Cubicles, Desks and Cabling: Natural Enemies

As a sysadmin a (hopefully) small chunk of my time is taken up laying cables and physically adding machines to the network (a desktop support person, my kingdom for a desktop support person!), while this shouldn’t be too hard most modern offices seem purpose built to drive me insane.

Firstly we have the two patch ports and four plugs for six people. This forces you to invest in four / six way extension leads and a switch under each row of desks; as an aside a switch for each person with a laptop or more than one machine is a nice thing to have.

Then we have the cubicles and desks that fit together perfectly. And leave no space to actually run anything useful like telephone, monitor, keyboard or mouse cables. This seems to be a symptom of cheap desks but it’s annoying as hell. If the desk doesn’t have a whole large enough to slide a plug through (it’s always easier to drop a plug down than it is to pull a cable up) then don’t buy it. In the long run your staff will thank you.

When it comes to offices Joels Bionic Office is an excellent example, not only for the private offices (please yes!) but for the switches on each desk, the ceiling mounted cable runs (under floor cabling is a whole separate rant…) and the DESK HEIGHT power outlets.

If you come away from this post with one thing please let it be that power and networking should be AT DESK HEIGHT and not tucked away behind the actual furniture, staff and badly cleaned carpet. Please!