The Office Space Advisor Blog

IT Considerations When Choosing Office Space

Jan 29, 2015 10:12:00 AM

iStock_000026235680_LargeIn today’s technology-centric world, your IT Department will need to be fully engaged in any conversation about new office space.  It is important to ensure that technology issues do not delay your move or result in a lack of productivity for your employees in the new space. 

Do your due diligence on telecommunications availability

Telecommunications, along with furniture, are the items with the longest lead times required in a move.  The first conversation you should have when considering office space is with your current provider.  Ask if they provide service to the locations under consideration.  Discuss bandwidth requirements and capabilities as they may be close to fully subscribed in your location of choice.  Request other telecommunication options from the property management/leasing team.  Evaluate cost, effects to your current contract, and lead time for installation at the new site.  Take your IT representative on property tours to confirm voice and data network capabilities on-site.

Discuss data center requirements

Even with the availability of cloud computing, data center space and capabilities remain an important part of the puzzle when considering new office space.  Because a move can also provide the opportunity to consider changes to your company’s technology strategy, develop a technology requirements document before looking at new space.  Determine if the existing data center space in the suite meets your specifications or if additional tenant improvements must be made to accommodate your needs.  Ask your IT Department to consider, at minimum, requirements for power, cooling, fire protection, rack space, and security.

Consider how your employees will work in the space

Unless the space you are considering is brand new, prior tenants will leave behind cabling infrastructure, power and phone jacks.  Your IT Department should assess the effort for moving, replacing and adding extra cabling and power capabilities and how this aligns with your plans for furniture placement as well as locations for printers, copiers, conference rooms and kitchen space.  If you are selecting new furniture for the space, review the fit of everything from monitor configuration to phone placement to computer form factor to make sure the arrangement creates an environment for optimum employee productivity.

Review your wireless needs

A change in location means a change in office configuration which translates to a change in wireless access point set-up.  Your IT Department will want to review the number and potential locations for wireless access points in a new space.  Since most companies prefer to keep their wireless traffic off their corporate LAN/WAN, availability of separate telecommunications connections to support wireless traffic should be included in your evaluation. 

And don’t forget cellular service

Once inside a potential space, check for cellular coverage throughout the floor plate.  If you have company-managed devices, they are typically under a single carrier and you can get a clear picture of any connection problems that must be considered or addressed in the new space.  BYOD?  Poll your employees upfront to determine which carriers are being used to make sure no one is left in a cellular desert.  Cellular reception doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker as there are technologies to boost carrier capabilities inside space but it is better to know upfront what you will need to do to ensure adequate connectivity.

Considering your technology needs upfront is an important part of ensuring company productivity and employee satisfaction in your new space.