Wires are a bane to anyone who works at a desk. If you have a desktop computer, then you probably have wires and cables snaking through your desk. If you have a laptop computer, you’re probably lucky enough to be able to connect to your network wirelessly. Either way, you would still have some amount of wiring going around. Even with a wireless network, equipment would still have to be physically connected to the power outlet and to the broadband modem itself.
Wires and cables are not only unsightly, but they can also take up much space under your desk and even on top of your desk. While you cannot totally eliminate wiring, you can make things look neater with the help of wire management products and tools. Here are some examples.
- Grouping. The simplest way of organizing your cables at the office desk is by grouping these. Most common wiring includes power cables, telephone cables, and interface cables that connect to the printer, modem, or other networking device. You can use a variety of tools, such as twisting wires, plastic cable rings, and binders, most of which can be bought at any office department store or hardware (as is the case of the twisting wires).
The basic grouping should involve two sets. One, for grouping the cables that connect from your computer and gadgets to the power outlets. Two, for grouping the cables that connect your computer to various peripherals like the printer, router, or broadband modem. Be sure to separate the power cables from the ones that carry network or telephone signals, as these could be grounded if you bundle them together, resulting in poor signal quality for your modem or telephone receiver.
- Heat-shrink tubing. Another option is using heat-shrink tubing. This is a trick used by electrical engineering students and professionals. You simply wrap the tubing around the cables that need to be grouped, and heat it up with a heat gun—a hair dryer will do, too—and the rubber tubing will shrink. Your cluster of wires will now look as if they’re only one thick cable.
- Cable passageways. Most office desks would have holes particularly meant for snaking cables through. Just so you don’t have your wires spread all over the place, you can use these holes to easily hide wires and cables underneath your desk.
- Marking and identifying. One difficulty that you might face when you’ve grouped your cables is how to identify which belongs to which. For this purpose, you can use wire markers, which are basically adhesive tape that you can write on. You can color code your cables, so it’s easy to identify which equipment they belong to. You can actually use something as simple as masking tape, if you’d rather not buy a dedicated cable-marking tape.
Managing your cables is not always that easy. Sometimes, there are big objects, like power bricks, that just can’t be kept inside rubber shrink-wrap. In most cases, you’d have to take out these power supply peripherals, as well, like when you will be travelling with your laptop. Still, the concept here is to bundle up your wirings such that they are not too exposed and cluttered, and such that they pass through your table in a single line toward their destination. With this, you will be able to free up space on your desk for more important things.