If you plan to transform traditional offices into a flex workspace or open a new coworking space business, you’ll first want to think about the needs of the community you’ll be serving, and the culture you want to cultivate. Security should also be top of mind. Not only is it important to provide a frictionless cowork check-in experience to the members entering your space, but you also want to keep people — and property — safe.
That’s why, as part of opening a new coworking business or pivoting existing office space into a flex workspace, access control systems and other measures are needed for optimum security. We talked with Jonathan Polon, Senior Director of Global Integration Partners at Brivo, to identify seven key questions you should ask before opening your new space.
1. How open is the API system?
When looking at access control solutions, you’ll want to ask about an open API. And the word you’re looking for is ‘seamless.’ But what does a seamless integration look like?
Seamless integration is the process of adding or integrating a new module or feature to an application or hardware without causing any apparent errors or complications.
This simply means that all changes are made to the system without being affected by the integration. It’s tech-speak for ‘plug and play.’ This matters to coworking space operators who have space management software such as Coworks to manage your rooms, billing, members, events, and more.
“The workplace of the future will be powered by technology more than ever, and the power of an open API simplifies the complexities that come with management of hybrid workplaces and smart spaces,” said Polon. “Providing more choice for customers is critical in today’s world, and it’s important that customers benefit from an open platform to make the business decisions that work best for their needs.”
2. Does the company offer access hardware flexibility?
When choosing the right security system, the existing hardware on site typically plays a large role in the decision-making process. Does the hardware need to be updated? Can the current system be retrofitted to use the existing hardware?
The right access control solution can offer this flexibility through its ecosystem of API partners to give customers like coworking space operators more options when selecting solution components for their implementation. These integrated solutions give operators more flexibility in powering controllers, readers, locks and other peripheral devices needed for secure door access.
3. How easy is the platform to manage on mobile?
A robust access control system doesn’t just deliver a good experience for members to come and go from your space. You should have administrative capabilities wherever you are — and more often than not, that means having control from your mobile device.
When considering an access solution, ask about the mobile capabilities:
- Can you see a real time list of who is coming and going from the space?
- Does the mobile app let you take hardware online and offline?
- Can you override settings on specific access points?
- How many admin profiles can use the mobile app?
4. What data will the system provide?
With digital solutions for door access, you should be able to retrieve a collection of data points, for real time evaluation and planning, such as:
- Number of people who used the space hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly
- High traffic times of day
- Types of memberships connected to the users who come and go from the space
Coworking space management software like Coworks does this as well, and the integration of platforms gives you a more holistic view of your business on a daily basis.
5. What business decisions can you make with that data?
Now that you have all that data at hand, how do you transform it into business intelligence? A truly end-to-end solution will give you an easy-to-use dashboard within the system itself. Connected with a space management software platform such as Coworks, you’ll have access to detailed reporting to gauge occupancy, bookings, and room usage to make informed business decisions.
6. How often is data security audited?
Adding access control for security and safety of your people and property is a must-have, not a nice-to-have. But that control system itself could expose your business to digital risks.
“Even small businesses have risks, and it’s important to know your exposure through partnerships and products,” Polon said. “That means understanding how your access control provider stores and protects the data collected by the systems in your space.”
It’s important to ask the company about their own internal processes and how they monitor and measure their liability and standards.
“We perform an SOC2 audit every year,” Polon explained. “That means we dive into a detailed and intense self-examination of System and Organization Controls, auditing people, processes, and data for possible weaknesses or areas of potential compromise.”
7. How robust is the network of trusted installers?
Once you have vetted and selected an access control solution, it’s time to install and configure it. That’s why you need to ask your provider about their network of installers. Be sure to understand:
- How many installers are there in total?
- Where are the installers based?
- How are the installers trained?
- Who do you call for service?
- What is the expected response time?
“We have 2,000 installers across the US and abroad,” said Polon. “That helps us ensure we have significant market coverage and responsiveness for the spaces that choose our solutions.”
Using this framework, companies can better identify where they are on their journey to digital transformation to create a successful, flexible coworking space.
Coworks is pleased to work alongside Brivo to deliver an integrated coworking software experience. Watch a short demo to learn more!