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Flexible Security in Corporate Co-working Spaces

Boon Edam Blog | March 2021

The Pandemic-era has had a significant impact on how and where people work, forcing employers to relook their office spaces and transform their traditional amenities into healthier, safer and more innovative solutions. In this blog, we look at how to achieve a welcome and secure environment for multi-tenant spaces.

Innovation Supporting Flexibility

We are seeing a steep rise in technology use, and more and more companies are already using desk booking technology. The system allows a hybrid and remote workforce to plan ahead and make use of the office space for a workspace, meetings and formal working activities, which cannot be carried out in a home office situation. This system allows a company of 100 people to be comfortably functional in a space designed for 30. We need to remind ourselves that remote working is here to stay, but so is the office as well. 

Further improving the flex working trend and user experience are innovations designed to create smart and dynamic working spaces. Combinations of software, wireless and hands-free devices, frictionless entry via a smartphone all enable a greater peace-of-mind and simplify the experience of working in these spaces – safely. 

Visitor Management in Multi-tenant Spaces

COVID-19 has brought with it several challenges for facility managers across all sectors. Permanent changes have been forced to be made around health and safety guidelines, and sectors such as high rise and multi-tenant facilities have had to adapt accordingly. Existing infrastructure has had to be seriously reevaluated by system integrators and facility managers to answer the increasing end-user demands around a safe and secure work environment. 

Technologies that include remote monitoring, frictionless movement in and around the area, touchless features, and integrating these into access control and the building management system are becoming the norm. Managing occupancy at the entrance is also increasing in popularity, enabling the number of people in the area to remain safe and compliant and ensuring only the correct and authorised people are permitted inside at any given time. Modern security speed gates are designed to integrate with many of these types of technologies easily. They can, therefore, offer an efficient and aesthetic way of protecting the building tenants and visitors. 

Sharing is Caring

Big names such as WeWork and Spaces are well established across the globe, and many more can be seen popping up in all major cities. We also see that freelancers and start-ups take advantage of these places, and larger companies are now setting entire floors aside to allow for employees to encourage like-minded people to collaborate and innovate and breath a new lease on life into one company. The current thinking is for corporates to start to plan to incorporate co-working into part of their growth strategies – allowing people from all kinds of departments the choice to work on projects with others outside of their usual roles. 

Coworking graph

The number of co-working spaces worldwide is expected to show significant growth and rebound and develop even more rapidly from 2021 onwards, with a yearly growth rate of 21.3%. It is estimated that almost 5 million people will be working from co-working spaces by 2024, increasing 158% compared to 2020. (Source: CoWorker.com (https://www.coworkingresources.org/blog/key-figures-coworking-growth). Estimates based on proprietary data from CoworkingResources and Coworker). 

The concept of shared working spaces has evolved rapidly into what was once perceived to be a bit ‘new-age to a booming industry where the demands are to have a healthy, secure, modern facility that is well-managed. These buildings are often in prime locations in the city and need to provide cutting-edge technology and amenities to retain the inhabitants. 

Welcome Yet Secure

The beauty of shared spaces and multi-tenant buildings is that people flexibly use them. They come and go without being on a schedule and need to have freedom of movement. The challenge for real estate owners is to ensure this freedom is not compromised by enforcing heavy security measures that would create the wrong image and discourage using these shared working environments.

Speedgate with FR

A reliable infrastructure in these environments is one of the most fundamental demands, and security is top of mind in today’s unstable political climate. Different people have different security needs, so, as a building owner, you need to consider who you are catering for and what their specific needs might be. Some groups like to have access to work 24 / 7 with no limitation to access to the shared facilities, while others like to have the flexibility to work between the shared space and home (and leave items safely behind). 

Security Door

Not all Security is Equal

A co-working or multi-tenant ecosystem has many options to consider. Below are just a few (each with their pros and cons): 

  • A staffed reception desk to handle access passes and queries 
  • Access control on the main door connecting to a central security point 
  • A layered approach to security, making sure that the right people are gaining access to the correct areas of the building 
  • High security revolving doors for a high security, keyless approach 
  • Night-locking feature on revolving doors to control access during certain hours 
  • CCTV Cameras 
  • Lockable storage cabinets or areas 
  • Smartphone access control for convenience 
  • Sufficient lighting to give a sense of security to those working late 
  • Security speed gates for seamless and attractive access in the reception area 
  • Building location – in a ‘good’ area 
  • Safe emergency egress and evacuation plan 
  • Secured and trusted Wifi such as VPN and guest Wifi for visitors / non-members 
  • A carefully thought-through visitor policy 

Maximising Security

Optimising your security in these very public areas is critical. Having a modern, trusted security workspace management software that integrates with all of your products in all areas is the secret to success. People are demanding user-friendly access and want to have a hassle-free entry, billing, visitor management etc. Your members need to know they will be safe in the event of a fire, emergency or active shooter event, and security within the walls of their chosen work environment. 

A layered security approach is also an effective approach, starting with an access controlled security revolving door, which is designed to prevent piggybacking and tailgating security breaches and work independently of a security guard. Further in the ecosystem, you could install speed gates and even a high security portal at the entrance to very sensitive areas where confidential collaboration needs to happen or where sensitive data is being stored.  

Touchless and Connected Entrances for your Shared Work Environment 

To keep shared work environments as healthy, welcome and secure as possible, we can guide you to the right solution. For more information on our security entryways and how they can be incorporated with touchless access control technology, be sure to visit the ‘Touchless Solutions’ page on our website, where you can find much more information and downloads. Alternatively, contact us today for more information. 

Deze blog is geschreven door Tandi Rowe
Tandi is a Marketing Manager at Boon Edam's headquarters in The Netherlands.