Staying Safe in a Shared Office Space

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Shared office spaces are gaining traction across the globe, albeit there are some challenges like increasing real estate prices and poor awareness that plague this new frontier. One of the main reasons behind popularity is the cost-effectiveness of shared spaces compared to private offices. Apart from financial incentives, there is also the  convenience of not having to worry about maintenance, utilities, bills, interior design, office equipment, and furniture.

Pros and cons

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Freelancers, business owners, young professionals, and entrepreneurs come together in order to cut the expenses, climb up a career ladder, achieve better work-life balance, and form lasting connections. Still, finding an ideal place is harder than you may think, and there are many factors to weigh, not the least of which is security. The positive expectations are still growing strong, but are also gradually leveling off.

There are several indications of this trend, and we come across them in recent surveys. Around one-third of members stress the lack of proper internet connection as the main issue, the noise takes the second place (24%), and is followed by the lack of privacy (17%). As you may notice, security is not up there on the list of priorities, and this lack of awareness makes it all the more important to address the subject.

Share and care

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After all, coworking spaces can put your professional and personal belongings, as well as information and data at a heightened risk. This is associated with external threats such as break-ins, but also “inside jobs”, where your fellow coworker is the culprit. On average, coworking spaces accommodate 76 people: there is strength in numbers, but also uncertainty.

You cannot get to know everyone, and even if you pull it off, there is no guarantee you will be completely safe and sound. Easy access to the workplace, for example, is a double-edged sword, and it is crucial to have someone responsible for greeting people. Of course, it is also a treat to be a part of the collective in which members watch out for one another and nurture collaboration.

Shared offices are often tailored to specific types of businesses, resonate with a different vibe, and their layout and design vary. Some shared offices give more privacy, while others use mere dividers to separate core work areas. These things bear consequences for your safety and work habits.

For good measure

 

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The backbone of security in a coworking environment is a physical system composed of devices that monitor every inch of space and are an integral part of interior design. The infrastructure usually includes locked access points and high-grade security doors, video surveillance, alarm system, and emergency preparedness. The second aspect is people management, which involves various policies such as those that address the process of visitors’ check in.

Another layer of security encompasses the digital realm. Namely, network security requires members to adhere to best practices like the authorized access, firewall, and password protection. On top of that, the coworking space itself ought to budget for cyber security and internet safety education. A bulk of hackers target small businesses and enterprises that do not possess fat budgets to thwart them.

Finally, one aspect you do not want to neglect is your health and safety. The office environment should feature proper indoor temperature, fine air quality, adequate lighting, ample working space, low noise level, and pure water.  Considering the time you spend sitting, it would be wise to put the focus on quality office furniture, especially in the form of the ergonomic chairs with a seat height range and adjustable components.

Work, work, (co)work

Coworking spaces are a breath of fresh air in the business world. They offer amenities and spaces to cater various activities and company events, emulating the benefits of working for a big company. Ultimately, the right office space allows you to get more things done each day, provided that you steer clear of data risks, thefts, and other problems. Really, it would be a shame to let safety problems undermine the whole work experience and professional success.

All images via: officesnapshots.com

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The above post was written and submitted by Zoe Clark. You can find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zoe.clark.58367 Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZoeFClark and Google+: https://plus.google.com/116260362531781886421/posts

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