May 28, 2020
What Real Connectivity Looks Like
Picture this: A freelance software developer is working from their apartment on a big project. It’s quiet, save for the clacking of keys on the keyboard. The smell of tea wafts through the air. This particular project has taken a long time to complete, and the freelancer is almost done. The freelancer, proud of their accomplished work, is completely dreading what comes after delivering the finished product - searching and applying for another project to be a part of.
Marketing is the hardest part. This freelancer lives alone in their apartment, has barely any time to socialize, and works hard to afford where they live. After a finalized project, the stress of networking, getting out there, and closing a deal is difficult and time-consuming. What the freelancer wishes, is that they could focus on what drives them rather than what stresses them.
That’s where a real connected community comes into play. By real, I mean a physical place. A place where people live, work, and enjoy their lives. A real connected community has the infrastructure to support you in your professional and personal needs. In addition to that, there are real people in a community like this. They pass you in the hallway; they smile at you; they remind you that you aren’t alone. A real connected community is a place that serves you, rather than confines you.
Let’s talk about the infrastructure of a truly connected community. If there’s one quality that a connected community needs above anything else, it’s its omnipresence. The framework should be there around every community member, ready to be utilized, but non-intrusive. But what needs to be there? What should a community member expect when they belong to all this connectedness? Those are the important questions.
High-Speed Internet There needs to be fast and reliable internet throughout. Anyone should be able to bring their device into this community, connect from anywhere, and have enough bandwidth to support what they need to work on, whether it’s for business, e-commerce, or social. There can’t be hiccups, speed issues, or security issues. Not only that, it needs to work for the community members at a higher level. They need to be able to configure the network to how it best serves their needs. If they can plug in, create their own private network from the main source, and configure it to how they want, that’s magic. Achievable magic.
Telework Community members need to feel like they can work wherever they want, without interruptions to their services or amenities. There needs to be ample space for individual workflows, group sessions, meetings, conferences, production, and creativity. A connected community is a community of people working on projects around the country and the world, and the community members shouldn’t have to move to a new location to do their job.
Data This is a big one. Data needs to work in two major ways: for the community and for the space itself. By utilizing new spatial and IoT technologies, a community can be more connected than ever to ensure the safety and health of its community members. Understanding what spaces are utilized the most through heatmaps, knowing what spaces are occupied/available, cleaning spaces after detected use, and maintaining constant, yet non-intrusive security is a must-have. A community member shouldn’t have to worry about anything other than what they want to.
In addition to working for the community, understanding data for the community space is equally important. Remote monitoring of energy consumption, maximizing optimal use areas, and recycling of power are just a few ways a community can utilize the connected infrastructure to not only reduce costs, but drastically reduce the environmental footprint.
Create Opportunities Bridging the gap between human interaction and the framework of a community is rooted in creating the opportunity for human moments to occur. A real connected community provides an assortment of information to the community members to engage with:
- Local events
- Networking events
- Experts in fields that serve the needs of the community
By creating spaces for people to meet and learn, the community becomes a place of personal and professional growth.
In the end, the infrastructure of a real connected community should be there for its members to feel empowered and innovative. It should be responsive, digital, and expandable.
When you have the infrastructure in place, the in-person community grows into it. Community members who live and work in a space like this will be more likely to confer and clatch; they’ll share ideas, motivate each other, and learn from each other’s failures and successes. Ultimately, it’s rooted in caring for the individual. When people work together and help each other, they show they care. They grow faster, too.
Let’s go back to the freelance software developer. They have decided to move to a real connected community, a community that supports their professional and personal needs. There are other similar entrepreneurs in the same community, and they now refer to each other for expertise, leads, and network growth. Now the freelancer can finally do what they want: deliver professional products.
A real connected community closes the social gap between work and life. It provides the necessary tools and the opportunity to launch careers, projects, teams, businesses, and goals. It’s there for you, whenever you need it.