Surprising Office WiFi Killers

Nothing grinds a workplace to a halt like a lack of internet access. Gone are the days of hard-wired desktops in every office. Work environments increasingly support staff and guests with Wi-Fi, which can create a surprising amount of strain on your office wireless network, especially given the rise of devices connecting.

You might be surprised what everyday items and situations are bringing your network to a crawl. Here are the top 12 common issues impacting every office, no matter how small or large.

1. Tinted glass.

You’d think your Wi-Fi signal would sail right through, but it doesn’t. Tinted glass often has metal additives that can heavily absorb Wi-Fi signals. So if your office is full of wall-to-wall windows or glass conference rooms, it’s going to impact your signal.

 

2. Mirrors.

These are huge Wi-Fi vampires. Mirrors can cut signal strength up to 50 percent because they reflect back the signal. If the bathroom is between the router and your desk, it’s part of the problem.

 

3. Water.

You may love that aquarium in the office, but water, just like glass, is a massive Wi-Fi killer due to its density. It absorbs and traps the signal. If you’ve ever seen your signal drop at the beach or near large bodies of water, that’s why.

 

4. Chicken wire.

Metallic mesh — AKA chicken wire — is a common construction material, which means your walls are lined with metal. Metal is also a gobbler of your Wi-Fi signal. The way around this is to ensure you have enough equipment to make up the difference. You might need an extender or access point to boost the router signal.

 

5. BYOD.

Also known as “Bring Your Own Device,” is a huge trend that’s taxing most workplaces. Most routers tap out at 10-20 devices. With today’s proliferation of tablets, smartphones, laptops and wireless office equipment, like your printer or that precious Apple TV in the conference room, bandwidth gets zapped quick. Plan accordingly.

 

6. Board meetings

We’ve heard more than one horror story of IT staff scrambling as networks crash under the weight of all your board members downloading a 20 MB presentation at the same time, in the same room. Avoid irritating your board. Make sure your bandwidth is up to snuff before the meeting starts. Better yet, give them their own channel.