Technology is amazing, but one of the drawbacks to it is the amount of cables that can accompany it. There are often messy cables that can be found beneath a desk, and that disorganized mess not only looks bad, it can even impact productivity, increase stress levels, and hinder the ability to concentrate.
Though it can seem frustrating in the moment, getting the messy cords under your desk under control is almost therapeutic in a way, and once it’s done, you will feel so much better! Especially when there are so many tools and office reconfiguration solutions now to help.
Types of Cable Management Products
There are a variety of different types of cubicle accessories and cable management solutions. Some of the most common are discussed below.
Cable Ties, Clips, and Clamps
The first and most obvious option for under desk cable management is to make use of cable ties. Cable ties can be used to tie up the extra length of long cables, as well as to tie numerous messy cables together.
Alternatively, you can use clamps and clips as they are an easier and more financially sustainable option; they can be taken on and off as needed, while a cable tie might have to be cut permanently to remove.
Baskets and Trays
Cable management baskets and trays are another great option to declutter your under desk space. Most of the baskets and trays are designed to be attached to the underside of the desk. You can then put on whatever cables, power cords, and wires you use in the basket or on the desk cable management tray.
For long cables, you might have to use both cable ties and a basket to keep them neatly in place. Cable management trays and baskets come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs.
A cable or wire management box is similar to baskets and desk cable organizer trays, except it is closed-off from all sides. It is designed to be attached to the underside of the desk and can be used to store all your unsightly wires and cables neatly. Closing the lid of the box ensures nothing falls out and keeps all those wires out of sight and out of mind.
Under Desk Covers
Lastly, you can also make use of an under desk cover to organize and tuck away all the unsightly wires and cables under your desk. They are basically sheets of plastic or metal that are designed to stick to the underside of the desk.
The idea is to put the wires and cables between the underside of the table and the covers. That will keep them in place and prevent tangling or tripping.
As an easier and cheaper alternative to under desk covers, you can also just use any sturdy tape to attach the wires and cables to the underside of the desk, or on the inner sides of the table legs.
What Steps Can You Take to Implement Under Desk Cable Management in Your Workplace?
There are several steps you can take to get your cable mess tamed.
Step 1: Detach the Cables
The first step is to detach the cables from any electronic devices and power outlets. This is essential not only for your safety, but also to allow you to detangle all the wires and start arranging them from scratch. However, if you are setting up your desk space for the first time, you can skip this step.
Step 2: Position the Power Strip
The next thing is to establish the location of your power outlets and determine where you will be positioning your power strip. You can place the power strip on the underside of the desk, as well as on the inside of the table legs to keep them hidden and out of the way.
Step 3: Install Your Chosen Cable Management Solution
Once you are done with the power strip, it’s time to install the features of your chosen cord management solution. For example, if you are planning to use an under desk tray, you can attach it to the desk and tie up any extra-long cables as needed.
Step 4: Attach Your Devices
Finally, attach the cable bundles and loose cords, including your network cables to their respective electronic devices on both sides, i.e., to the monitor, surge protector, and computer system, as well as to the power outlets or power strip. Once they are attached, put these multiple cables in your cable management solution and tidy up!
How Does Under Desk Cable Management Increase Workplace Productivity?
If you spend most of your time trying to untangle the cables under your desk whenever you need to connect or remove something, there isn’t going to be a lot of time left for work.
Not only that, but if your focus and attention is on making sure you don’t get stuck in the cables and trip, it can be harder to focus on the work you are supposed to do. Plus, it can also hinder proper social distancing in the office.
Just those reasons alone make it clear how under desk cable management can have a direct effect on workplace productivity. Put simply, by decluttering the space under your desk, you free up space in your mind to allow you to focus on the tasks at hand.
An organized work or living space is often linked to an organized mind, which in turn, is shown to produce higher productivity and efficiency. In contrast, a hybrid office or workspace cluttered with wires and cables can have the opposite effect on your mental state.
Additionally, from a visual and aesthetic perspective, a neat and clean desk space is much more appealing to work at. A pleasing workspace can help put your mind at ease and help you relax; that relaxed mental state boosts creativity and allows you to think of more out-of-the-box ideas.
Not to mention, a desk with properly managed under desk cables simply looks more professional and organized, which is important for potential employees and clients. Your image is what your company’s reputation leans on!
What are the Safety Benefits of Under Desk Cable Management?
A lack of appropriate cable management solutions pose a safety hazard to everyone in the vicinity.
Loose cables, even if stuffed under a desk, can pose a serious tripping hazard. Getting stuck in the cable mess can cause someone to trip and fall, and may even result in serious physical injury.
Moreover, you could also bring down other equipment attached to the cables when you trip, causing damage to the equipment and injury to yourself. So, while loose cables under a desk may not be dangerous to everyone, they are definitely still hazardous.
Loose cables on the floor also increases the risk of cable break down due to wear and tear. This is because cables can get stuck in anything on the floor, and or be stepped on by anyone in the vicinity. Such damage can make the cables prone to breaking down and needing to be replaced.
This can be especially dangerous if the safety layer of electric cables comes off, as it could create a risk of electrocution. So, lack of under desk cord management is not only harmful from a health point of view, but could be detrimental to your wallet, too.
What to Avoid for Proper Under-Desk Cable Management
One of the most common mistakes in under desk cable management is overstuffing trays and baskets. Overstuffing increases the chance of cables falling out and either hanging in mid-air, or falling onto the floor. To prevent this, buy a tray or basket that is large enough to fit your cables, or buy multiple trays.
If you are tying up your cables, a big mistake would be to tie them too tight, as that can cause breakage in the cables and wires, which may become a serious safety hazard. This can happen if you are using clamps and cables, but most often occurs from the use of cable ties.
Compromising on Quality
Regardless of the solution and product you use for under desk cable management, the quality of the products will determine how well the solution works. This is true for both the cable and wire quality, as well as the quality of the basket, tray, or under desk cover you use, and even the clamps and ties you use to tie them up.
Though it may be tempting to compromise on quality, always remember that a good quality product may not need to be replaced for years; whereas a low quality product faces breakage and damage more often.
As you can see, under desk cord management is essential, not just to create an organized and clutter-free workspace, but also to boost productivity, reduce stress, and increase your brain’s ability to focus. Just do it! Once you do, you’ll be so glad you did.