Every business has its own unique requirements when selecting a new office space. Decision makers are tasked with balancing location, amenities and proximity to transportation with cost efficiency, company image and talent acquisition. Unfortunately, one of the most important attributes is frequently overlooked until it’s too late: the building’s compatibility with the company’s technological needs.
In today’s world, high-speed Internet and connectivity are vital to an efficient workflow, but not all office spaces are created equal when it comes to business-grade Internet connectivity.
Bounce Exchange, a marketing software company, was searching for office space. Their connectivity requirements were simple: reliable high-speed internet, competitive pricing from Internet Service Providers, and the ability to bring in their own choice of provider if necessary. However, lack of visibility into the connectivity infrastructure of prospective offices was severely lacking and the company toured over 70 spaces before locating one that met their business needs.
Bounce Exchange recently spoke to WiredScore about the challenges tenants face when searching for an office that satisfied their all-important connectivity requirements:
To help make the office selection process easier, we’ve put together a list of tech-specs tenant should consider when searching for move-in ready office space. For even more assurance that a property has best-in-class connectivity, proiritize Wired Certified buildings in your search. You can search for Wired Certified buildings in your city using our interactive map.
1. A future-proof space
With the constant changes in technology and business, it is nearly impossible for a company to predict future tech needs. Forward-thinking tenants should choose spaces that can grow and evolve with their company. From an IT perspective, this means having multiple choices of internet service providers (ISPs) and the available space to accommodate new ISPs in the future. Not only does this optionality give tenants the opportunity to choose the provider that best suits their needs, it also ensures that they are getting the best price possible for their internet service. Just as with any commodity, supply drives price. Having more options means more competitive pricing for tenants. In addition, being given access to multiple internet service providers allows tenants to have options in the future as the company’s needs change.
2. Connection beyond the cubicle
With an increasing amount of online collaboration and the rising telecommuting trend, it is vital for companies to have Internet infrastructure that is both high-capacity and mobile-friendly. Imagine, you have just moved into your new office and are setting up the weekly video conference call with the team across the country. Instead of going off without a hitch, you spend the majority of the meeting trying to figure out why you cannot see or hear the remote employees, only to discover that your internet service cannot support such technology. To avoid these frustrating situations, it is important to uncover whether or not the building’s infrastructure ensures strong and reliable connection for email correspondence, video chats and conference calls.
Additionally, it is imperative to determine if a space allows for employees to use their cell phones. While a gorgeous view may seem like the cherry on top of the perfect office space, it is important to note that many offices, especially those above the 10th floor, can struggle with providing tenants a strong enough signal to use their mobile devices. The most tech-forward offices will require an in-building wireless solution, such as a Distributed Antenna System, that allows for tenants’ phones to operate properly.
3. A backup plan
There are a variety of circumstances that can cause Internet interruptions or failures: inclement weather, construction, manhole fires, etc. As a result, tenants should look for spaces that recognize these risks and have a plan to keep the Internet up and running through them. It seems like a no-brainer to ask if a building has a generator to mitigate a power outage; unfortunately, the less common but more important question should be about a building’s telecom redundancy. Telecom redundancy is the key attribute of a building with a connectivity backup plan. There are varying levels of redundancy from a telecom standpoint including infrastructure-related factors, as well as various connectivity options. A building with multiple points of entry, multiple risers, and the ability to offer internet service via a fixed wireless provider will be thoroughly prepared to meet the needs of all tenants.
4. A tech-forward layout
When considering a building’s Internet capabilities, it may be difficult to understand what strong connectivity looks like. The infrastructure of a building with reliable Internet connection will be able to accommodate not only its current connectivity features, but also any new and additional technologies that will undoubtedly be introduced in years to come. There are many future factors that tenants take into consideration when searching for office space: the neighborhood, physical amount of space for future employees, etc. It is critical to also plan for the company’s future telecom and connectivity needs. Having a tech forward layout can be as simple as a building actually having the physical capacity to offer any new technology advancements to its tenants or as advanced as offering new technologies already built into tenant suites.
By considering these features when choosing an office building, tenants will be able to find the best and most reliable spaces for their current and future Internet needs. It is important to remember that connectivity is what allows a business to run, so setting high expectations for telecom standards in your office search should be a top priority.
(Shannon Shaw is a Senior Client Success Manager at WiredScore. Prior to joining the WiredScore team in 2015, Shannon worked in Residential Real Estate at Halstead Property. For more information, click here or visit: https://wiredscore.com)