In 2009, Forbes named the internet as the single-most important innovation in thirty years. Since then, technology has continued to play an ever-increasing role in our day-to-day lives, fundamentally changing how we discover new information, purchase goods and services, and communicate with one another.
But just how important is being connected in the workplace? According to WiredScore’s first annual office connectivity survey, it may very well be the glue that holds the modern business world together.
The survey, The State of Office Connectivity, was conducted by UK-based global market research firm Robust Insight and involved polling 444 office workers and corporate decision makers from all around the United States. The most consistent message throughout all of the responses? According to 97% of survey takers, high-speed internet access is vital for their business. Going a step further, 78% of office workers call reliable connectivity “critically important” in their day-to-day work.
Employees Need to Be Connected
It’s easy to understand why so many people consider the internet important for business – just about everything relies on bandwidth. Whether it’s communicating with clients and coworkers through email and chat (mentioned by 57% of respondents), browsing the web for research and networking (44%), or accessing data stored in the cloud (43%), even a brief outage can slow productivity to a halt.
And that’s not even taking into account the fact that many businesses have become dependent on SaaS (Software as a Service) to avoid the high prices of enterprise-level applications. Twenty-four percent of employees surveyed use SaaS on a daily basis in the workplace.
According to The State of Office Connectivity, 61% percent of workers claim to waste time on their phone or stop working altogether when the internet is down. And we’re not just talking about a “once in a blue moon” occurrence – 65% of survey respondents report that connectivity issues disrupt their work flow at least once a month.
Still not sound like a big deal? How about this: 25% of employees surveyed say that they struggle with productivity-crippling outages at least twice a week. It doesn’t matter what kind of business it is – that’s a lot of lost productivity.
Where Decision Makers Are Having Problems
One of the biggest market problems identified in the WiredScore survey, however, seems to be the disconnect between the needs of employees and the priorities of the leaders making the decisions. Remember how 78% of office workers said that reliable high-speed internet is a must-have? Well only 31% of decision makers surveyed consider it a critical factor when choosing an office location. For office workers, reliable connectivity is the #1 most important influencing factor in selecting office space, ahead of transportation, location, amenities, views and environmental sustainability.
For decision-makers, internet connectivity is still very important when choosing office space: Connectivity was ranked the third most critical factor in the office search for this segment, after cost and location. Corporate decision makers have a lot to consider when leasing office space, so it’s not too surprising that cost and location have more influence than internet infrastructure. But in today’s digital world – and especially moving forward as we further embrace technology – successful companies are going to have to focus more on internet access. That’s because the internet is making location less paramount, and not being properly connected is having a big impact on productivity and profits.
In fact, 16% of surveyed decision makers claim they have terminated or not renewed a lease because of poor internet connectivity.
Many business leaders are recognizing this, even if connectivity isn’t their number one priority in office space: 55% of decision makers consider next-gen high-speed connectivity “important” or “critical” in getting a competitive advantage over their competition.
The State of Office Connectivity also identified another problem facing decision makers: there simply isn’t enough information out there to use during the leasing process. When it comes to getting information about office connectivity, there aren’t many places to turn. Only 49% of decision makers reported receiving detailed and accurate information from their landlord or property manager regarding internet and voice telecommunication services. Other commonly reported sources of information include leasing agents (25%) and telecom consultants (16%). The worst part? Twenty-seven percent of corporate decision makers said that they did not receive any guidance from the landlord at all when selecting an internet and voice services provider.
Making It Easier to Find Connected Office Space
WiredScore understands how important reliable connectivity is in the current business environment, and is working to solve the issues plaguing corporate decision makers. Modern businesses can’t survive without a steady connection to the internet – and WiredScore’s Wired Certification helps companies find office space with cutting-edge internet infrastructure.
According to WiredScore CEO and co-founder Arie Barendrecht, “WiredScore is excited to share the findings of our first annual State of Office Connectivity survey, with the goal of making landlords, brokers, and all businesses more aware of the role internet connectivity infrastructure plays in their lives. There is a major lack of information and transparency in this space, and WiredScore is proud to bridge the gap, resulting in better information and ultimately improved Internet connectivity in offices."