In the world of dispatch furniture equipment, it’s no secret that in Communications Centers the monitors are getting larger and the CPUs are getting smaller. Now it seems like there are endless options for monitor sizes, and that means new ways to configure them as well. If you’re brainstorming new ways to improve or change your monitor setup, here are 3 trends that we’ve noticed in the field:
Poor ergonomics can have serious health consequences. But what constitute poor ergonomics? Most of us are probably doing something right this moment that could be causing harm to our bodies. Let's take a look at some common ergonomic issues, how they might be impacting our health and some best practices you can start implementing right now:
Purchasing dispatch furniture is not an easy task, which is probably why it only happens every 10-15 years. There are a lot of steps and parties involved, from radio vendors to flooring teams, it’s not exactly like trip to IKEA!
When you’re about to request your purchase order, it’s tempting to let your foot off the gas pedal because it feels like you’ve done all the hard stuff. Many Comm Center Managers will agree, you’re only just getting your engines started.
Technology is pushing the 911 industry forward. Technological advancement is an important element of helping emergency responders and dispatchers be efficient at their jobs, and because of this, it is always a challenge to keep up with new emerging technologies. Of course the private sector gets the latest in new developments first, and then they work their way into public safety market. What similarly seems to happen is that the digital side of the product pushes the envelope, and afterwards, the hardware side is left to catch up.
When you first read the title of this blog, what were you really thinking? Were you ready to respond with names, or did you answer with just a simple yes or no? Working in a 911 Comm Center myself over the past 25 years, pain is a topic I hear quite frequently. If you or someone you work with suffers from neck pain while working, here is a remedy to address that problem and prevent it from occurring in the future:
Over the last couple of months, I have discovered that more and more agencies are wanting to go with a touch-screen phone system. This conversation is usually brought up when talking about the number and sizes of monitors agencies are looking to add to their workstations. Working in a 911 dispatch center myself, I have had a touch-screen monitor over the past eight years and rarely used it. You ask why? Well for one thing, the monitor is generally so far away from me, the end user, that I find myself reaching over to answer the incoming line. Personally, I would rather locate the mouse dedicated to the phone system on the desktop and click on the incoming line.
A friend at a communication center in San Diego recently told Xybix that he’s been working with monitors he cannot move. I asked if I could take pictures of a gentleman’s “system” and he was kind enough to let me. I mean hey, it’s not his fault; if you don’t have the tools at your disposal to be able to see what’s on the monitor, what are you supposed to do?
Focal depth is how far your monitor is from your eyes. The adjustment of that depth or focal depth adjustment, allows you to move those monitors nearer or farther from your eyes to better see the screens. It is not a fancy add-on for your workstation. It’s not a luxury. Really, it’s about being able to see what your screen projects. If you have to look at those screens for 10 to 12 hours, doesn’t it make sense that you find a way to do so without stressing your eyes?
Have you noticed that screens on your iPad and phone are much sharper and have a higher resolutionthan your computer monitor? Notice how you can read smaller text more easily? Images are clearer? Your eyes aren’t as tired after using these devices (compared to how you feel after a day of staring at the computer)? Soon, all the benefits of high-resolution screens will be available in your computer monitors, forever changing how you work—and, more importantly, how your eyes feel at the end of a long day.
Monitor arms may seem like a good idea at first, but generally they require the user(s) to make the a viewing adjustment for each individual monitor. This is a significant problem that compromises the potential for proper ergonomic benefits.
In a 24/7/365 task oriented environment such as emergency 911 dispatch, monitor arms would require each user to manually adjust two to four, or sometimes more monitors each time they start a shift at their workstation or console. Multiple monitors – simply exacerbate the problem of achieving the proper optimum adjustment for each individual user.