Cable management dos and don’ts – a guide to correct cable management and common mistakes made

Whether you’re working from home or in the office, working in an unorganised environment can have consequences. Studies have shown that clutter can increase stress, impact your productivity, and cause concentration difficulties.

Think about cable management when organising your workstation. Many products can help with effective cable management, and understanding the dos and don’ts of cable management is essential for choosing the right products and building an ergonomic work environment.

In this article, we look at why cable management matters, available products, and the important things you should know about cable management.

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Read the importance of keeping cables off your desk and out of the way.

Find out whether it is worth investing in cable management products and read their key benefits.

Read the different types of cable management solutions.

Read our tips on choosing the best desk cable management solutions for you.

We explain common mistakes made when it comes to cable management.

We provide a summary of cable management dos and don’ts.

We answer frequently asked questions on the dos and don’ts of cable management.

Why is it important to keep cables out of the way?

Poor cable organisation presents hazards, including risks of tripping, and leaves cables prone to wear and tear. Badly organised cables can impact productivity when you need to spend time untangling them. The clutter can also affect your productivity and make it harder to concentrate. When you’re working from home, the hazards of poor cable management don’t just affect you. Other members of your household are exposed to the same risks, including children and pets.

Is it really worth investing in cable management products?

You might be wondering if it’s worth investing in cable management, but doing so has benefits. Effective cable management can prolong your cable’s life, ultimately saving money.

Keeping cables tidy also creates a more pleasant work environment – it’s easier to clean an area that isn’t cluttered. Tidy cable management also gives a more professional impression, and who doesn’t want to work from an aesthetically pleasing workspace?

Monitor with tidy cables

What are the different types of cable management products?

  • Cable management trays and baskets – these attach to the underside of your desk and hold power strips and cables. Available in various sizes and styles. Are you looking for a cable basket? Read our guide to choosing cable baskets here.
  • Fasteners like clamps and clips – cable ties are an option, but clamps or clips are a great alternative. These work when you only have a few cables to deal with and are a great option for working from home.
  • Under-desk cable covers – these products, including J channel raceways, are usually made from rigid plastic or metal and are taped beneath your desk. Like trays and baskets, they come in various sizes. Alternatively, cables can be taped directly to the underside of the desk.
  • Wire management box – a wire management box is secured beneath your desk and keeps wires and cables off the floor and out of sight. Cables are piled into the box and the door is closed, completely concealing them.

Choosing desk cable management solutions

  • On-desk organisation – various products are available to help keep your desk organised. Many laptop and monitor stands have in-built channels to tuck away cables, or clips can secure the wire from your mouse.
  • Cable spines – a cable spine is an excellent way to create tidiness in your space in an easy and affordable way. Cable spines are easy to install into your existing desk setup; you can simply feed your cables into the spine to protect and secure them in place. For more guidance on using cable spines, read our full guide here.

Common cable management mistakes

Overstuffing trays

Overstuffing cable baskets can cause damage – so bear in mind the maximum weight capacity for your cable basket!

Leaving cables accessible to children and pets

Ensure you hide cables from children and pets, and they can present a risk of tripping or damage.

Neglecting cables and wires

Neglecting wires is a safety risk, as well as being detrimental to your concentration and stress levels.

Over-tightening cable ties

Over-tightening cable ties can cause damage to your cables.

Allowing cables to become tangled

Tangled cables can affect your productivity because you’ll need to spend time untangling them.

Selecting the wrong products

Using the wrong cable management products for your desk might affect the desk’s operations.

Using weak cable management products

Products that don’t perform to the standards you need are likely to break, and may cost you more money in the long run!

Cable management tips – dos and don’ts

Keep cables organisedOver-tighten cable ties
Choose management products that suit your workspaceLeave cables to become tangled
Use on-desk solutions like monitor standsLet children or pets access cables
Keep an eye on the maximum weight for cable basketsOver-stuff cable baskets

CMD’s cable management products

CMD offer a range of specialist cable management products to help you create an ergonomic, healthy workspace. These include cable baskets and trays in different sizes, as well as laptop and monitor arms for improved desk organisation. We also offer a range of various cable spines, which are excellent solutions for creating tidiness in your space in an easy and affordable way.

Recommended products

Spiral Cable Spine

The Spiral Cable Spine can expand from 150mm to 1300mm, making it adaptable to a range of desks. When compressed, cables can be easily fed through, and it is available in silver or translucent or black to suit your aesthetic.

Spiral Cable Spine

  • Spring-like expansion from 150mm to 1300mm working length is suitable for various desk setups
  • Cables can be simply fed through the spine in its compressed state
  • Available in RAL 9006 silver or translucent spine with silver base, or black with black base
  • Easy installation with a single screwed fixing peg locating the top of the spine under the desk
  • Weighted “horseshoe” style base with cable exit cut out
  • Product weight 1kg

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Premium cable basket

Premium cable basket

  • Available in Silver (RAL 7040) or White (RAL 9010)
  • 5 Standard lengths – 1,000mm, 1,200mm, 1,400mm, 1,600mm, 1,800mm
  • Includes an earthing point
  • Width 150mm x 85mm high
  • Mild Steel Nylon coated Wire Basket
  • Weight depends on length

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Fusion Cable Basket

The fusion cable basket is a silver, low-density basket that includes two brackets. This product is poly-coated, which makes it highly durable to maximise the effectiveness of your cable management system. For ease of use, the basket is sloped at the front and is available in 5 different lengths.

Fusion Cable Basket

  • Silver low density poly coated wire basket complete with 2 brackets
  • Available in 5 standard lengths, 800mm, 1,000mm, 1,200mm, 1,400mm, 1600mm.
  • Weight depends on length
  • Sloped on front facing side for easy access
  • Silver (RAL 7040)
  • Includes an earthing point

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Reach monitor arm

Reach monitor arm

  • Awarded Ergonomics Excellence by FIRA
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Spring assistance for fingertip movement
  • Folds flat into 80mm of space
  • Integral cable management
  • Quick release VESA (Supports VESA 75mm & 100mm)
  • Standard Arm supports monitor weights between 2Kg- 5Kg

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You can

shop our full range of monitor arms here.

Frequently asked questionsHow do you hide the cords on a standing desk?

Cable trays and spines can hide standing desk cords.

How do you organise your charging cables on your desk?

Clips are great for organising charging cables.

How important is cable management?

Cable management is vital if you want to be safe and comfortable in your workspace.

How do you manage long cables?

Long cables can be gathered and fixed together with cable ties.

How much wire management do you need?

This depends on how many cables you have – a bigger solution is required for larger amounts of cables.

Does cable management affect performance?

Cable management can affect your productivity and concentration levels.

What happens without cable management?

Without cable management, your workstation puts you at risk and risks damage to your cables.

Which cable management accessories should you choose?

Choose products that are most appropriate for your needs and workspace.

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Standing desk cable management