Cable management is sometimes the last thought when planning meeting spaces, video conferencing facilities and boardrooms.

But it makes a huge difference to the usefulness of a space, not to mention what it looks like.

In this blog post, we track some of the worst cable management mistakes made when making meeting spaces.

Inadequate cable provision

Presentations seem so simple before you come to do them. All you need to do is get what’s on your laptop screen onto the projector at the front of the room.

But it’s usually harder than that. Almost every meeting room has an unfamiliar bunch of cables with dozens of different dongles to fit different inputs.

One week a presenter needs to use his old laptop with a VGA port. Next week it might be a tech-whizz who needs an HDMI outlet.

Meetings rooms run on cables. Even small rooms have several wired-up appliances that need to be connected to power sources and various inputs and outputs.

From video screens and cameras to table speakerphones. All the individual pieces of tech need to be attached together to make a useful whole, which can mean dozens of cables stretching back and forth over your floors.

The cables can’t be too short or too long, they need to be just right. When you have a lot of cables in one place, it can help to bind them all together using spiral wrap binding.

When you have a main artery of cables, such as from a variety of input cables up to a projector, spiral wrapping keeps all of the cables in one place, makes them look neater and is removable in case you ever need to move or replace one of the cables. 

Confusing cables

Because meeting rooms have so many cables, it can be difficult to know which one is which, especially if a new person comes to present.

It can often be confusing which cables output to which devices and don’t mention if you need to unplug a socket, but you don’t know which plug belongs to which device.

Sometimes the cables are hidden behind screens or under tables and it can take a long time to get it all sorted out.

If you are presenting, you end up having to show up at the meeting room 30 minutes early – otherwise half of your time will be taken up fiddling around with the technology to make it all work.

If you or your guests suffer from cable-blindness and never know which wire connects to what output, then labelling your cables is the perfect solution.

We have a range of cable labelling solutions, one of the most versatile is to invest in your own labelling machine, which can be used to label not just the meeting room cables, but almost anything in your whole office complex.

It’s amazing what kind of improvements you can make with labelling. Whether it’s ensuring staff cohesion in the staff kitchen, reminding people to save electricity and much more.

Cable spaghetti

Cable spaghetti is our worst nightmare at Hilltop Products. If you are reading this in an office, please take a moment to look behind your computer and underneath your desk.

Is there a messy tangle of wires heading in all directions as if they have a mind of their own?

Sure it looks messy, you might argue, but it’s not doing any harm. Well in some instances it might be directly harming your business.

Meeting rooms are important places. It’s a room of power, a place where stuff gets sorted, a place where deals are done.

And first impressions matter. You can picture the scene. You have a big video conference with a new client or a head office. A desk covered in cables can look amateurish. You want to make sure everything looks right, and your organisation is.

Cable spaghetti can also pose a health and safety risk. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees so far is reasonably practicable. This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks.

Performing a detailed risk assessment is the best starting place to ensure a safe working environment, and trailing cables is one of the top risks to look out for.

Where you have trailing cables, you can make them safer by using floor-based cable protectors for temporary cables and wall-mounted cable trunking for a more permanent health and safety solution.

You can control cables and make them safer by using floor-based cable protectors, which protect, hide and eliminate the tripping risk of cables.