Cable management (or the lack thereof) is a HOT topic for public safety professionals, especially 911 dispatchers.
“Ugh, our cables just hang down.”
“ We end up unplugging things, and we can’t use our height-adjustable tables.”
These are sentiments I’ve heard time and time again. Poorly managed cables can be a recipe for disaster, even for the cleanest of Comm Centers. This can lead to stress in an already stressful environment. In recent years, several dispatch console manufacturers have made improvements to their cable management. While this is a step in the right direction, you’re probably wondering what you can do NOW instead of having to resort to purchasing new furniture.
To help you out, here are three quick tips for you OCD freaks and cable junkies (you know who you are):
Side Note: Prior to making any cable changes or adjustments, I recommend checking with your supervisor or IT department (if you haven’t already).
Identify the Problem Cables
Look at what cables are hanging down, and find what they attach to. You may even find cables that don’t attach to anything. Sometimes improvements or changes have been made to the technology of your workstation, actually rendering cables useless. Yup! This means those cables aren’t really attached to anything at all, and if that’s the case, go ahead and remove them. If you can’t remove them, try bundling them together and tucking them out of the way.
Utilize or Create a Cable Trough
Look for areas where you can tuck cables. Do you have a cable trough you’re not using? Most dispatch consoles are equipped with some sort of cable tray or trough for this exact purpose. If you’re lucky enough and your console does have one, then you can tuck, tuck, tuck!
What if you don’t have a cable tray? Research and try out some of the fancy cord management ideas from Pinterest! They have ideas to help you create cable trays out of just about anything (e.g., foam noodles, command hooks, toilet paper rolls, etc.).
Get Your Zip Tie On
No, I’m not talking about some freaking Fifty Shades of Grey stuff; get your mind out of the gutter! I’m simply suggesting using regular ol’ zip ties to help declutter your cables. (You can buy these on Amazon.)
It’s amazing how bundling some cords together and securing them with a zip tie can make a huge difference in the appearance of your workstation. Plus, it can help with future movements or upgrades--just snip and go!
Enjoy Your Tidy Work Space
Messy cables can be a hassle, and the disorganization can lead to unplugging things that shouldn’t be unplugged--YIKES! If you don’t have a way to upgrade your dispatch console to improve your cable management, I hope you try out some of the ideas listed here. If you have some ideas of your own, feel free to share them.
Let’s all aim for less clutter in our Comm Centers!