Coworking offices are no longer a thing of the future: they are part of the most immediate present. According to the Global Coworking Growth Study 2020, there are expected to be 40,000 of these areas worldwide by 2024, when more than 5 million people will have adapted to this way of working; a spectacular growth of 158% on 2020, when there were 20,000 shared space offices.
Apart from a few exceptions, this new working concept has hardly been in existence for more than a decade, so the solutions offered since then have been notable for their innovation and technology. This is also true for access control - the topic we are going to address in this article, where we will discover the trends for safe, flexible and convenient access to these areas.
3 Keys for Coworking access: Security, flexibility and technology
There are different ways to access these shared work spaces: from using conventional, mechanical keys to management at a reception area during opening hours. However, the truth is that that these "native digital" spaces have been able to adapt very well to the needs of their users (generally entrepreneurs with a high technological profile), and now offer access systems based on tecnología Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to open doors in complete security, without the need for permanent staff. The essentials for the success of this solution are explained below:
The most modern way to access coworking spaces is via electronic locks such as those in hotels, which are also used in areas as varied as schools, offices, gyms and health centres. Users have a digital key for these electronic locks which eliminate risks from loss or unauthorised copying.
Due to the features of these areas, the ideal opening device is a mobile phone using Bluetooth technology. Only users with permission to enter a coworking space can do so via an app on their mobile. This compares with other alternatives, such as cards or passwords, which can be lent to unauthorised users to make use of the premises at any given time.
In addition, unlike access cards or codes, the user will rarely forget their "key", their mobile phone.
Coworking areas allow users with entirely different timetables to enter and leave at will. Digital access control - for both users and managers- provides unprecedented flexibility. While the owners of these areas do not have to have permanent staff on these premises, making such spaces more economically viable.
Technology is in the DNA of modern coworking, offering these areas a series of features that were unthinkable a decade ago when they first appeared.
Coworkers open the main door and internal doors using an app on their mobile phone. Access can also be tailored to each user, for different areas according to their permissions.
For example, there may be users with basic permission to access only the main area, while others may be allowed use of meeting rooms. Specific rooms can also be reserved by granting specific users access during the particular times they have requested rental of a room. Access can also of course be configured with a particular timetable; denying user access outside the premises’ opening times.
This can all be achieved without the need for a member of the organisation to be present, as these procedures can all be done online. Also, the metal shutter controlling the main door can be controlled in this way, as explained below.
How do access systems work in coworking areas? This is what we do at Omnitec
At Omnitec, we put this theory into practice several years ago by installing electronic locks in coworking spaces, which is a booming sector. If you manage one of these areas, contact us so we can study your project and offer you an implementation plan and estimate.
We work with the Opak access control device, which is a small, discreet mechanism providing access through external doors for users via Bluetooth and also online for facility managers.
This Opak system can be combined as follows:
- The Opak system with a Gateway for the metal shutter at the main entrance. The Omnitec Gateway turns Bluetooth electronic locks and access controls into online devices; that is, it allows remote control from a computer or mobile phone.
- The Opak system is connected to the electronic lock of the main door and provides access for users and managers of the building.
- The Opak system with an electronic lock for internal doors leading to restricted access areas, depending on the services contracted.
Management of users, devices and access is via Bluetooth using the Omnitec Rent&Pass app, which allows remote management using a mobile phone or tablet.
The owner sends electronic keys to users for the main door and for areas with restricted access, depending on the level of services contracted.
One of the great advantages of this system is that online control of the main door shutter means the owner can open and close it remotely, according to the coworking opening hours, without having to be physically present.
In addition, Omnitec Bluetooth devices can be managed from a desktop software environment if a large number of users make it too cumbersome to do so from a phone app.
Coworkers can open the main entrance and internal doors via Bluetooth using their app. It’s as simple as that for them.
If you manage a coworking area and would like more information about this type of system, please feel free to contact our team.