Freelancers, small businesses, and start-ups around the world have moved out of their expensive, stuffy offices and moved into shared office and coworking spaces. While shared office spaces offer both private office areas and larger group meeting rooms, coworking spaces tend to be more catered to open spaces and team project areas. With both types of offices, there is one main concern that must be addressed; is security an issue, and if so, what can you do about it?
Security for Paperwork and Other Private Property
One of the first concerns for those who are considering moving into a shared office space or coworking space is whether or it is a safe place to leave their belongings. Will you need to gather up all your paperwork, equipment, and other property to lug it home every evening and then lug it back to work every day? That could become quite monotonous. It is important when choosing a place for coworking or shared office space to make sure that physical security issues are addressed. Doors should be locked to the public, and members should have 24/7 access via key fob or key card. Some places even have access via smart phone and a manager to check credentials. Lockers should also be available to lock away personal items that can’t be left in the office.
Digital Security and Internet Safety
Data breaches and internet hacks all over the news almost every day. A large hospital in the U.S. recently sent out letter to patients informing them that their names, addresses, and banking information had been compromised in a security breach. It can be a frightening thought. When choosing a place for shared office or coworking space, you should always check on digital security and internet safety. Each user on a Wi-Fi service should have their own sign-in info. Next generation firewalls and complex authentication systems should also make the internet a bit safer for your business.
Security Against Eavesdropping
Another security issue that many may not even consider is the proximity of other businesses and workers and the likelihood that someone could overhear restricted information. If being overheard would be an issue for your start-up or company, you will need to ensure that there are spaces available that are soundproofed to the next rooms. Any and all private discussions, phone calls, video conferences, etc. should be done in those areas only.
Last, but most certainly not least, is the issue of personal security. You want to make sure that you feel as safe as possible when coming in and going out of the coworking or shared office building. All entrances, doorways, hallways, steps, and stairways should be well-lit. Motion detector lights could be a plus in places where you will be entering at night with 24/7 access. It can also be very helpful to have monitoring cameras that stream and record activity day and night. Smoke alarms should always be installed.
Overall, you should never enter any place, leave your belongings anywhere, or use internet and have business conversations anywhere that you do not feel safe in doing so. Security is a top priority when looking for a place for coworking or shared office space.