If you’ve ever had to search for office space before, you know it’s an exciting process. While touring offices can be thrilling, carefully considering all of the factors such as location, lease flexibility, and price is not always so thrilling.
One critical factor that can impact your business is your office’s tech infrastructure. As more sectors are moving their entire product offerings – and workforces – to cloud- or web-based frameworks, the ability to get and stay connected is more important than ever. If you find yourself on the hunt for office space, here are five key telecom and IT questions to ask when looking for new workspace.
1. What are my telecom needs?
Before packing a single box, make sure you’ve clearly defined your business’s tech needs. Leverage a trusted IT advisor, whether it’s your CTO, head of IT, or a telecom consultant. If the Internet is your business’s lifeblood, you should be able to clearly communicate your speed, reliability, and security requirements to your landlord or broker so that they can best assess if a building has the tech infrastructure to support your business.
2. Which telecom providers and carriers are currently in the building?
Ask your broker or landlord what companies serve their building. It’s a good idea to look for buildings with a large number and wide range of providers because this creates competition between them – which means better pricing and services for you. And although large providers might have connectivity to the building, because of the building’s infrastructure, they might not be able to offer their full range of services, which could limit your connectivity and therefore limit your business. Knowing the full range of options in the building will help you plan for your company. If your company lives and breathes the Internet, your best bet is to look for buildings with fiber-based services.
3. Is my potential office space equipped for service?
Here’s where gauging Internet connectivity in your office space can get even trickier: Even though fiber services might be technically available in the building, the actual floor or office space that you’re leasing might not be equipped for fiber. For example, your building might say it offers fiber. But in some cases, the fiber cables may be nowhere near your office (or even way down in the building’s basement). In this scenario, to build out your Internet connections you would need to plan for extra construction and extra costs. To avoid delays and get your business up and running in your new space as quickly as possible, look for buildings with a dedicated telecom closet in your space that has the fiber pulled into it already. This will save you time, money, and hassle in an already long and expensive process.
4. Is the landlord willing to bring new providers into the building?
If your business requires Internet services like fiber that your building doesn’t currently offer, some landlords may be willing to work with your preferred Internet provider to build fiber to the building. Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific provider as a negotiating point when securing your lease to make sure you have the Internet services your business needs to function.
5. Is the building Wired Certified?
Even when armed with these key questions, a broker, a transparent landlord, and an IT consultant, it can still be difficult to get IT and telecom information on office buildings. One way to streamline the process is to ask your landlord or broker if the building you’re considering is Wired Certified, or ask your landlord to get certified. A Wired Certified building has been independently vetted and confirmed to have what it says it has – so you can avoid costly miscommunications or mishaps with inaccurate or outdated information. And Wired Certified buildings are top-notch in connectivity so you can rest assured that the building can support your Internet-driven business. Another resource that’s available to you is on wiredscore.com. With detailed information on hundreds of office buildings nationally, and ratings to help see how the buildings stack up against each other, the WiredScore database is a tool to help guide better informed leasing decisions.
Edited by Maurice Nagle