Lack of mobile signal is a massive source of frustration for British office workers. In this blog we explore why that is, how to solve the problem, and who needs to step up and do something about it.
In 2019 we expect to be connected to the rest of the world; wherever, whenever. So it’s understandably infuriating when you step through the doors of your office building and feel the familiar feeling of isolation kick in.
Every damn day.
Arqiva ran a study recently which showed that as many as 49% of workers are subjected to poor mobile signal when inside their office building. 72% said they experienced this frustration every week and an entire quarter of respondents get it daily.
What is it that’s cutting so many of us off from the rest of the world?
Thing is, the technology that provides mobile signal’s there, but it’s just not working for a lot of office workers right now.
And the reason? Modern building materials. It really is as simple as that.
Things like steel frames, insulation and treated glass – all commonplace in virtually every office building in the UK – throw a spanner in the works behind mobile signal. Yep, they tend to block it.
Does it really matter though?
In a word, yes. It really does.
See, this generation of workers are used to living life connected. Phones have come a long way since we basically just used them for Snake and the odd call.
Now, mobile phones are a crucial part of our professional lives as well as our personal.
Another recent study found that 43% of workers think that poor mobile signal is significantly detrimental to their job performance; either because they struggle to contact clients and colleagues or because tasks take longer than needed.
They did not like the fact that they could become uncontactable so frequently either.
It’s affecting mental health too
Twenty-six per cent of the 1000 respondents in the same study said that a lack of mobile signal at work causes them extreme stress and frustration.
In an age where mental health is quite rightly taking more and more precedence, this emotional impact is exactly the kind of thing that business owners can’t ignore. And it’s crucial for the sake of productivity too.
So… Is there a solution?!
Of course. But it’s not a particularly quick one.
The simple solution is to put a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) for mobile signal enhancement inside the problematic buildings.
A DAS works thanks to its network of small antennae that link to a central hub and to Mobile Network Operators’ (MNO) mobile signal stations. They work as mobile signal boosters to create reliable coverage for people inside and close to the building.
Sounds simple enough. Now who needs to do what?
There are two main stakeholders who should take responsibility here: business owners and buildings and facilities managers. But they’ll only be able to make a difference through collaboration.
Let’s talk quickly about how both of those parties can help find a solution.
What should business owners be doing?
First and foremost, business owners need to be proactive. Gone are the days when they can leave mobile signal for an afterthought.
In practice, that means doing research properly before agreeing to move a business into a new building. They need to make multiple site trips to any new locations and check mobile signal throughout each visit.
Don’t move in unless you’re satisfied that your employees won’t hate your decision. Data suggests that one in four would look for a new job if they couldn’t get mobile signal at work, you know.
What about buildings and facilities managers?
If they want to keep good clients and strike new rental agreements, building operators need to take mobile signal strength seriously too.
For their part, they’ll need to implement infrastructure into their buildings that would support every MNO. It’s also time to start investigating the best in-building solutions for their properties now, with the hope that doing so will trigger a change in the approach of commercial property construction companies.
Because if the builders got on board and incorporated mobile signal enhancement solutions into every build, there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.
But until that change comes about, the best option is for buildings manager to instruct a professional mobile signal installer to put in a Distributed Antenna System with mobile signal repeaters.
At ZoneWave, we provide business grade mobile signal solutions just like this. Using cutting edge technology and Nextivity Cel-Fi products that comply with Ofcom licensing laws, we can provide complete coverage for any building.
So if you’re a building manager looking for mobile signal enhancement, give us a call on 0203 985 7666.
And if you’re a business owner who’s fed up of productivity dips and unhappy workers because of a lack of mobile signal, tell your building manager to get in touch too!