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In The Office Environment USB Integrated Sockets Are The Ideal Solution

mk usb socketBusy office spaces have very specific requirements when it comes to electrical accessories, but by understanding these needs, and how they can be addressed, electricians can tap into a lucrative new income stream for their business.

Emma Segelov, head of marketing for MK Electric, examines the best recommendations for these environments.

With many offices going through a technical revolution, mobile device use is on the rise, and with this constant use, a battery can drain very quickly – therefore it’s important for office workers to have access to a charging point whenever necessary.

Luckily, electricians can take advantage of this reliance to be connected at all times, by tapping into the light commercial market – opening up new revenue streams.

Most employees usually charge their devices by plugging into their below-desk computer towers or laptop, however this has several issues. Firstly, in the case of computer towers, many USB leads are not long enough to stretch from under desk to an easily-accessible on-desk location – making device usage difficult during charging.

Secondly, a lot of companies will bulk-purchase computer towers to a certain specification. Many of these models contain minimal USB ports, often as few as two, which is not sufficient - especially when you consider the additional need to plug in USB sticks and wireless accessories such as a mouse or keyboard.

However, increasing the number of USB integrated socket outlets, will help to counteract against a potential loss of charge - and a network of USB charging solutions allows facilities managers to prevent workers running out of charge during the day.

For meeting rooms and common areas such as staff canteens, USB integrated sockets are the ideal solution. These products can be wall mounted or fitted to PVCu trunking. Importantly, the use of USB charging ports eliminates the need for bulky chargers to be PAT tested which makes ongoing maintenance easier for both contractor and facilities manager.

Furthermore, integrating a USB Charging Euro module into a buildings power distribution system such as floorboxes or desking solutions can ensure access to power wherever required. This will allow workers to charge their devices in large spaces such as open plan offices, whilst also powering personal computers or laptops.

It’s also important to think about the features of the product specified when fitting USB integrated sockets. For example, features such as dynamic device recognition (DDR) should be high on the priority list. DDR enables optimal and efficient charging by recognising the type of device that has been plugged in and outputting a charge that will replenish the battery in the most effective way. This is important, as devices provided by different manufacturers can have very different charging requirements and therefore a charging solution without DDR may charge, say, an iPhone effectively but fail to make inroads into a Samsung Galaxy Note.

K2744WHI FrontThe MK Dimensions and Logic Plus ranges have been designed to fit into a standard 25mm back box. This allows for quick and easy installation, which can offer a major advantage when it comes to retrofitting. And with office safety being a high priority, MK Electric USB integrated sockets are electrically protected against an overload or short circuit, preventing damage to the socket and the user in the event of an overload or short circuit conditions.

Another crucial consideration for any office building, particularly in the case of refurbishments, is PVCu cable management. Therefore, having a flexible solution, that can meet the varying needs of the building user is of the upmost importance.

A prime example is the MK Electric Prestige 3D three compartment trunking. This product range offers enhanced trunking depth and caters for Cat 5e, 6, 6a and 7 structured cabling, and is made using PVCu – a popular and cost-effective material that is easy to work with.  

Products such as Prestige 3D also allow for easy and speedy installation.  Features such as ‘open box’ mounting frames and divider knockouts offer unhindered tool-free cable entry, while pre-drilled trunking bases provide ease and speed of fixing.

When working on office buildings, it is also vital for electricians to consider Part M of the Building Regulations 2010. It’s important that contractors can recommend appropriate solutions for building managers to integrate within their facilities, for example installing wiring devices of a different colour in the PVCu trunking system to provide a means of contrast, making them obvious for the visually impaired.

Contractors who are considering light commercial projects should be aware of the evolving solutions which can add value to an office development – after all, it’s a brilliant way of keeping a competitive edge. Therefore, it is vital for electricians to recommend, a mixture of forward-thinking options, such as USB charging solutions and established solutions like PVCu cable management products that ensure the needs of the building user are met. However, get this right and it can offer electricians a valuable additional source of revenue to their business.


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