How to get that bird's nest of office cables under control

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How to get that bird's nest of office cables under control

From cable ducting to going wireless, here are five ways to get control of the cable clutter in your workplace.

 

Wherever there is a computer lies a rat's nest of cables. Power, network, USB, smartphone docks - each adds more mess. Unless your computer is adjacent to a power point you also need to find ways to run cables in a way that cause you to trip of do the limbo when you walk across the office.
 
Here are five tips for reducing cable clutter.
 
1. Install new power points
If the power-points are too far away or in the wrong place, call an electrician and get some new ones. Although that sounds like a big deal, unless things are particularly tricky, you can probably get a couple of double power-points installed for around $250. However, a hidden cost might be the need to add safety switches as new power outlets must be connected to safety switches. 
 
2. Audit and label the cables
Cable labels from Cablemanagement
 
Look at every cable and trace its path. Write down where it comes from, where it goes and label both ends. I have a container of cheap multi-coloured cable ties. I connect different combinations to each end of a cable although you could use a labeller or some purpose-made cable labels.
 
3. Tuck cables away
Cable ducting from Cablemanagement
 
If you need to run a cable from one end of a room to the other tuck it into the corner between the carpet and wall. Unless it's a thick cable you might be able to tuck into the angle neatly. If that doesn't work, you can buy some cable ducting. It's a u-shaped channel that the cable sits in. Once the cable is in place, there's a lid that hides the cable. 
 
4. Shorter cables
Chances are that many of the cables you use are far longer than needed. I'd also guess that you have a small box or drawer full of unused cables tucked away somewhere. if you don't need a metre of cable, see if you can find a shorter one.
 
5. Go wireless
Mice, keyboards, networks, speakers... all of these can be hooked up wirelessly these days. Whatever can be done wirelessly should be. Just keep a set of rechargeable batteries handy and full of juice.
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