The typical business office environment is filled with corded devices; electrical, network, audio, data, and telephone cables can be found everywhere, and the tangle of cords can become overwhelming. Not only are cords unattractive and potentially dangerous as a trip hazard, they make cleaning difficult and become dust traps as a result. That is why you should know how to manage your office cords to prevent "cord clutter" from becoming a mess-making problem. Keep reading to learn a few helpful hints:
Use cord sleeves to bundle cables
In many cases, cords and cables run roughly parallel to each other from device-to-outlet or from device-to-device. These clusters of cords can be better controlled whenever cord sleeves are used to wrap cords into neat bundles.
Cord sleeves consist of a variety of designs, including spirals, zip cases and simple tubing. Completely-sealed sleeves provide the most protection since they don't permit dust to enter and can also protect cords from damage. Be sure that whatever sleeve type you choose is capable of holding a sufficient quantity of cables and try to purchase sleeves that will be expandable should you need to include additional cables in the future.
Consider in-wall installation for permanently-mounted cords
For areas within your office where electronic devices are mounted in a permanent location, such as wall-mounted flat screen monitors, it may make sense to reinstall cables inside the wall space behind the device. This may cost more upfront due to parts and installation charges, but in-wall installations are neater and remove the presence of dust-gathering cables.
When installing cables behind walls, it is important to use building code-approved cable types, such as Romex wiring. Unapproved cables may fail when placed in an environment other than that for which they were designed, resulting in possible fire danger.
Implement color coding to simplify cable tracing and reduce length
Another means to gain control of your cord clutter is to identify each cable with an appropriate pair of colored tags. Color coding offers the advantage of helping you understand exactly where each cord is routed and can also help you decide how long each cord needs to be; this will reduce clutter by eliminating unnecessarily long cords.
Each cord should have a tag at the end closest to the device and the other end where the cord connects to the power outlet or other device. For lengthy cord runs, place additional tags in the middle sections of the cords to expedite identification. As an alternative, and if you have the funds available, purchase cables with colored insulation.
Utilize cord manager spools to reduce excess length
As mentioned, excess cord length can be problematic in contributing to clutter. Simply coiling cords or wrapping them loosely can leave a messy tangle on the floor, and dust and dirt will accumulate inside the bundle.
To reduce excess length, you can substitute longer cords with shorter ones, but this can be expensive or impractical in some scenarios. As an alternative, using self-wrapping cord spools can be an ideal means of controlling cord lengths. Simply roll the cables around the self-wrapping cord spools, then fold the edges of the spools over the coils to lock them into position.
Choose wireless options if available
Fortunately, many devices are now available with wireless communication capabilities. These connections eliminate the need for data cabling, at the least, and this reduces your cord clutter considerably when multiplied across different devices. As a possible disadvantage, however, keep in mind that some wireless connectivity is limited depending on proximity, internet service and other variables. In addition, if your environment is highly secured, wireless communication may not be an option due to concerns about maintaining data confidentiality.
In addition to organizing your cords, consider hiring janitorial services for your office.