One of the biggest challenges any company managing space faces is securing that space. As long as there have been locks, there have been lockpicks – so keeping up to date on the latest security technology has become an important aspect of any space management. With flexible offices, this is even more important due to the transient nature of your occupiers. With the advent of AI and affordable RFID technology, spaces can now be made more secure for less. Securing your flex office spaces is paramount not only for the protection of assets but also for maintaining a safe and productive working environment. From access control and smart CCTV to secure networks and remote notifications, we go through the key ways you ensure your space is safe and secure without the traditional costs.
The first and most obvious place to start when securing a flex office space is access control. It is the foundation of any office security plan. Implementing and maintaining a robust access control system ensures that you maintain control over movement within your space. Only authorised personnel can enter specific areas and occupants are given the appropriate amount of access. Here are some key systems to consider:
Keycard and Biometric Systems: Giving every employee and occupier a unique keycard is the bare minimum needed to keep a space secure. These systems allow you to remotely dictate access to various areas, keep track of everybody in the building and identify who might be responsible for any issues that present themselves in the building. For the most secure areas, biometric systems can be used to ensure that even when keycards are lost or stolen that your most secure areas are not at risk.
Visitor Management: Going hand-in-hand with the keycard system, an up-to-date visitor management system can be used to track and monitor guests entering your premises. Visitors should be required to sign in, provide identification, and be accompanied by a host while on the premises. This reduces the risks associated with walk-ins and gives you recourse should a guest damage or disrupt the space. It builds accountability into accessing the building.
Access Logs: Maintaining detailed access logs is essential to tracking who enters and exits your flex office spaces. Traditionally this has been done with written logs, but through systems like Nexudus this can be tracked entirely digitally. Keeping these logs off-site also reduces the risk of loss through break-ins.
It is also important to consider the physical security of a space. Flexible office spaces are no different to traditional offices when it comes to the importance of hardware security, and with a higher number of occupiers per square foot, it’s even more of a challenge.
Surveillance Cameras: Installing a robust security camera system throughout your office spaces, especially in common areas, entrances, and parking garages is essential. Traditionally this was in the form of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV), but with advances in AI and IoT technology a more robust AI-assisted internet connected system is recommended. This allows for remote monitoring of multiple sites, 24/7 alerts and automated threat detection without the need for a physical security presence onsite.
Alarm Systems: Deploying a reliable intrusion detection and alarm system is also extremely important. Most flexible office spaces are not open 24/7, so securing your occupiers assets when the building is closed is extremely important. These systems should be installed to alert security personnel or the police in the event of unauthorised entry or suspicious activity.
Secure Locks: Ensuring that all doors and windows are equipped with secure locks should be a very early priority of every space. Traditional locks and keys work fine but with inexpensive smart locks now available on the market, you get a significant increase in control. Lost keycards can be deactivated, and old occupiers are immediately removed from access. They also improve accountability with records of everybody who has opened and closed a door.
Security Guards: Depending on the size and location of your flex office space, hiring professional security personnel may be necessary. Despite all the improvements in remote and smart technologies, a well-trained security guard can provide a physical presence and rapid response to security incidents that is without competition.
With so many businesses relying almost entirely on the internet to function, keeping your occupier’s IT infrastructure safe is a vital new aspect of securing your flex office space. Preventing people from accessing your space can only do so much if you have lax cybersecurity in place.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks: The first step in improving your cybersecurity is protecting your office's Wi-Fi networks with strong encryption, complex passwords, and regular security audits. This ensures that businesses using your internet are not subjected to packet sniffing or man-in-the-middle attacks. Guests within your space should also be confined to a specific guest network which should be isolated from the internal network.
Firewall and Antivirus: You should be installing firewalls and antivirus software on all internal devices to defend against cyber threats. A ransomware attack on your organisation not only prevents you from conducting business as usual, but it will also have a significant impact on the trust your occupiers have in your security. Also ensure you keep software and systems updated to patch vulnerabilities.
Data Protection: It is extremely important that you have an established data encryption protocol and secure file sharing method to protect sensitive information. Ensuring that your data is secured properly protects you against a whole host of cyber threats and reduces the risk of fines and other legal troubles down the road. You should also educate your employees and tenants about data security best practices regularly.
Your employees and tenants play a crucial role in maintaining a secure environment. Educating everyone in the building on the best practices when it comes to security could help save you significantly in the long run, so you should be conducting regular security awareness training sessions to educate them about potential threats and proper security protocols. You should also have an easy way to anonymously report suspicious activity and provide clear guidelines on your space’s emergency procedures.
It would also be wise to develop a comprehensive emergency response plan that includes procedures for evacuations, medical emergencies, and security incidents. You can conduct regular drills to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
Securing your flex office spaces is a multifaceted endeavour that requires a combination of physical security measures, cybersecurity protocols, and employee training. By implementing access control systems, physical security measures, and cybersecurity safeguards, you can create a safe and productive working environment for your employees and tenants. By regularly assessing and updating your security measures to adapt to evolving threats and technologies, you can ensure the ongoing safety of your flex office spaces. Security is a process that requires diligence and commitment.