A network of telephone cords thrown at random, stacks of equipment, bunches of cables and which very much sums up most workplaces. It can get very messy more so, if one is working out of a home office. That is the reason why new schools of design are turning to technology for answers. The technology advised is very simple that is to use wireless instead of wires to free up the clutter.
Sheer convenience, aesthetics and cost advantage are reasons enough to think Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is an acronym for Wireless Fidelity. This technology uses radio waves to transfer data across a network. One of the biggest advantages it holds is that it makes redundant the huge amounts of cable that would otherwise be required to transfer data.
How it works is fairly simple. A radio trans-receiver more popularly called an access point is mounted at a central location. Each of these access points can support anywhere between 12-20 users. What a user needs at his end is a network interface card (NIC) that allows the machine to communicate with the access point. Most modern laptops come built in with this card. Even assuming it doesnâ€™t purchasing one isnâ€™t very expensive. Much the same thing can be said of access points too. The cost works out to $100 to $400 based on how many people require support from the point. Wireless also lets you move the machine to wherever required in the office.
A word of caution though is in order. It can be incredibly addictive. The ability to access your email or work without having to be on your desk can be potentially disruptive. Veterans say, it upsets work life balance.
The other big clutter culprits are cords connecting computers to keyboards, printers and mice.
This is where Bluetooth can come handy. Bluetooth uses short range radio frequency that transmits your input output commands between devices like laptops, PCs and printers. The basic gear needed towards building a Bluetooth compatible office is getting in wireless keyboards, mouse and headsets. The two big players in the game are Logitech and Microsoft.
A little is written about Bluetooth devices is the fact that a good number of them are designed keeping ergonomics in mind. In the longer run, it is easier on the body and helps keep modern day afflictions like Tunnel Carpal Syndrome at bay.
Another smart move towards a wireless office is to choose a Wi-Fi enabled Multi-Functional devices (MFD). MFD arenâ€™t just your run-of-the-mill printers that spew out only text documents. Instead a single MFD can happily act as your printer a scanner, a stand-alone photocopier, a photo printer, a camera-card reader and also as a fax machine.