The Crucial Role of Managed Wi-Fi Providers in Empowering Flexible Workspaces
Danny Wyrwoll, Head of Sales at Flexible Space Association Member Glide, explores the critical role managed Wi-Fi providers play in flexible workspaces, and advises on the steps to take and decisions to make to ensure the best available service for customers.
In today’s modern society, flexible workspaces have revolutionised businesses and workers’ operations. These spaces offer diverse advantages, from cost savings and premium locations to enhanced productivity and tailored workspace solutions. Recent global data indicates a remarkable surge in adopting flexible workspaces, reinforcing the forecasts of industry experts such as Knight Frank and Savills following the pandemic.
In the UK, 72% of the workforce relies on the internet for work, with one in 13 employees experiencing over ten weekly internet disruptions. Unreliable connections affect one-fifth of UK businesses, resulting in 149 million hours of internet downtime and £494 in lost productivity per employee annually. Managed Wi-Fi providers ensure flexible workspaces’ success and long-term viability. They provide dependable, secure, and scalable internet connectivity solutions that effectively cater to the ever-changing requirements of both workspace operators and users.
The Challenges of Flexible Workspaces
For flexible workspaces, inconsistent connectivity is the Achilles heel of these developments as customers’ reliability on the internet for productivity increases. Flexible workspaces grapple with various network-related challenges. The diversity of network infrastructures, including wired, wireless, fibre, or copper, can affect network quality, speed, reliability, and security. This may necessitate network hardware and software investments, leading to potential user disruptions. Additionally, accommodating varying bandwidth requirements among end users, who rely on online work, client communication, and cloud-based tools, can strain available resources and require effective bandwidth management.
Another challenge arises from shifting user demands. Users with different work styles and preferences expect a seamless and personalised connectivity experience, necessitating flexible workspace operators to provide adaptable network solutions. These spaces also face security risks due to potential unauthorised access and malicious attacks, making it imperative for operators to implement robust security measures. Lastly, technical issues such as network failures or slowdowns can disrupt operations, underscoring the importance of timely support and issue resolution. Addressing these challenges is critical for flexible workspaces to remain competitive and ensure business continuity in a rapidly expanding market.
The Importance of Network Infrastructure
The growing demand for internet connectivity in flexible workspaces is driven by its vital role for businesses and remote workers who rely on online work, client communication, and cloud-based tools. Networks should streamline access, encourage collaboration and services, and support IoT device integration, increasing their value as the market expands for both operators and users.
Managed gigabit Wi-Fi providers excel in equipping flexible workspaces with robust network infrastructure and seamless connectivity. They offer high-speed, reliable internet access via fibre-optic cables, simplify network management, enhance security with advanced technologies, tailor network designs, improve the user experience, and enable IoT integration. Their dependable, secure, and scalable solutions address the diverse needs of operators and users, making them ideal for addressing connectivity requirements in flexible workspaces.
Opting for a managed Wi-Fi provider can benefit flexible workspaces in several ways. This includes boosting customer satisfaction and retention with dependable and personalised connectivity solutions, reducing operational costs and risks associated with multiple ISPs and infrastructure complexities, creating new revenue streams through value-added services and expanding market reach via partnerships between workspace operators and service providers. These advantages enhance competitiveness and market differentiation for managed Wi-Fi providers.
Reliability and Speed
Wi-Fi reliability and speed in flexible offices are critical factors impacting user productivity and satisfaction. Key considerations include:
- The Wi-Fi standard (e.g., Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E for gigabit speeds).
- Signal strength limitations.
- Equipment quality.
- Effective network management.
- IoT device integration.
Optimising these elements are essential for a robust Wi-Fi experience in flexible workspaces.
Established managed Wi-Fi providers offer customised and scalable internet solutions to meet the evolving needs of both operators and users. They deliver consistent high-speed internet via fibre-optic cables, streamline network management through cloud-based platforms, enhance security with encryption and authentication, tailor network designs, improve user experiences, and facilitate seamless IoT integration.
Providers like Glide and The Jointworks highlight improved productivity, performance, and satisfaction through reliable and scalable Wi-Fi solutions, making them valuable partners for flexible workspaces.
Scalability and Adaptability
Scalability and adaptability are vital for internet connectivity solutions in flexible office environments. Providers face challenges meeting diverse connectivity needs as client bases expand and evolve. These challenges encompass the provision of adequate bandwidth and coverage to accommodate varying user preferences and workstyles, managing multiple ISPs, ensuring network security amidst expansion, and adapting to evolving user demands.
Managed Wi-Fi providers deliver scalable solutions, meeting evolving flexible workspace needs. They provide high-speed, reliable internet access via fibre-optic cables, simplify network management through single-point contact and cloud-based platforms, enhance security with encryption and authentication, customise network design for different spaces, improve user experiences with convenient features, and enable seamless IoT integration. These providers address scalability challenges, ensuring quality internet connectivity for operators and users in dynamic, flexible office environments.
The Customer Experience
Customer experience plays a pivotal role in flexible office spaces’ success for operators and users. Exceptional Wi-Fi services offer a host of advantages. They boost user productivity and well-being by providing reliable, secure, high-speed internet access, enabling seamless online work, client communication, and access to cloud-based applications without interruptions. This streamlined experience simplifies network connectivity, location changes, and access to services and amenities.
Furthermore, superior connectivity fosters a collaborative and innovative community within flexible workspaces, facilitating connections with like-minded professionals, participation in learning events, and access to support services that nurture creativity and personal growth. These combined factors increase customer satisfaction, retention, and positive referrals.
Prioritising customer experience through superior Wi-Fi services emerges as a winning strategy in the competitive landscape of flexible office solutions. Collaborating with Managed Wi-Fi service providers enhances connectivity control in your flexible workspace.
Security and Privacy
While flexible workspaces offer numerous benefits, they also present security and privacy challenges, particularly with the increased reliance on cloud-based services. A survey by Kaspersky revealed that 73% of remote employees use personal devices to access corporate data, with 53% lacking adequate security software, leaving sensitive data vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Managed Wi-Fi providers are crucial in enhancing security measures within flexible workspaces. They offer centralised monitoring and access control, encryption, firewall, antivirus, and VPN services, fortifying the wireless network against data breaches. Furthermore, managed Wi-Fi providers provide tiered access to data, enhancing security for both commercial and residential spaces.
Collaborating with a reliable managed Wi-Fi provider empowers flexible workspace operators to ensure network security, compliance, and resilience. This not only enhances the user experience and satisfaction but also bolsters the reputation and trustworthiness of the flexible workspace brand.
Glide is a market leader in full-fibre business broadband & connectivity, delivering hyper-fast connectivity across the UK and Europe, providing connectivity to student and built-to-rent accommodation, Flexible workspaces, and data centres.
We do the complex things that the giants cannot, operating in areas that are difficult to access and difficult to service while enabling devices, buildings and cities to become smarter.
With our own national full fibre network reaching over 100,000 premises, we create better internet experiences through best-in-class fast and reliable broadband services, data analytics, business intelligence and smart building cabling expertise.
Backed by Inflexion and Gresham House, our network reach is focussed on delivering: speed, scalability & reliability. For more information about Glide, visit https://glide.co.uk/
31 October 2023
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