The most important tip: always go with your gut instinct. If something doesn’t look right, don’t click on it!
- Know who has access to your network – You should know who has access to your network at all times. While changing your WiFi password after a member leaves is not realistic or a good experience for your remaining members, you should update it at least every six months to ensure no one who shouldn’t have access to it does.
How to communicate security to your members
When new members join, let them know that you and the community value safety and security, and won’t tolerate anyone who threatens that. When someone knows that not only is there going to be infrastructure in place to monitor the security of the space, but that members are going to be watching out for one another, he or she is less likely to try and jeopardize the security of your space. The security of your space is something that should be taken very seriously, as your community depends on you to keep their valuable business information and equipment safe.
Rainmaking Loft (Berlin, Germany)
Fortunately, if you’ve taken the proper steps to protect your space from intruders (both physical and digital), your community won’t even think twice about the security of your space.
About the ShareDesk Blog Series ‘Coworking Manager’s Guide to…’
‘Coworking Manager’s Guide to…’ is a blog series on running a shared office space. Each blog we’ll hone in on a particular topic, pooling knowledge from our venue partners from across the globe into the ultimate guide for fledgling spaces and full-grown brands alike.
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