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9/25/2018

Architectural Security Measures for Shared Spaces: Events, Coworking, Conference Rooms

We’ve seen WeWork’s model take off and recently the modern office giant surpassed JP Morgan to become the biggest private office tenant in Manhattan. As corporate real estate owners begin innovating with coworking and flex models, we’ve been following to see how this affects security.

The modern office is associated with open floor plans that foster better communication, collaboration, and networking. Floor-to-ceiling windows, wide open space, plenty of light and a lack of spatial boundaries make these offices appealing places to work. But is there a flip side?

Unfortunately, due to the open architecture of flex spaces, office security can be compromised. In shared spaces like coworking, for example, sensitive information that your employees discuss over the phone can be overheard, or commercial information may leak if someone peeks over their neighbor’s shoulder while they prepare an offer for a potential client. This also includes basic theft, an unattended device left on a table might get stolen in a building with many companies sharing spaces.

All of the scenarios mentioned above might undermine your venue’s reputation and hamper your business operations; therefore, it’s in the interest of any modern workspace owner to treat security as one of the biggest concerns. In this respect, a thought-out design and architecture are fundamental to office security.

Office architectural design, as well as office security, can be significantly improved through a well-planned layout. Namely, apart from the open-plan spaces and communal areas, there should be soundproof conference rooms, private offices and telephone booths where independent professionals and corporate clients can discuss sensitive matters without the fear of being overheard. As far as the members’ assets go, lockers and/or laptop locks are other things worth installing to ensure a higher level of security.

Office building security requires the implementation of access control systems or keyless access control alongside video monitoring and visitor management software. These measures will prevent unauthorized access and allow for easy identification of all people entering and exiting the facility.

Security includes both physical and cyber components, and a comprehensive IT strategy adds to the overall security of your space.

Fire exits and fire protection devices, such as extinguishers, and other office building security components should be considered at the stage of space design. Also, you have to make sure that your premises complies with safety requirements set by local authorities.

Office architecture design would not be complete without proper lighting and visibility. Both are not only essential design features but also security measures. People feel much safer while working in well-lit areas. A design should not have any major obstructions or blind corners where someone could hide or where no surveillance is available.

A proactive approach to design and security protects employees, the personnel and the premises. You can see this with successful coworking venues, that go extremely far to ensure safety for their members. For example, WeWork identifies each of its members at check-in, implements security cameras on site and has a phone line for emergency situations. Regus offers its clients encrypted Internet connection, and the possibility to get cyber risk management tools. Needless to say, both places are big on design and architecture and offer various types of work options: From floating desks, in an open space, to private offices and meeting rooms.

Following examples of large successful players, regarding space security and office architecture design, is always a safe bet. A proactive approach to design not only boosts security but also expresses your venue’s mission, and creates the identity of the space.

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