TheSquareFoot is a fellow NYC-based startup that assists companies in finding the perfect office space. Co-founder Aron Susman shares the story about the time their internet went out—and how sometimes it takes an internet emergency to realize how much we truly rely on it to power our businesses and our lives. Find out more about TheSquareFoot on their website.
We at TheSquareFoot were very excited to move into our new office in Chelsea. After time spent in a co-working space, we liked the prospect of having a home base all to ourselves. Even though we had this great new space, one key thing kept us from optimal productivity: our lack of reliable internet. As it turned out, the big name internet provider for the building failed to provide us with the dependability and reliability we were expecting.
It quickly became clear that we could not run our basic day-to-day operations in a condition reminiscent of the stone-age (or at least 1980s). In today's world, the internet and the ability to quickly and easily access it are so embedded in basic business functions, that we often overlook how crucial it is to the core of a company's operations—whether it's a startup or an established corporation. It's like breathing in that it's so essential and ingrained at all times that we often forget how important it is, until it's gone.
"In today's world, the internet and the ability to quickly and easily access it are so embedded in basic business functions."
Our internet blip disrupted our productivity and caused a fair amount of frustration. After making too many calls to our internet provider and watching the engineer they sent out fail to fix the problem, we admitted defeat and worked out of our CEO’s apartment for most of the week. Having to leave our brand new office space was a huge disruption and a hit to our company's psyche, after just settling in and getting comfortable. Searching for and selecting office space provides cohesion, identity, and unity for a growing business, and to lose that over a poor internet connection felt like a huge step back. Taking employees out of their comfort zone will inevitably have a negative effect on productivity, there's no way around it.
The Square Foot offices in Flatiron, NYC
One huge relief to our temporary connectivity dilemma was Karma. With the mission of making the search for WiFi less frustrating, Karma developed hotspots that allow users to create their own personal WiFi network by grabbing and converting 4G signals. Small enough to fit in your pocket, Karma hotspots can be used anywhere. Karma goes a step further by encouraging users to share their Karma by incentivizing users to share their connection with others – as long as each user pays for his or her own data plan. We found this very useful in an office setting.
These little Karma hotspots helped to save TheSquareFoot team hours of valuable time and allowed us to return to our shiny new home before getting our internet fully repaired. It also helps sleep at night that if it happens again, we will just bust out our Karma!