Looking for a place with fantastic Internet speed, a comfortable work environment, and an escape from the kids? Read on to discover some of the most important things to consider when choosing your new workspace.
1. Great WiFi Speed
One of the most important aspects of a workspace should be that it has fantastic Internet speeds. In recent months, we’ve surely all experienced that same awkward moment when you’re talking to someone over Zoom and find that your WiFi just isn’t cutting it; their voice becomes choppy, the image pixelates, and it’s generally just an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. Having great WiFi speed can eliminate this problem completely and allow you to fully focus on the purpose of your call.
So what should you be looking for in your new workspace’s WiFi plan? By definition, WiFi speed is how much data can be downloaded (download speed) or uploaded (upload speed) per second. In both cases, speed is calculated by bits per second. To simplify matters, WiFi speeds use the prefixes of “k” (1000), “M” (1 million), and “G” (1 billion) to help users identify how fast their speeds are.
Generally speaking, a download speed of at least 3Mbps is required for standard-definition streaming, whereas you should look for 5Mbps for HD quality and 25Mbps for 4K quality, according to Netflix. This benchmark will serve you well if you’re looking to stream TV shows and movies in HD, play online games, or download music.
Similarly, if you’re looking to do a lot of video conferencing, Zoom advises users have at least 600kbps of dedicated bandwidth for one-to-one video calls, although this requirement goes up to 3Mpbs if you’re on a 1080p HD video group call, so look for workspaces that offer high-quality WiFi if you want to be as productive and error-free as possible.
However, bear in mind that the more people there are on one WiFi network, the faster you’ll need the bandwidth to be, since the upload and download speeds are shared across users. As a general rule of thumb, if you have one to two employees, you will need at least 5Mbps for light browsing. If you have 10 to 15 employees, you’ll need 150Mbps for more heavy-duty video conferencing and cloud computing. If your firm has 20 to 30 people, you should aim for 500Mbps. And if you have over 30 employees, you should look for a provider with WiFi speeds of over 1Gbps (1,000Mbps).
2. Productivity & Ergonomic Furniture
Many managers might consider ergonomic seats and desks to be a luxury when, in fact, a demanding job makes ergonomic furniture a near-necessity – especially during these strange and especially stressful times. Ergonomic chairs can lead to employees experiencing a 56% decrease in error rate and a 75% reduction in absenteeism, according to a study by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. That’s why it’s crucial that your new workspace incorporates ergonomic furniture, as your productivity will be drastically increased when sitting in a comfortable chair that’s conducive towards work.
There are also multiple health benefits to utilising ergonomic furniture. Ergonomic chairs help support the spine and other bones, reducing upper and lower back pain. They achieve this by conforming to each worker’s specific shape, supporting the spine, and keeping your joints and tissues in a neutral position. Why does this matter? Well, ConceptSeating.com found that 74% of workers experience lower back pain at their desks multiple times a week, and that lower back pain is the second most common reason why people miss work, which is why identifying workspaces that care about and invest in their customers’ physical health can be critical to your company’s bottom line.
3. Networking: Surround Yourself with Other Creatives
Surrounding yourself with other creative, like-minded people should also be a top priority when evaluating your next potential workspace. You’re most likely going to be working alone if you’re searching for a new work environment, so what better way is there to make new friends than by interacting with other, like-minded entrepreneurs that have also chosen to work in the same location?
It’s completely plausible to find opportunities for collaboration on that new project, advice on a career move, or even a quick comment about that new artwork by simply interacting with those around you. The best workspaces will undoubtedly contain an abundance of lively, interesting entrepreneurs working on exciting projects, as creative people will tend to surround themselves with other creative people, inspiring innovation at every turn.
4. Natural Lighting
If you find yourself prioritising natural lighting in your work environment, you aren’t alone. A survey by HR advisory firm Future Workplace found that over 1,600 employees ranked “access to natural light and views of the outdoors” as their most important feature when looking for a new workplace environment. But simply providing a warm glow isn’t the only benefit that natural light provides.
When you are exposed to natural lighting, your skin absorbs vitamin D, a nutrient that prevents osteoporosis (bone loss), and also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, weight gain, and various cancers. Natural lighting can also help to improve the quality of your sleep. A 2014 study of office workers found that the more natural light exposure they received, the better sleep they experienced, which is obviously crucial to one’s productivity levels. Lastly, an abundance of natural lighting means you’ll spend less time under fluorescent lights, which have been shown to increase migraines and eye strain. In some people, fluorescent light bulbs can ever trigger an elevated stress response, and should therefore be avoided, if possible.
5. Unlimited Drinks
If you’re constantly running to the kitchen while working from home and finding that you’re out of coffee or tea, consider looking for workspaces that offer unlimited drinks with their memberships, whether that be via coffee machines, bottled drinks, or assorted tea bags. Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is extremely important, especially in a working environment where you might forget to drink an appropriate amount of fluids throughout the day as you’re focused on getting that next project completed.
Dehydration can cause difficulties in concentration and short-term memory, and also leave you feeling anxious and temperamental. A CNN article detailing the merits of water found that water has many benefits that people might not be aware of. “When you’re well-hydrated, your sleep quality is better, your cognition is better, you function better, your mood is better; the list goes on,” said Douglas Casa, CEO of the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute. The importance of staying hydrated throughout the working day means that finding a workspace which will offer you the opportunity to easily replenish fluids should be a pivotal part of your decision-making process. Plus, think of the long-term cost-saving advantages!
It’s important that your new work environment contains most of – if not all of – these amenities. Not only will they help boost your motivation and energy levels, but they’ll also improve your work performance, as you’ll be working in a comfortable and efficient working environment. Amenities such as natural lighting and ergonomic chairs and desks will also help improve the quality of your health outside of the office. All in all, look for workspaces that set you up for success and provide you with an abundance of useful amenities.
Looking for a new workspace? The Hive might be the perfect place.
If you’re an entrepreneur based in Asia Pacific, and you’re looking for a workspace that incorporates all of the aforementioned amenities, then look no further than the Hive. Founded in 2012, the Hive now operates 20 coworking spaces across 7 countries in Asia Pacific, from Australia to Japan to Hong Kong and beyond, and has established a reputation as the region’s widest and most recognised flexible workspace network.