In our busy modern world, it can feel like our lives are full of clutter, and not just the physical kind. We’re constantly surrounded by technology that is supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient, but it often feels like that same technology is the cause of the clutter in many cases. We’re always connected, constantly scrolling, expected to drop everything the minute we get a message or notification. Clutter is not just limited to our personal lives either. Our workplaces can seem like a mess of technology, a jumble of computers, peripherals, wires, regulations, and passwords that are impossible to keep track of and organize. 

It can be tempting to think the solution is to get away from technology. Do a quick search of the word “unplug” on social media, and you’ll see countless posts of people talking about it like it’s a transcendental spiritual experience. But, in actuality, it’s not the technology itself that’s the problem, especially in the workplace. The solution to workplace clutter isn’t getting rid of technology but choosing the right technology for the right purposes.

Power Over Ethernet (PoE)

As our workplaces become more and more digitized, more and more facilities are finding that they need to install more and more technology in more and more places. For instance, a manufacturer trying to optimize their factory with Industry 4.0 tech may find that they need to install Industrial HMI Panels at each one of their machines. A transportation company may decide it needs security cameras in each one of its busses. Or a hospital that has recently upgraded to EMR may choose to install touch screen Medical Panel PCs at the entrance of each patient room. 

In the past, such installations would be extremely complicated and costly. After all, things like computers, cameras, and other digital tech need power. But, unfortunately, it is often the case that there just simply isn’t AC power available where you need to install a device, especially in older facilities. So, if you’re a manufacturer trying to install HMI panels in your loading dock and warehouse or a hospital looking to install touch screens at each patient room, normally, you’d be in for a massive headache. 

Due to regulations put in place by agencies like OSHA, you can’t just run a series of extension cables from your pre-existing outlet, across the floor, to each computer you want to install. Instead, you’d have to call an electrician (or a team of electricians) to get into your walls and completely rewire your facility. That means not only money but time and inconvenience. It’s enough to make even the most technology-loving business owner balk at such upgrades.

Thanks to Power Over Ethernet (PoE) technology, such obstacles are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Power Over Ethernet is exactly what it sounds like –  a way of powering electronic devices not through standard AC outlets but through cat6 ethernet cables usually used to send data. All you need to plug into the wall is a single POE-enabled ethernet switch, and it determines which devices need power and how much. If your switch is POE+ compatible, it can deliver up to 60W of power to each device connected to it, more than enough power to run POE-enabled industrial HMI Panels or Medical All In One Computers.

With POE, instead of hiring an electrician to install new AC outlets all over your facility, all you need is to run Cat6 cables from the switch to the device in question. Additionally, it’s possible to safely run up to 100m (over 300ft) of ethernet cable before needing to relocate your switch or install a booster. Alternatively, as in the case with In-Vehicle Computers, instead of running the computer off POE, the computer itself is the POE switch. Meaning it can put out power to other POE devices, like cameras, making them easier to install than they otherwise would be. The cherry on top of it all is that there are far fewer regulations concerning the installation and placement of ethernet cables and outlets in most jurisdictions.

Put together, POE devices help you reduce all kinds of clutter. They help eliminate physical clutter because they are quick to install, and you only need to run a single cable for both data AND power. They eliminate regulatory clutter because Cat6 applications are usually not governed by workplace regulatory agencies. And they reduce financial clutter because you don’t need to hire an expensive team of electricians to map out all-new wiring for your facility.


It bares repeating, but when we’re talking about clutter, we don’t just mean the physical kind. Mental clutter often goes overlooked and can be just as much of a hindrance in life than physical clutter, if not more so. Here again, the technology that is supposed to make our lives and work easier can exacerbate the problem. Due to persistent security threats to data across various industries, from healthcare to energy, we now live in a world where we need to remember an ever-increasing number of passwords and usernames.

Not only do you need to remember more passwords, but the requirements for each password are also becoming increasingly complex. The street you grew up on followed by your daughter’s birthday isn’t going to cut it anymore. Now, you need multiple capitalized letters, special characters, numbers, and you have to hit a minimum number of characters. It’s gotten to the point where the mental clutter created by passwords isn’t just because you have to keep track of so many, but because each password is nearly impossible to memorize.

The need to memorize passwords can have a tangible impact on your business’s productivity. For example, many workplaces have only a few clock-in/clock-out stations. If each employee must have a unique password to clock in and clock out, this can mean long lines and lost productivity as workers struggle to remember the specific password they set or were assigned. Employees can lose up to half an hour of productivity in some workplaces just waiting to clock out for lunch.

With Radio Frequency Identification, also known as RFID, you can significantly reduce the mental clutter created by passwords. By deploying Industrial PCs or Medical Grade Computers with built-in RFID readers, employees can log into your systems with the wave of an ID card. Combined with Imprivata Single Sign-On software, which allows you to log into multiple applications with a single set of credentials, RFID eliminates the need for your workers to memorize any passwords. That means No more long lines to clock out for lunch. Now workers just wave their ID badge and can keep walking to the lunchroom.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in learning about how Power Over Ethernet or RFID can simplify your workplace, contact the experts at Cybernet today!