At the moment it seems like every architect and designer wants to specify glass for their current office planning project. It compliments the sleek clean lines of modern office buildings and the way it reflects light whilst being transparent really opens up an office space.
But the problem with glass meeting tables or desking is that they do not work well will cables and computer equipment.
Everyone knows of offices where above desk level everything looks fine but look underneath and there is a mass of wires, a CPU or two, transformers, extension sockets and even spare shoes and bags.
These aren’t that noticeable when the desk has a opaque surface – the dark area below is hidden from view, but with a glass top all of your mess is revealed in detail.
The problem is less acute with glass meeting tables as the cabling requirement is much more simple. You may only need a phone, or at most some power and data, but even this limited requirement can generate a big mess under the table.
And most cabling systems are actually not very aesthetically pleasing – trunking is designed to be hidden away and fixed to the underside of desktops as is metal cable trays and tidies.
Nowadays wireless connections can really help with your cabling problems. The network and printers can all be accessed from anywhere, without the need to plug anything in and even electronic presentations can be done wirelessly.
But we still need accessible power and this is where a bit of thought and clever design can really help.
The frame on this table is very stylish and presents an almost minimal effect, but it is in fact fully cable managed and can even be fitted with discrete power and/or data outlets.
The tubular frame is hollow and carefully welded together to allow cables to be fed through it, from the lowest point, right up to just below the desk top
The tops, when made, can be specified to have cable ports cut into them to your own specification. And these can be used to just trail a cable with a designer power and data socket on the desk top, or the power and data sockets can be fitted into a unit, which sits in the cut-out.
So there are ways to keep your glass tables and desks looking as stylish as they did in the brochure, whilst still being as usable and functional piece of office furniture.
All it takes is a little careful thought at the planning stage and an office furniture dealer who has experienced this before and you will be able to have your meeting room cake and eat it. And remember, you cannot add cable ports to a glass table or desk at a later date, like you can with a wood finish, so make sure you get it right at the beginning.