A return to the office is drawing nearer. In response to the new world of work, many businesses will be working within flexible spaces as they adopt hybrid business models. But such models must be built on a platform of effective physical and digital security.

James Shannon

James Shannon

The world’s biggest companies are buying into flexible working spaces, and security protocols and defences are a major concern for them. While the cost of security breaches varies by industry, the biggest hit is to lost business and brand reputation, not to mention the time and operational resources needed to correct the damage.

Therefore, if effective security measures cannot be proven or demonstrated, a space simply will not be occupied. As more companies look to flex as a long-term real estate strategy, having the right tools in place can foster trust with your tenants and safeguard your proposition.

So, what are the core considerations and components required to create a secure tech operating layer that reassures the integrity of your space, operation and infrastructure? A secure system that provides the platform for delivering an enhanced customer experience.

Despite the increasing number of digital threats, physical security is the foundation for any security policy. Door-access control is more than giving occupiers a means to unlock a door or access a space; it enables user tracking and visitor management – two important elements to your operation as reoccupancy becomes a priority.

Safety and security

Access control and personnel identity are at the heart of flex systems and will play a crucial role in the return to the office when it comes to security and safety. It is vital for landlords to understand who the occupiers are, the physical spaces they frequent and who they interact with. This covers all spaces within an office, including parking lots, workspaces, desks and amenities to name but a few.

Office entrance

Source: Shutterstock/ wavebreakmedia

Processes and solutions should be in place to protect the platform from any attacks and ensure that all systems work together seamlessly in one place. This includes having visibility and control over the range of devices connected to your network as well as managing and monitoring wired, wireless and guest network logins around the clock.

From malware and payment processing to compliance and phishing attacks, cybersecurity is a moving target if you do not have a framework in place to manage the invisible threats in today’s increasingly digital world. Start by understanding which components and systems in your operation are vulnerable to attacks. Take steps to protect and monitor any possible weaknesses.

Making space and service access simple and frictionless for customers is also essential. Anything from printing and adding devices to door access and logging onto wifi can make or break productivity and a seamless experience. Tools such as smart-access control systems and remote desk-booking could mean a more comfortable experience for employees.

Ensuring the physical and digital security of the technology infrastructure is critical, as is being able to meet the different requirements for each tenant. The role of a space provider is to build and deliver workspace and services to occupiers, not to get bogged down with dealing with the minute details of technology management and compliance. By adopting a software and technology solution that can effectively incorporate a full tech stack, landlords can remove the core responsibility off their shoulders while also staying aligned with industry standards and compliance requirements. Can your building afford not to keep up?

James Shannon is chief product and technology officer at essensys