By Patrick Gallagher
The modern-day workspace is almost unrecognisable. Workspaces are now shaped to suit flexible work arrangements, work-life balance and collaboration. They are open areas, gone are the days of walls, personal offices and the kilometres of cabling between them. And such is the case for co-working environments. Often these shared offices become collaborative idea hubs, especially when they are home to multiple start-ups in an incubator environment.
And these next-generation workplaces require a next-generation internet network. The internet is crucial for collaboration. It is core to the sharing of information between professionals, their clients and communication amongst themselves. A fast-growing company doesn’t have the time for network issues and slow speeds. They require fast, ready-to-go internet.
So what makes a next-generation network and what key criteria should you look at when choosing a provider? Before we look at this, let’s take a look at the rise of co-work spaces in Australia.
The rise of Co-working Spaces
The number of co-working spaces in Australia is increasing exponentially. An article by the Sydney Morning Herald from this month found that over the past six years, the number of co-working spaces in Australia rose from 78 to 400. This number has grown from the appeal for these spaces to offer a flexible alternative to traditional workspaces.
Office Hub’s 2017/18 Co-working Market Report found that this shift to shared work environments has occurred due to fast delivery of flexible workspaces, flexible terms of agreements, reduced rental costs and a cultural shift by millennials to work in collaborative environments.
So what characteristics make an effective network provider for these spaces?
When it comes to a network for these spaces, speed is crucial. Often these spaces are home to fast-growing start-ups who rely on fast internet for their everyday activities. But speed is just one of a list of criteria that can meet the requirements of users. Below is a checklist of what to look for in a provider.
Co-working spaces are hubs for idea collaboration. And a lot of the time, this collaboration occurs via the network. What if the network provider could provide more than fast internet and enhance inter-organisation engagement?
An essential security feature of a shared Wi-Fi network is “private VLAN“, which restricts devices on a network from communicating with each other.
A major downside of private VLAN has been that friendly devices cannot connect to each other, which restricts sharing and casting between devices (e.g. file sharing, casting, Google Home, individual Wi-Fi printers).
The sharing of information is a crucial feature of these workspaces (e.g. large companies), the only way to overcome this has been for an IT administrator to manually set up a separate shared network (VLAN) for each group, without private VLANs. In a co-working space, this could mean 20+ different Wi-Fi networks.
So what’s the solution?
VostroNet has developed innovative software technology to ensure secure, efficient collaboration in the workplace. Dubbed ‘PrivateMesh‘, the technology uses point-and-click Wi-Fi software that enables the creation of private groups of devices. These devices not restricted from communicating with each other but are protected from all other devices.
It does so by creating and managing virtual private LANs, allowing groups to have separate secure networks within the Wi-Fi ecosystem. This allows users to share information amongst each other and devices seamlessly and securely.
What’s the Takeaway?
When choosing a solution for your Wi-Fi in co-working space, make sure you find a platform that meets the collaborative needs of that environment. Security, speed, collaboration and administration are just some of the must-have capabilities that the internet can assist within a workplace.
VostroNet delivers an advanced network that optimises the usability, security and performance of Wi-Fi for users and groups operating in co-working spaces. They deploy a dedicated fibre connection to your co-working space, connecting users via Aruba high-speed access points around work areas.
Find out more about VostroNet’s Co-Working Space Wi-Fi and our Software Platform.