15 January 2014

Thoughts about what your office needs

It's been several years since I wrote about this, but there are several developments that have become quite significant:
  • Tablets have become quite prevalent, and, together with laptops, requires the presence of wireless Internet gateways in the workplace. This is a trend that must be encouraged, and such connections must always be securely encrypted. I still believe that this should be supplemental to a secure cable network, in order to handle basic transactional data and ensure backup on the appropriate servers. There is lots of guidance as to how to implement this, and I suggest going to NIST to start investigating which configurations will work for you.
  • The use of tablets, personal communications devices, digital cameras and the like have greatly increased the use of USB charging devices. It may be good practice to install these as wall outlets, in addition to surge-protective receptacles for your regular electronic equipment.
  • It's been five years since schematic wiring diagrams became mandatory for commercial installations in Ontario under the Electrical Safety Code. Are yours up to date? Even if they are, is it time to revisit them, in order to arrange for the reduction of external wiring for your peripherals?
  • Cloud applications are becoming quite user-friendly and powerful. Besides Google Apps, I readily recommend Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Skydrive.
  • If your office is of any great size, managed print services are a great option in order to minimize your fleet of printers and related paper usage and maintenance. There's are fair bit of competition out there, and some suppliers are more reputable than others.
  • If you haven't implemented this yet, dual or triple monitors can really increase your productive output. Make sure, though, that your workspace can accommodate this without being crowded out by all the monitors. You still need to be able to make eye contact with your visitors!

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