The Importance of Cable Management
In this day and age, many of us rarely deal with wires anymore. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity have allowed us to ditch the leashes that have tethered us for decades. Unfortunately, not everything is capable of being wireless. For devices that still rely on wired connections, proper cable management plays a number of important roles.
The most important places to have solid cable management plans are our office networks. We may work with sensitive data, and we need our bandwidth to serve the entire staff. Aside from making things more neat and orderly, cable management actually helps us work more efficiently.
Did you know cable problems can cause issues ranging from injured employees to downtime? Downtime and lost productivity can cost businesses big money. Injured employees aren’t any better for business. Working with good vs bad cable management systems in your network can make a big difference. Let’s take a look at what cable management is, why it’s important, and how you can organize your office network.
What is Cable Management?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, you may not know what exactly is meant by cable management. Put simply, cable management is a term that describes how a cable network is put together. It involves everything from the cables to the hardware, and it’s an important part of keeping networks running smoothly.
Why is Cable Management Important?
It may not be immediately apparent why cable management is important. A mess of tangled cables looks bad, but does it actually affect the way we do business? Do we even need cables? Can we get by with WiFi only? These are valid questions, but there are very good reasons to keep an organized cable network in the office. Let’s look at why cable management is so important.
Create a Cleaner Look
We brushed past this point earlier, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. Cleaning up our spaces makes dealing with new devices and connections a whole lot easier. It also clears our minds.
Cluttered spaces create clutter in our mental functions. Too much clutter can cause stress, health issues, and can affect productivity. Keeping things organized allows us to stay healthy and function at our best.
It also gives a great first impression. When we bring clients into the office, the last thing we want them to see are cord nests lying around. Cleaning them up gives the office a more professional look. Once you organize and see your cable management before and after results, you’ll wonder how any company operates in clutter.
Remove Safety Hazards
When you’ve got cluttered piles of cables around the office, it’s not only your focus and mood that can suffer. Those piles of cables can also prevent physical safety hazards. If they are lying in walking areas, they create tripping hazards. In fact, tripping over untidy equipment makes up a large portion of workplace injuries every year. Even if you don’t fall and fracture anything, that trip can tug on cables and damage equipment. Keep your cables well organized to create a safe workplace.
Reduce Damage to Equipment
Every time we trip on wires or drag wheels over cords, it increases the chances of equipment damage. The more we tug on them, the wires and the devices they are connected to become less reliable. If we’re looking at a mess of wires, it can be much harder to spot any damage that’s occurred. Spotting damage to cables early on is a critical part of reducing the chances of starting a fire or frying equipment. Keeping cables managed and out of the way reduces trips and lowers the incidence of equipment damage.
Unorganized cables and wires in computer networks can block a significant amount of airflow. This can lead to equipment overheating and damage.
Network components use a lot of energy doing all they do, and they require good airflow for cooling. If your hardware gets too hot, it can lead to damaged parts and reduced life spans. Organize your cables to allow proper airflow to the components. It will make them last longer and function better.
Cables carry a lot of important things. From power to data, cables connect us to the things we use for both relaxation and work. Keeping them in proper working order ensures those things are there and functioning properly when we need them.
When people run into performance issues, many of them ask themselves simple questions. Does ethernet cable affect internet speed? Does coax cable affect internet speed? Each of these cables will accommodate different bandwidths and provide different speeds. That isn’t the end of their impact, though. If those cords are being walked on and tripped over, they are very likely to adversely affect your internet speeds.
Improving your method of cable management can actually improve the performance of your network by removing issues. Defining and mapping the components of your network keeps them easily accessible, and you gain a handful of performance benefits. Reliability is at the top of that list.
In a world that’s become accustomed to wireless connections, we’ve forgotten that hard wired connections are far more reliable. They are also considerably faster than wireless connections. There are far fewer outside factors that could slow down or affect the integrity of the data we’re working with. A good cable management strategy will reduce many of the performance issues that affect our productivity.
Strategies for Improving Your Cable Management
If the team that put your network together didn’t focus on management, it’s not too late to start. Adopting the right cable management strategies keeps your network and devices functioning at their best. Let’s look at some ways you can improve your cable management plan simply and effectively.
Create a Plan
One of the main causes of bad cable management is an unplanned space. Whether we’re dealing with a single room or an entire warehouse, we need to know where things go. If the space isn’t well planned, we find ourselves searching for fixes. Where does the CPU cable go? How about ethernet patch cords? If we begin with a plan, everything has a place.
Planning your space also ensures that you aren’t using the wrong cable lengths and types. This reduces the chance of connectivity and degradation issues. It also reduces waste by allowing us to know the proper lengths we need before cutting. Complex systems require thoughtful planning to function properly. Do not skip this step.
One of the most important parts of proper cable management is documentation. If we don’t know exactly what we’ve got, it’s hard to identify weaknesses or make improvements. Take inventory of every part of the network and create a map.
By carefully diagramming and documenting your network setup, you can easily make upgrades and fixes. It also gives you a visual that will help you create scalable solutions that will take you well into the future.
A nest of random wires can confuse even the most adept electricians and IT professionals. The way to avoid them is to properly label each individual cable. Utilizing labels saves us time and narrows the margin for error. Knowing exactly what we’re looking at prevents us from unknowingly making or breaking the wrong connections. Labeling cords and cables is one of the best things for cable management.
Get Help from Professionals
Setting up home and office networks can be daunting tasks. If they aren’t set up with cable management in mind, it can get frustrating very quickly. Whether you’re putting together a new network or retrofitting an old one, dealing with pros will set you up for success. They’ve got tried and true cable management ideas that work, and they can identify and solve problems from the start.
Hiring network cable management services may be the best way to ensure you’ve got a great setup. Each business is unique, and there is no single way to run cables that works for everyone. Bring in the pros to tackle the unique challenges presented by your space and business for the optimal setup. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with coax or ethernet network service. The right team can set you up with a safe and reliable network that will serve you for years.