Article
U.S. companies have spent the last decade or so following the lead of tech firms in opening up office space and bringing workers closer together. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing that approach into question. When employees start coming back to offices in large numbers, those workplaces may need to be rethought, to both improve safety and boost worker confidence. These changes could underscore the importance of taking a flexible approach to electrical and data cable management.

Access Floor Cable Management Could Make COVID-Related Office Changes Easier

Chuck Ross
U.S. companies have spent the last decade or so following the lead of tech firms in opening up office space and bringing workers closer together. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing that approach into question. When employees start coming back to offices in large numbers, those workplaces may need to be rethought, to both improve safety and boost worker confidence. These changes could underscore the importance of taking a flexible approach to electrical and data cable management.

Among the many changes office designers are suggesting is increasing the flexibility – and even movability – of office furniture systems. With social distancing likely to remain a health priority, being able to easily reposition desks and storage cabinets will be important. And, where office furniture goes, power needs to follow, which could help boost the popularity of raised access flooring and corresponding underfloor cable tray systems.

 Raised access flooring has been popular in data centers for decades and has been slowly making its way into commercial office space more recently. The principle is pretty simple: tile-style flooring is installed on a framing system that lifts the floor anywhere from a few inches to several feet above the concrete slab. The underfloor space can be used for utilities, like wiring and, as in many data centers, air distribution for heating and cooling.

How to manage cabling is a key part of any access flooring installation project – and simply laying cables down on the slab isn’t a great approach. Fortunately, cable-management systems have been developed specifically for these designs. Some are even designed to integrate into the floor’s structural system and essentially drop into place. This can make moves and changes much easier to complete, with all necessary cabling located directly below the floor tiles. Plus, the suspended cable tray modules can be easily redirected and extended as office tenancy needs change.
Photo courtesy of Snake Tray
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