Control rooms are critical working environments, used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, where operators can monitor the activities of a location or process (video surveillance, operating rooms, distribution centres, transport, emergency services, etc).
Every element of a critical operations centre contributes to improving the efficiency of the space. Can the right technical furniture make your control room more efficient? The answer is yes. Read on to find out how.
1. Selecting the right consoles
Consoles are the desks and workstations used in control rooms.
The nature of control room operations means that consoles differ from standard desks. The furniture must allow for 24/7 use and incorporate bespoke IT and audio-visual equipment.
The main features to be taken into account
- Provide a secure location for single or multi-level monitors that are either wall-mounted or placed on a desk.
- Be able to adjust the height of the console, but also the height of the monitors, and even their depth positions.
- Include ventilation systems.
- Include a lockable cabinet to store equipment and other sensitive materials.
- Add ports and outlets to quickly and easily connect and disconnect power cables, headphones, USBs and other devices.
- Cable management capabilities for both high and low current.
- The surface of the work surface should take into account the tools used by the operator (computers, monitors, keyboard, mouse, joystick, telephone, etc.)
The console should also have a good surface material, such as HPL laminate with high density panels, which offers excellent durability and a wide choice of finishes.
In addition, it must have an excellent mechanical design to guarantee its durability. For instance, it is advisable to use screws with inserts for greater solidity, capacity to be disassembled / reassembled and precision of assembly (the locations of the reservations being made in the factory with numerical control machines).
2. Lighting integrated into furniture
One of the most important aspects of any control room is good lighting. Operators must be able to see all the controls and displays on their consoles without visual fatigue.
Although natural light is the most beneficial to health, there may be times when your operators work at night, depending on the type of operations centre you run. It is important to use quality lighting that will not cause eye strain or stress. To this end, it is advisable to use only anti-flickering screens; we will not comment on blue light, as there is no consensus among ergonomists on this subject.
Finally, the lighting should be uniform throughout the room to avoid reflections on the screens.
Choose furniture that has built-in lighting or can easily be fitted with additional lighting.
3. Ergonomic furniture for improved efficiency
In addition to the major elements of control room design such as audiovisual integration, it is also important to consider the ergonomics of your furniture.
Whether it’s the position in relation to the video wall (if you plan to integrate one), collaboration possibilities or operator comfort, the choices made regarding the ergonomics of your control room console can have a significant effect on your operators.
Sit-stand desks are a popular ergonomic choice for control room consoles. The ability to switch between sitting and standing reduces worker fatigue and promotes productivity.
4. Choose 24/7 seats
It is often the forgotten element of control rooms and yet it is important not to skimp on the quality of the seat. There is a very high quality offer today for control room chairs. Although the price is often close to double that of a normal office chair, all ergonomic studies show that the reduced vigilance of a poorly seated operator is detrimental to the efficiency of your control room.
5. Plan the furniture layout according to your operators
Before designing your control room, make sure you understand the workflow of your operators, supervisors and other third parties. Which people need to be close to each other to facilitate operations? What equipment do they need to have on hand? Knowing what a typical day looks like is essential to designing a good workspace.
Whether your project is at the design or implementation stage, don’t hesitate to ask Motilde for its expertise. We will be delighted to discuss your future supervision space: control, videosurveillance, crisis, or command.
Do you want to implement or optimise a control room?
Download our free guide: