New research by WiredScore, to mark its Scottish launch, has shown that despite being of greatest importance to business leaders when choosing office space, companies in Scotland continue to be blighted with poor connectivity.
WiredScore is an international scheme that rates and provides transparency on the infrastructure, connectivity and technological capacity of office buildings.
When asked about the most important criteria when choosing office space, the quality of internet connection and coverage through mobile networks was of greatest value to Scottish business leaders – cited as important by 91% of respondents (with 60% indicating it is very important). 90% of respondents also stated that both price and location were important.
However, Scottish businesses continue to experience internet outages on average six times per month. Almost half of businesses (47%) experience problems at least once a week and 8% suffer outages every day.
The business impact of internet outages reported by business leaders include:
- Decreases in productivity (54%)
- Creates tension and stress in the office (52%)
- Prevents of efficient communications with clients and customers (44%)
- Loss of sales (37%)
The resounding majority of Scottish business leaders (96%) think Scotland is a great place to do business, thanks to its quality of life, commercial property prices and transport links (60%, 46% & 38% respectively).
However, greater investment from the public sector, better funding opportunities for small businesses and closer links with universities were all cited as factors that could make Scotland more attractive for businesses (37%, 28% & 32% respectively). And nearly half of business leaders (44%) cited the importance of improved internet connection and coverage through mobile networks.
With high expectations for quality internet, 9 in 10 Scottish business leaders believe that reliable connectivity should be a priority provided and maintained by the landlord of the office building.
To help Scottish landlords and developers gain a better understanding into the state of their digital infrastructure and market, WiredScore is launching its digital rating scheme for commercial property, Wired Certification, in Scotland.
Bringing buildings to life
The organisation says Wired Certification brings transparency on connectivity to the commercial property sector by providing developers and landlords with an independent, trusted mark that helps them optimise and demonstrate the calibre of their digital infrastructure, and enables businesses to make better informed decisions on office space.
Nearly 2 million sq ft of Scottish office space has already been committed to Wired Certification, by landlords including the Ambassador Group, Ardstone Capital, Blackrock, Broadoak Asset Management, FORE Partnership, HFD Group, Kennedy Wilson, Kier Development, M&G Real Estate, Parabola, Picton, Rockspring and Wirefox.
The global digital rating scheme that was first developed by leaders in real estate, technology and telecoms in New York now has 1,400 buildings committed to certification, with four million people working in Wired Certified buildings across the US, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, and now in Scotland.
William Newton, president and EMEA MD at WiredScore, says, “We’re seeing a shift in Scottish industry, with the digital sector forecast to grow more than twice as fast as the overall Scottish economy in the years up to 2024. To support both these burgeoning innovative tech companies, as well as enabling all businesses to harness the power of digital to improve services and processes, business leaders need assurance that their office space has the capacity to meet their technological needs.
“There has been an overwhelming response by the landlords and developers who have partnered with us for WiredScore’s launch in Scotland. This demonstrates the understanding and investment the real estate industry is making to ensure Scottish businesses are working in spaces that are not just fit for purpose – but will allow them to thrive.”
WiredScore commissioned Censuswide to interview 250 Scottish business leaders about their experiences and perceptions of Scotland as a business hub. The polling was conducted over a four-day period between the February 9-13, 2017.
- Connectivity is the most important factor for Scottish business leaders when choosing office space
- Scottish businesses experience internet outages on average six times per month – almost half of businesses (47%) experience problems at least once a week
- 54% of respondents said internet outages decrease productivity and 37% report a loss of sales
- 9 in 10 Scottish business leaders believe reliable connectivity should be a landlords priority