Ever feel like you are stuck in a scene from The Twilight Zone or Jurassic Park while working a 12-hour shift? Everything is evolving and changing around you, yet somehow you are still stuck behind this massive, uncomfortable, and archaic platform called a control room console.
Whether you’re planning a new control room or revamping your current one, you understandably want the end result to work well for your people. In fact, you probably want them to love it. The goal is obvious, but how do you make sure you get there?
Time and time again, we hear people say, “Well, we may be looking to upgrade our console furniture, but we might be moving into a new building. We will just hold off for now.” Does this sound familiar to you?
With the continuous trend of increasing monitor sizes, a question we are frequently asked is "how many monitors can fit on a row of a command center console?" In command centers, control rooms, and surveillance areas, monitor wall visibility is often critical for an operator’s performance, so you want to try to find the most ideal setup for viewing performance. So, what is the right amount of monitors? It depends on several things.
Raymond Loewy was a French born industrial designer who made it to America during the 1930s and put his stamp on American culture with iconic designs that are still around today, including the paint scheme on Air Force One and the logo on Shell gas stations. Companies hired him to create successful designs for their businesses, something that would create a lasting symbol of their individual brands.
Maybe you just started in your new role, or maybe you have been with the same company for a long time. Either way, when it’s time to update the command and control center, it’s time. You know it, and your operators also know it. Providing a comfortable, ergonomic environment for your people is the right thing to do.
It’s important to start with your mindset. Is the purchase of new consoles a cost or an investment? If it is a cost, that will be tricky to justify. I can just hear management say that they already have desks that work, so why would they spend money on that? Instead, try to think of it of as an investment for your people. A more comfortable environment improves the health and performance of your team, which can surely lead to a ROI.
If you’re advocating that new consoles or workstations are an investment for your people, here are some important factors that will help make your case:
Whether you are managing the busesthroughout King County in Seattle -
the flow of traffic in Naples, FL – the
water system at Denver International
Airport – or, the electric grid in Baton
Rouge, LA – it all comes down to
keeping people safe and things
The people doing all the manning of our transportation and utilities, your operators and dispatchers, with the onslaught of more smart technology, have more monitors with more information to look at than ever. As the demands of the job increase, how do you ensure your people are healthy and happy at work?
This time of year, many organizations are planning to remodel, upgrade or build a new command center. If this is happening for you, the amount of decisions you need to make for success of the project can seem enormous. One of the decisions may include new consoles, desks and furniture for the project. Now is the time to go for it! The budget approval for your new consoles may be relatively small as compared to the million dollar or so project at hand, but, how it can help your operator’s daily lives is huge.
As Chief, Supervisor or Head Operator of a Command Center, you want your people to bring their "A Game" everyday. So, what can you do on a daily basis to make a difference for your people and improve their performance? The April edition of SUCCESS magazine, in an article titled, “The ROI of Compassion,” leadership guru John C. Maxwell sums it up:
Let's be honest, if you are in the Command and Control industry, you pride yourself in organization, optimization, effectiveness and efficiencies. Like the grease to the wheel, you like organization and to keep things working at their best. The placement of command center workstations in a control room should be just as important for the optimal performance of your operators. Having miss-used space or disorganization can cause the efficiency and effectiveness of the team to dwindle.