7 Tips for Technology Success When Leasing Office Space

7 Tips for Technology Success When Leasing Office Space

By teladata | April 09, 2024 |

In the current leasing environment, bargains can be found by leasing a space that was built out and paid for by others, often offered as “Plug and Play” or move-in ready. Some spaces include everything from interior improvements to furniture, decor, and technology. 

A fully furnished and highly equipped office space can greatly reduce the time and expense required to build your new space—except that isn’t always the case with technology. Sometimes, these spaces have impressive-looking audiovisual systems, data wiring, network switches, wireless access points (WAPS), security card readers, and video surveillance cameras, but don’t be fooled by sexy-looking tech gear or that the previous tenant was a big-name or else “Plug and Pray” will be your mantra. 

What worked for the previous inhabitant isn’t necessarily going to meet your requirements. With technology, new tenants should plan for a worst-case budget and schedule. Then, do a thorough assessment and try to improve on it. 

If you’re exploring Plug and Play opportunities, keep these workplace technology considerations close:

1. Internet Service Providers (ISP)

The first thing is first: find out what Internet Service Providers are already installed. For example, if your organization has standardized with CenturyLink and the prospective building only has AT&T and NTT, that could eliminate that site or add considerable time and expense to add your preferred ISP. It is imperative to engage early. Whether you’re ordering from a new or existing ISP, the process will take time. Planning and ordering the ISP is a critical path item and is required for the commissioning of Audiovisual and Security systems to meet first-day business expectations. 

2. Cellular Signal Strength-Distributed Antenna System (DAS)

Cellular signal strength (or lack thereof) can have tangible business impacts. Test the cellular signal on all three major carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint/T-Mobile). Some geographic locations have poor cellular reception for one or more of those carriers. The remedy is for tenants to install a DAS to boost the signal in their office. A DAS installation can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take months to coordinate. Ideally, the previous tenant has already installed DAS, or it can be added as part of lease negotiations.

3. IT Infrastructure

Does the existing data cabling support your required network speeds of 100M/1G/10G (Cat5e/6/6A)? Is the quantity and location of network cables sufficient for each desk space or office? Is the existing IDF/MDF dedicated to your space or shared with other tenants? Does the existing IDF/MDF have enough power and cooling and is it operational 24/7? Is it located on a different floor? Is it large enough? Is any of the network cabling routed below your floor? If the floor below is occupied by others, do you have network security requirements that necessitate preventing other companies from accessing your network cabling, thus requiring it to be installed in conduit?

Answering these questions and more before occupying a space is critical—and can help you identify potential roadblocks early on. 

4. Security and Employee Safety

Before signing a lease agreement, evaluate potential threats to security and employee safety. Inspect the building exterior to be sure that only authorized personnel can gain entrance, and be sure the egress path to the parking area or public transportation is safe. Does the building and/or elevators have card key access? Are there video surveillance cameras strategically located at entrance and exit doors to provide an audit trail of who traveled through doors and when? How are interior doors secured? Do they unlock with old-fashioned keys, or is there a card or fob system in place with electrified locks? Whatever you find, it will most likely need to be modified or upgraded to suit your requirements.

5. Audiovisual

Mark up a floor plan and denote where you want Audiovisual capabilities. Then, check each room to determine if there is existing equipment and if you can use the existing gear. If conference rooms have been configured for Zoom calls but your organization has standardized on Teams, for example, you will require modifications. Most equipment requires a use license, and they do not automatically transfer to a new tenant. It will take time to transfer each license and may incur fees. Understanding these details up front will allow you to set a more accurate budget and timeline for upgrades and changes.

6. Acoustics

Poor acoustics in conference rooms and group gathering spaces can sabotage the experience. Glass walls, hard floors, and hard furniture can create an echo chamber. The remedy is soft surfaces and acoustic treatments. These can range from easy-to-install panels to spraying acoustic material on ceilings or adding carpeting. Speech Privacy systems (white noise) can mitigate sounds traveling past the intended zones and can greatly reduce noise and increase privacy. If the previous tenant has addressed these issues, you won’t need to. Adding Speech Privacy will require additional wiring and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

7. Technology Assessment, Scope, ROM, Schedule

The reality of leasing office space is that there will always be a need for technology modifications. What worked for the previous tenant isn’t necessarily going to meet your expectations or requirements. The first step is gaining an understanding of existing standards for ISP, DAS, Security, Audiovisual and IT Infrastructure. Create a checklist and schedule an on-site inspection and technology assessment early in the process—for each space you are considering. Use the checklist to identify the gaps, note potential solutions, and create a corresponding Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) cost estimate and a schedule to complete installation and testing. Teladata can provide this service on each prospective site under consideration. This service has a minimal cost and will elevate your search from Plug and Pray to Plug and Play.

Let’s Work Together

Teladata’s site evaluation service identifies gaps and opportunities for custom modifications that will make a space truly your own. We’re here to help drive and support your mission while demystifying the unknown of occupying a Plug and Play space. We’ll check all the nooks and crannies to ensure your team can work efficiently and effectively come move-in day. 

The Teladata team is ready to help you with your next workplace technology project. Learn more about the time and cost-saving advantages of hiring a full-service consultant. We look forward to connecting!