When it comes to the cords that empower today’s technology, small business owners, home office workers and even corporate network engineers all suffer the same dilemma. Without a way to organize, house and label wires, the desk, baseboards and nooks behind the monitor or PC tower can become a cacophony of cluttered cables.
Wires are essential to connect computers, printers, scanners, home theater equipment and even telephone systems. Yet, even in the age of Wi-Fi, where laptops and other devices are connected without physical cables, the role wires play – and the chaos they can yield, is pervasive.
“The more we hear about the wireless workplace, wireless networks and the Bluetooth-enabled home, the more wires we seem to get,” said Paul Holstein, vice president with CableOrganizer.com, a Pompano Beach, Fla.-based retailer of various cable and wire organizing devices. “Taming and naming snarled wires helps clear the workstation and ease the frustration.”
Controlling the cables that connect such devices not only brings organization, it makes troubleshooting technology woes easier. By arranging and labeling connections by the device they serve, installing or removing hardware and remembering which cable serves which device, becomes much easier.
Organizing wires and cables is more than an issue of creating order from chaos. It’s a matter of workplace safety as well. Local, state and federal agencies regulate workplace safety issues, ranging from fire to accidental hazards. A trip over an exposed cable can send a worker to the hospital and raise workman’s compensation insurance rates. Loose or exposed wires in the home office can lead to entanglement by kids or pets, and damage to computer systems.
Here are a few tips to help better organize cables and wires:
- Plan ahead. When building or renovating a home, room or office space, plan where outlets, desks, doors and windows should go to best accommodate your technology. This will eliminate long lengths of exposed cable and wires laid along baseboards or other open areas.
- Tame with tubes. Using wire chases, looms, sleeves, ducts or tubing on, under or behind desks and furniture to control cabling clutter.
- Mark it. Use labels, colored cable ties or permanent pen to identify wires and cables, showing the devices they serve or, in the case of phone lines, the numbers they carry.
“From aesthetics to functionality and even safety regulations, wires are an important consideration in any office,” Holstein said. “They’re easily overlooked, but not something a business owner wants to get tripped up on.”
Jeff Zbar, the
href="http://www.ChiefHomeOfficer.com">ChiefHomeOfficer.com, is a speaker, writer and expert on
alternative officing. He is the author of Teleworking & Telecommuting:
Strategies for Remote Workers and Their Managers (Made E-Z Products,
Safe@Home: Seven Keys to Home
Office Security (FirstPublish 2001) and Your Profitable Home Business
CD-ROM from Made E-Z Products). Visit his Web site to subscribe to Home
Office Success Stories, his free electronic magazine on home business