The World Wide Web – it’s hard to remember life without it. As we move towards 2020, innovation and technology has driven the internet to new heights, with businesses now never being seen as ‘offline’.
Yet almost 30 years on from its mainstream inception, we’re still facing connectivity crises in the workplace. Unreliable connections, poor bandwidth and lack of reach are worryingly common occurrences in the office of 2019 – all meaning the modern-day workforce can’t be deployed as efficiently and effectively as possible.
We’re in the midst of the digital era. Businesses need resilient, high-performing internet connections in the workplace to do what they do best. Not having it almost seems counterintuitive.
The impact of poor connectivity can’t be understated. A recent survey by OnePoll found that, on average, employees lose 44 minutes of time each week due to poor connectivity in the workplace.
When looked at annually, this averages at 38 hours lost each year – a whole working week, per employee. Imagine a commercial world where an employer let employees have an extra week’s holiday, the same time lost waiting for buffering browsers and lacklustre load speeds.
From a financial standpoint, slow IT connectivity is costing the UK economy a mammoth £11bn each year in lost productivity. The figures caused by poor connectivity are staggering. Fast connectivity isn’t just a ‘want’ for modern businesses – it’s an absolute necessity.
Not only that, businesses need strong connectivity to stay ahead of the curve. They need to be leaders in the field, optimising services and progressing their offering. Is this possible without powerful, reliable internet connections? The chances are slim.
Using the cloud
Over recent years, using cloud-based storage and server solutions has started to become the prevalent within UK workspaces. Rather than having the old-fashioned, unreliable physical server chugging away in an IT cupboard, businesses are now thinking smarter and adopting innovation to hold data and files.
Research from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, found that 42 per cent of UK businesses use some form of cloud service – a figure which is increasing every year. This is a modern way of working for modern-day businesses.
Yet with this move to cloud-based service, having access to high-speed internet connectivity becomes imperative.
Businesses and office spaces cannot afford to have low-bandwidth connectivity when working on the cloud. Through poor digital connections, a workforce will simply not be able to perform at its peak – time spent waiting to access files and data is time wasted. The cloud has become an integral part of the digital era, so businesses need reliable connections in their offices to work effectively and efficiently online today and in the future.
5G is the future
When it comes to connectivity, however, businesses must plan for today and tomorrow when it comes to their office space to allow for the network of the future – 5G.
According to ABI research, 5G will improve traffic capacity by more than 10 times, increase network efficiency by 100 times and, perhaps most important for businesses, decrease latency by 10 times when compared to the current 4G network. This isn’t just an upgrade – it’s an evolution in mobile network connectivity.
Not only an evolution, 5G will also revolutionise workplace connectivity and how businesses interact with customers, suppliers and staff. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will prosper in the 5G movement, allowing office space to be used efficiently and effectively. High-speed bandwidth and connectivity will mean businesses can hold virtual meetings with remote workers and stakeholders around the world through VR, systems can operate wirelessly whilst still being integrated and in constant communication, and AR can help improve building maintenance issues and reduce the risk of potential downtime.
5G is key for productivity too. Mobile network provider O2 has suggested that upgrading to 5G will save the UK economy £6bn which otherwise would have been lost due to poor productivity, highlighting how beneficial it will be in the office of tomorrow. With a widespread commercial adoption of 5G set to take place over the next 5-10 years, businesses need to ensure they are in a workspace that has the infrastructure to support the super-fast network.
High speeds and reliable connectivity at our new offices in Leeds
It’s clear – for businesses to work productively, excellent connectivity is a must. Achieving high-performance connectivity, however, shouldn’t just be a dream – it’s a straightforward reality. The key is having a secure, future-proofed connectivity network which offers high speeds, reliability and resilience.
At our new office space in Leeds, connectivity is at its very heart. Number One has been designed to enable fast, secure and reliable internet connections for the businesses which operate here, allowing them to have peace of mind when it comes to their adoption of the digital workplace.
So much so, we’re the only building in Leeds to be awarded the much-acclaimed WireScore ‘Platinum’ certification. This accreditation is a trusted benchmark for technological capacity, resilience of infrastructure, connectivity and future proofing, and the rating means Number One joins an elite club of globally renowned buildings such as the Empire State Building and The Shard.
Fully distributed fibre cabling within Number One allows for mobile signal and wireless connection throughout the building, whilst a choice of internet service providers means tenants have both competitive choice and flexibility. Contingency planning to protect businesses is designed into our power and data supplies too.
When it comes to 5G, Number One has been futureproofed to enable an easy implementation of new technology and our design team is consulting directly with 5G experts to understand the impact of 5G on our next office building at Kirkstall Forge.
At Kirkstall Forge, we’ve created new offices in Leeds to keep companies, colleagues and customers connected – after all, that’s best for business.