Sharing co-working open office spaces can be an ideal way for startups, satellite offices, and solopreneurs to reduce expenses. However, security can become a concern when working around strangers. Even if you trust the people in your co-working space, there's nothing wrong with taking preliminary steps to protect your physical and intellectual property. After all, prevention can curb temptation. Here are some easy yet effective ways to help keep your ideas and your possessions safe from wandering eyes.
Install Security Cameras
The good thing about security cameras is that they can provide undeniable evidence if a crime does occur. At the same time, they can also serve as deterrents. There are lesser chances for people to commit crimes when there are cameras clearly visible. You may be hesitant to install security cameras because you don't want to create tension among your fellow workspace users, but the reality is that most people might not take it personally. In fact, there's a strong chance that they're going to appreciate the added security. These days, effective security cameras are surprisingly affordable, so there's really no reason not to have them installed.
Store Your Valuables in a Locker
It's virtually impossible for your possessions to disappear when they're under lock and key. Using heavy-duty lockers or a safe to store valuable items is a no-brainer. In addition to keeping your items secure, lockers can free up a tremendous amount of space, so using them is a win-win for everyone who shares the office. Instead of cluttering up the building with personal items such as bags and jackets, you can just stuff them in your handy locker where they can stay out of sight and out of mind.
Protect Information with a Privacy Screen
When your business is just getting off the ground or planning to expand, data can be extremely sensitive. You probably don't have patents in place, and it can only take one sideways glance at a computer from the wrong person for your million-dollar idea to be exposed to the world. A desktop or laptop privacy screen filter can be an ideal solution to keep your computer's information protected from the wandering gaze of the person sitting beside you. These handy filters allow you to see your screen clearly when you're looking at it directly, but if someone tries to sneak a peek from the side, all they see is blackness.
Drown Out Sound with a White Noise Machine
Another way to help make sure that nobody steals your intellectual property is to use a white noise machine during sensitive meetings or phone calls. When you're working in close quarters with people who don't belong to your company, it's critical that your personal conversations remain personal. A white noise machine can create a non-intrusive wall of sound that drowns out your voices without disturbing people nearby. As an added bonus, you can leave your white noise machine running in your cubicle or office when you're not around, so unwanted guests don't feel comfortable wandering in.
Carry and Store Items with a Laptop Bag
The easier and more effective way to make sure that your property doesn't get stolen is to keep it on your person. A laptop bag is lightweight and compact enough for you to carry it around with you throughout the office, and it can keep your computer and other essentials on you or in your sight. Laptop bags can add an extra layer of security between a thief and your computer. It's easy for a thief to claim that he thought your computer was his, but a laptop bag is a personal item that's clearly identifiable. You can make it a habit to keep your bag nearby at all times, and you may never have to worry about it mysteriously vanishing.
There are steps that you can take to protect yourself if you are working in an open, shared space. In addition to investing in security products, try to invest some time in getting to know the people around you. If you develop relationships with the people sharing your space, you're going to reduce the chances of incidents, and you're also going to have people on your side if a problem does occur. Now is the time to implement security measures, not after an incident happens. With property security measures in place, you can focus on your work, not your worry.
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