September 17, 2021

Hybrid Work Emphasizes the Importance of In-Building Wireless Networks

The pandemic significantly influenced people’s perception and preferences on their work environment. A December 2020 survey found 71 percent of employees were predominantly working from home, and over half wanted to remain that way post-pandemic. As cities begin rebounding from initial pandemic fallout, businesses that transitioned to a WFH model during the pandemic must decide if they will stay remote, return to the office, or adopt a hybrid model with the latter expected to be the new standard. 


Hybrid work includes offering employees the flexibility to come into the office when they choose, or set requirements for certain tasks, such as planning meetings, to be done in person while working remotely in all other instances. Each of these work models places more emphasis and reliance on wireless connectivity moving forward, particularly for commercial real estate developers who now have tenants that view their residence as a place of work. From collaborating on shared documents to video conferencing, hybrid workforces will demand a lot more from mobile networks.


Multi-family residential complexes were already beginning to market wireless connectivity as a key differentiator prior to the pandemic but as homes become offices it’s going to become table stakes. They must enable employees to successfully work from home without the threat of disruptions from connectivity problems or risk unhappy tenants. 


In order to establish a seamless network, commercial real estate developers should understand how factors like building materials and floor plans can impact a network’s performance. As real estate continues to discover the kind of wireless solutions they want in their buildings it’s important to invest in a modular distributed antenna system (DAS) capable of supporting LTE, 5G bands (including mmWave and mid-band) and CBRS for private networks to avoid a rip and replace in the future. One innovative use case in commercial real estate is our work with Crescent Heights for NEMA Chicago where residents can have access to their custom-built mobile app anywhere inside the venue to submit maintenance requests, approve guest access, manage deliveries, contact-free package pick-up and more.  


Hybrid work models will continue to rise as the cities deal with pandemic variants that disrupt plans for a full return to the office. In order to support employees, no matter where they are working, commercial building owners need to deploy high-performing networks that can handle the uptick in routine activity.

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