Whether it’s a dispatch center, a security station or a process control center, control rooms are the nerve center of many operations. Thousands of crucial decisions pass through these control rooms every day. What’s more, the men and women responsible for making these decisions have tremendous responsibilities. Given how important these operators and decision-makers are for the success of their operations, they need to perform their jobs as effectively and comfortably as possible in the control room.
With that in mind, here are some important tips to consider for maximizing control room productivity.
Control room operators spend a lot of time at their workstations or desks. Sitting in the same place for an extended period takes its toll, especially if the operator’s control room chair isn’t designed for long-term sitting. It’s difficult for dispatchers and security professionals to remain focused on the critical details of their job if they’re experiencing lower back pain or neck stiffness. That’s why it’s important for these operations to invest in control room seating that is designed to provide maximum support and comfort.
For example, the 3152HR and 3150 24-hour control room chairs from Concept Seating feature adjustable armrests, lumbar support and other features to ensure the most comfortable seating possible for control room operators. With their basic physical comfort taken care of, these operators are free to focus on their work.
The way in which control room furniture is arranged and oriented within the control room space can be crucial for helping operators do their jobs more effectively. For example, dangling power cords underneath desks can become tangled in operator’s legs as they move around, potentially becoming unplugged. Consoles and desks that are cumbersome to move can make reaching equipment difficult in the event of an emergency. Modular control room furniture that is easy to re-arrange and dismantle at a moment’s notice improves the flexibility of the control room space. Such features can save precious moments when equipment needs to be serviced or replaced.
Even though control room operators tend to remain seated in front of their workstations, they still face the risk of being injured on the job. Specifically, repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder pain can occur if operators have to stretch into unnatural positions repeatedly during their shifts.
These injuries can be prevented by ensuring that frequently used items are always within reach and easily accessible. Positioning a keyboard and mouse where operators can use them comfortably reduces stress on their bodies. Ensuring that monitors are positioned where operators can see them without leaning or squinting also makes a huge difference. Research has suggested that the optimal position for a computer monitor is about 30-35 inches away from the operator’s face.
In many ways, how control rooms are outfitted and arranged can play an enormous role in keeping operators comfortable, focused and able to execute their responsibilities effectively. Consider implementing the above suggestions for a safer and more efficient control room for your workforce today.