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Demands on office broadband have ballooned and what was once considered good office internet may now be less than perfect in supporting today’s hybrid working tech needs.

Before employers rush into delivering the latest workplace experiences there’s something more fundamental to get right first.

Back to work, back to routine has a different nuance this year. Once your global property footprint might have been a single office, now it is a myriad of spaces as hybrid working merges the lines between offices, homes and third spaces such as flexible office, cafes and libraries as workspace.

Emulating an office experience regardless of location is no easy feat, but while it might be tempting to dive in and find ground-breaking technology to deliver exciting experiences or the latest workplace gadget, is this what employees need the most, or indeed what will deliver the best return on investment for the employer?

When it comes to office space priorities, WiredScore’s research found that 41% of Europeans place quality digital connectivity at the top of the agenda, second only to location and good transport links. Whilst 72% of people rate their internet connectivity within the office space as “Good”, 51% of Europeans still believe their home internet connectivity to be “Better”. So while recreating the creature comforts of the home in an office environmentmight be a stretch too far, paralleling the levels and ease of digital infrastructure employees are accustomed to at home is essential and needs to be improved.

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The workforce of today and tomorrow will demand ever higher levels of  internet connectivity driven by escalating demands on bandwidth as video conferencing, cloud computing and an array of monitoring devices become the norm.

Simply put, employees expect the office internet to be not just good, but perfect to justify the trip in. Staff must be able to rely on these levels being able to match (or, indeed, better) those at home.

So what can you do to make sure digital connectivity is right in your office space? Looking to see if the landlord has taken measures to demonstrate the level of connectivity, for example via a certification,

will be paramount. With this, the employer can confidently assume a sufficient level to perform working tasks. Without this due diligence, productivity in the office has greater potential to unravel down the line. This isn’t something to fix  once you’ve committed to a space and realise you need to dig up the road to get the connectivity your staff crave.  Ask your landlord if they have a digital factsheet for the building, what they deliver to your space today and if they commit to a globally recognised standard, because anything less will, over time, serve as a deterrent to the office.

KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER

FUTURE READY

Will the building’s connectivity levels support your sensors and allow you to get data out of the management system as you need it? Does it have the flexibility and capacity to adapt to new technology?

DIGITAL FACTSHEET

Understand what’s in the building today saving time on shortlisting and reduce back and forth on questions during negotiation

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ISPS AND YOUR CAPACITY NEEDS

How much broadband will you need, is there a fibre provider, does the choice of ISPs allow you to retain your current corporate provider. Do they serve your suite?

MOBILE

Are there black spots, how strong is the signal? How does the building cope with 5G? Can you take a call in the street and carry on talking through the lobby, up the lift, and to your desk?

SECURITY

Are cybersecurity measures in place but also protection against damage, fire or flood? How do your IT and OT (operating technology) interact, many a firm has been hacked through their HVAC system.

ACCESS AGREEMENTS

Is there a wayleave (legal agreement between landlord and internet service provider to allow them to come into the property)  or will you need to negotiate this with your landlord and the council (this can take months).

RESILIENCE

Where does the internet come in? Are there multiple entry points to protect your supply if someone digs up that side of the street straight through your cable?

To find out more www.wiredscore.com.

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