The open plan, “loft-like” design of coworking spaces has become a staple in the industry, with collaborative work spaces being the focal point. While this encourages workers to feel more comfortable and informal in the space, the question of security can still cause a lot of stress for members and operators alike. No one wants to work in a space where they can’t grab a coffee without locking up their laptops or valuable belongings.
Note: At the bottom of the article we are including a few best practices of spaces that have recently implemented a new security system, specifically to control who is coming into the space.
Why Door Security Matters to Coworking Members
Investing in advanced door security can help guarantee member satisfaction and attract new members, who prioritize the feeling of safety in the space. Most workspace operators have the following requirements when it comes to door access security:
- The security system needs to allow 24/7 access
- The access control system needs the ability to be managed remotely since the space owner is not always on-site. If something happens in the space, you need to be able to quickly check access logs (even from mobile) and delete audit rights if needed.
- It needs to be easy to operate by local community managers and should not need much maintenance.
These standard security requirements can apply to coworking spaces or the shared workspace industry in general as well as any traditional commercial office building. They are typically satisfied by going with a cloud-based access control system with a mobile access component. In order to implement this advanced technology, the first step is to get a quote for the system and installation.
How Access Control Can Enable the Success of Your Business
The interesting aspect about tighter security systems like access control, is that it can help drive revenue for many businesses. Let’s go through some of the reasons:
Integrations Equals Flexibility
Cloud-based access control systems connect door access to your member CRM (like Nexudus, Optix, Cobot, OfficeRnD). The reason why you want to do that is to make your space truly on-demand bookable. Imagine someone booking a desk for a day or a week online, they can already have the key on their phone before they arrive. No waiting in front of the door, no awkward running out of key cards, no community manager that has to be there when a new member chooses to arrive. Call this automated access control—a new member is in your CRM, they get access, they cancel their membership, access rights are revoked.
Better Member Experience
Most independent spaces are looking to differentiate by providing a better experience than people would get in larger coworking spaces like WeWork. Many coworking CRM’s provide white-label apps for members that owners can brand with their own logo, colors and name of the space. Why not have an app that allows members to book rooms, send help requests, meet other members and also unlock doors? This is how it looks for Platform 24, a workspace out of Carmel, Indiana that has its app configured for a branded entry experience
Another reason why coworking operators choose better access control is because they can make more revenue with the same amount of space. Imagine being able to provide credits for meeting rooms but when the membership trial is over, you can start charging for booked meeting rooms. Another example: If you know a few memberships that will expire, or you have open desks, run a campaign to your email list and tell them you’ll give away a few weekly passes for next week. You can then easily send the members a smartphone key and hopefully some of them will be convinced to become paying members.
Reduce Non-Member Walk-Ins
Did you know 30 percent of people in your space are not actually paying? Whether it's because of guest passes, informal visitors or unconventional membership plans, much of the traffic flowing a typical coworking space on a day-to-day basis consists of non-paying members who have somehow slipped through the cracks. Advanced access control, coupled with alarms and a powerful visitor management system can reduce this liability for coworking owners.
Real Examples of Access Control Integrated into Coworking Spaces
Here are a few examples of shared workspaces that have been using Kisi, a cloud-based access control system, to go beyond the normal access control card experience in their spaces:
The Yard streamlines operations and saves on overhead with modern access control:
If you’d like to explore more options related to access control or have questions about how it could work for your space, Kisi provides discounted pricing for shared workspaces and communities. You can get a quote here.