Freedom for office tables: getting rid of the cable tangle!
Magazine Contact #17
From tablets, notebooks, smartphones to bluetooth and wi-fi networks interlinking entire offices - the technology industry constantly invents new ways of getting rid of the annoying cables. At least on the face of it. Because as an office person "by trade" you get the impression that the exact opposite is happening: the more wireless units are used the more cables are there lying or hanging around in the room; because eventually, all these mobile office gadgets want to be charged from time to time. And the stationary units from the monitor to the desk lamp are "powerless" without electricity.
Technology without cable?
The current technology trends for the office make it clear that the requirements in terms of cabling and electric power supply at the workplace are by no means declining: It is true that the conventional desktop PC may be disappearing from the mass market more and more. But it is replaced, on the one hand, by "all-in-one" devices (monitor and CPU in one), and, on the other hand, by powerful notebooks or smart PCs (a hybrid of notebook and tablet). They, too, need cables.
And the network cable remains with us as well. Wireless networks are used only as ancillary systems, at least in medium-sized or larger companies. Compared with modern (fibre-optic) cable networks, the performance deficits in terms of network access are still substantial. Security aspects, too, suggest the use of cabled networks in enterprises.
Wi-fi systems unfold their full potential especially in common areas, waiting zones, lounges, as well as conference and seminar rooms, permitting the mobile and uncomplicated access to the network for all participants staying there.
And there's yet another trend to be identified: mainly in technical, graphical and various IT-intensive departments the second monitor at the workplace has almost become a standard. And this means: an additional cable!
Office furniture with integral cable management
Cable tangle is bad taste not only for reasons of organization and safety, but also for aesthetic reasons. Small wonder that more and more enterprises are looking for adequate solutions for a clean cable management in the office. Therefore, office furniture manufacturers have made it their business to conceal the cables, offering their customers a number of different ways of doing it: from the plain cable grommet (with or without cable loom) via cable trays, cable ducts (below desk level) to separate technology stations, which keep the worktable completely free from cables.
As regards electric power supply, many office furniture manufacturers cooperate with specialised enterprises, which offer everything from plain multiple socket outlets to multimedia data boxes with customizable connections for power, network, VGA, HDMI or audio. The decisive criterion is what customers and/or their users need.
And one more aspect: wherever mobile technology such as notebooks, tablets, or smartphones is used, special attention should be paid to "plug & play" cable management: because nobody wants to fumble around when plugging and unplugging his or her device.