Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes
6th November 2020
Well, here we are again… back to working from home. Officially for four weeks, but I don’t think anyone is going to bet big money on that definitely being the case!
But this time it feels very different…
It already feels like a lifetime ago for many, but remember that feeling of “now what?” as we went into the first lockdown? This time we know pretty well exactly what – from an Enterprise IT point of view anyway!
This time it’s back to what worked last time, but it’s also noticeable that IT teams are planning and building for 2021 and beyond.
Of course, we’re seeing demand step up for our homeConnect service as people realise they’re back to home working for some time, but the main thread I wanted to pick up this week relates to the office spaces that are now, at least here in the UK, empty again.
We had a great meeting with one of our more forward-thinking customers this week to discuss office Wi-Fi. On the surface of it, you could argue that this seems a bit incongruous in the current climate, but it’s actually rather timely.
Office space… now… why?
The simple reason is that the world has changed in the past six months for many IT teams. Lots of laptops now exist where they didn’t before, but also there has been that small matter of the way staff interact with each other shifting substantially to the use of video communication.
All of this is a substantial shift in the way people work and, by extension, it will lead to a shift in the demands on office space if/when people do return.
Clearly, some are saying that the office is dead, but the reality is likely to be different for many. For a start, buildings are not a commodity that can be turned on and off like a tap – the lead times are potentially very long. There is also a growing realisation that a pure home working solution isn’t going to be the complete answer in the future and that the office still has a role to play long-term.
So, if we work on the premise that the office is going to stay around, then the more important question is really about how that space will be used going forward. Many are predicting a much more flexible type of working going forward.
This is where the shift in how users now work has to be factored in. Meetings have changed, with video now a core part of how meetings are held, there is a need to make sure that meeting spaces in the office are ready for this. In addition, it’s necessary to consider how a traditional open-plan office will work with lots of video calls going on…
Lots to consider, but we’ve potentially got a big shift coming:
- Everyone now has a laptop
- People are moving around much more
- Video conferencing is the default for many meetings now
This is in many ways a perfect storm brewing for demand on Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi in many offices is often viewed as a utility that will just keep up, but it will very likely have been designed before all of this change. And it is obvious what comes next. It’s not a giant leap to see what overloaded Wi-Fi is going to do to this new way of working, with impact on video collaboration a key concern.
So, it’s time to look at office Wi-Fi!
As with our customer this week, it’s time to consider all this. We have the perfect opportunity to get ahead of the curve and plan for this. The office is empty – it’s arguably the best time to be implementing something!
Definitely, one to consider for your 2021 planning…
As always, please do get in touch if you’d like help with this – we’re experts in providing wireless deployments across the globe.