By Ryan Hulland
You’ve heard of raising the roof, but the trend in commercial architecture is raising the floor. Solutions allow facilities such as contact centers to enjoy the benefits of raised-access flooring without sacrificing much space. Today’s raised-access flooring is elevated two inches from the subfloor; phone lines, electrical cords, and Internet cables are secure and hidden, yet still easily accessible by simply raising a panel on the floor. Low-profile raised-access flooring can be built into new contact center facilities or installed in existing ones.
Low-profile raised-access flooring is made from concrete and steel, and it can be covered with a custom finish to meet any design need. Concealed with carpet tiles or completed with a custom finish made to look like terrazzo, marble, granite, hardwood, or bamboo, raised-access flooring can seamlessly blend into any design scheme.
With raised-access flooring, there are four benefits you can expect:
Simplify Cable Management: Dealing with cables is a challenge for all IT managers, but especially those in contact centers. Wires and cords need to be tucked away in the interest of safety and aesthetics, but they also must be accessible to troubleshoot connectivity issues or move when cubicles are reconfigured. Many commercial furniture manufacturers make products that hide and organize cables, but facility managers must still route the wires safely to workstations from the IT closet or computer room. The most common means of doing this are using cable runners across the floor, running them up the walls to thread cables through the ceiling panels, or drilling into the floor to lay cables.
With low-profile raised-access flooring, cables can safely run underfoot below the access floor. When they need to be accessed or reconfigured, all technicians need to do is simply open the appropriate cable raceway. Large data centers have been using this cable management method for more than fifty years because it works. It’s the simplest way to hide and access cables.
Decrease Fall Risks : According to the US Department of Labor, falls, slips, or trips accounted for 27 percent of occupational injuries in 2014, leading to 95 million workdays lost annually. They cause 15 percent of all accidental deaths in the workplace. OSHA cites electrical cords as one of the most common hazards.
It’s easy to see why it’s in the best interest of your contact center to ensure that all cords and wires are secure. Many businesses use cable runners to contain cords that run across the floor, but these cumbersome covers often become a tripping hazard themselves, not to mention an eyesore. By running all cords and wires under a low-profile raised-access floor, you eliminate a huge cause of potential workplace injuries, protecting both your business and your employees.
Future-Proof Your Infrastructure: Though wireless technology is becoming more popular, some contact centers are concerned with the increased security vulnerability it represents. Raised-access flooring lets these facilities wire agent stations without the security risk.
Technology is constantly evolving, and research is always suggesting new ways to make your contact center operate more productively. The last decade has seen so many changes in the workplace, from Wi-Fi and communal workspaces to remote employees moving back to the office. With raised-access flooring, your facility can easily embrace any change that comes its way. The contact center floor can be quickly reconfigured for new purposes and shifting needs just by popping up the affected cable raceway.
Complement Interior Design: Many contact center facilities take pride in their modern, streamlined look. Nothing ruins a sleek, modern aesthetic like a chaotic mess of jumbled cords and wires. Raised-access flooring allows facilities to easily hide cables from sight—perfect for a clean and contemporary design.
Don’t let cables keep your business twisted up in the past. Investing in low-profile raised-access flooring will give your facility the freedom it needs to grow and evolve with the future.
Ryan Hulland is the president of Netfloor USA. His company manufactures, designs, and installs raised-access flooring that simplifies cable management for facility managers.