Cable clutter is a big concern for small businesses — just one computer can have six or seven cords. If you’re working in a tight space, those cords can become a hazard. [By finding ways to hide and manage your cables, you can protect your electronics and keep your staff safe.]
Conceal Cords With Cable Covers
Do you have clumps of cables running along the walls or floorboards in your office? Cable covers are a great solution. These long, thin pieces of plastic fit over the cords, making your space look less cluttered. They also protect the cords and prevent you from accidentally yanking one out of its port. If you need to run a cable or two across the floor, covers can prevent your employees from tripping over them.
Break Out Your Label Maker
Have you ever struggled to find the right cord on a power strip or computer tower? You’re not alone. Labels can be a big help — simply place one on each end of a cord for fast identification. If you need a quick solution, take standard address labels, and fold them over a cable. The ends stick together and provide plenty of space for writing. For a less sticky solution, you can buy cable flags that fasten like zip ties. When you’re dealing with thick cable clumps, try tiny sticker labels that attach to the adapter box or plug.
Control Cable Clusters
You’re probably familiar with the wild nests of cables that form near power strips. As part of your quest for a more organized office, you can tame the beast by binding cords together. This prevents individual cables from getting tangled, so you don’t have to worry about kicking them under your desk or next to the printer. It also makes them easier to pull out of the way. Zip ties work well, but for more flexibility, try hair elastics or spiral cable wraps.
Get Cables Out of the Way
Once you’ve clumped cables together, it’s a good idea to get them off the floor, where they’re more vulnerable to damage. One convenient option is to run these clumps up a wall or under a desk. If your power strips are getting in the way, mount a wire cable tray under the desktop to hold the strip off the floor. The basket keeps cables in check, and most use an open-frame design to allow cooling airflow to reach your adapter boxes and prevent overheating.
Eliminate Extra Length
Extra length is the enemy of efficient cable management. When your cords are just long enough to get the job done, they’re less likely to get tangled. Once you have everything plugged in, survey each cord. Does it have more than 6 inches of extra length? If so, it’s time to shorten it. You can shorten Ethernet cables on your own. For others, simply replace them with a shorter model. If that’s not possible, loop the excess cable, and secure it with a zip tie. This strategy keeps cables taut, so they’re not as unruly.
Great cable management makes your office look neater and prevents accidental disconnection. When you’re not tripping over cords or wasting time hunting for the right cable, you can also be a lot more productive.