4 hidden things to look for in an office space

How to make sure your needs are met

Aug 16, 2016, 6:19 PM

How do you know a building will be able to support the work you do?

Every business has its own unique requirements when selecting the right office space. Company leaders are tasked with considering location, security, proximity to amenities and transportation, while also balancing cost efficiency, company image and talent acquisition.

But what about a building’s ability to support your company’s technological needs? High-speed Internet and connectivity are vital to an efficient workflow, and it’s easy to assume that access to these resources will be uninterrupted in any office building. Unfortunately, not all office spaces are created equal when it comes to business-grade Internet connectivity.

Here are four important features to look for in potential office spaces to ensure that your Internet needs are met:

1. 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 connectivity will contain a choice of fiber providers. Having both fixed wireless and fiber connections, along with high-quality cabling that reaches all areas of a building, offers the greatest reliability and also ensures cost efficiency.

The actual layout of a building also contributes to the strength of a space’s Internet. Open floor plans allow for seamless Wi-Fi connectivity because there are few physical blockages. On the other hand, spaces with closed floor plans have more difficulty in obtaining high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity. Such buildings usually have long hallways with offices on both sides, and thereby contain several walls that have a tendency to block out Wi-Fi signals.

2. Connection beyond the cubicle

With more and more collaboration taking place online, and with more employees working remotely, it’s vital to select a space with an Internet infrastructure that’s both high-capacity and mobile-friendly.

For example, does the building’s infrastructure ensure strong and reliable connection for email correspondence, video chats and conference calls? Furthermore, does a space allow for employees to use their cell phones? Many offices, especially those above the 10th floor, can struggle with providing tenants a space that allows them 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 all your employees’ devices to operate properly.

3. A future-proof space

With the constant changes in technology and business, it’s near impossible for any company to predict its future tech needs. Forward-thinking companies—especially those in high-growth mode—want spaces that can grow and evolve with them and remain state-of-the-art.

Buildings that support multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) give tenants the option of choosing the provider that best suits their needs, which can change as they grow. Being limited to just one ISP may not pose a problem when you first choose a space, but it may down the line when you need something new and the ISP doesn’t provide it.

4. A backup plan

There are a variety of circumstances that can cause Internet interruptions or failures—inclement weather, construction, and manhole fires can all impact a building’s connectivity. Look for spaces that recognize these risks and have plans to keep the Internet up and running through them.

Having multiple points of entry for fiber cables running into the building provides crucial redundancy. If one entry point is out of action, another is able to keep the Internet running with little to no disruption.

Similarly, consider where important Internet equipment is stored in any building you’re considering. This space should be inaccessible to the public, on a floor that isn’t likely to be affected by flooding and in a space that’s protected from other predictable severe weather events.

By considering these features when choosing an office building, you’ll be more equipped to find best and most reliable space for your business to get down to business.

Article courtesy of WiredScore, a company we partner with to help tenants find the best new office for their needs.