TOC and NOC centers are among the many names for a operations command center which manages information from outside of the room. As new technology comes into this industry and new room design ideas are created, your command center design will change. For 2020, how can your room layout/design be more responsive and adapt to the fast pace technology and communications changes that are headed your way?
Ergonomics – Most of you have been hearing this for years, but this industry has been slow to adapt to sit to stand consoles. This is for good reasons. Command Center rooms have larger consoles due to the number of monitors needed. Manufacturers have struggled to make large consoles which can move up and down reliably. Now is the time to put your operator's health on the top of your list.
Standing at Work - Now that standing furniture is ubiquitous, the need to have it as a recruiting tool is even greater. The expectation that you are buying state of the art furniture consoles for employees to work at is appealing to the younger generation of workers. Let’s face it, working in a command center is not a sexy job. Maybe we can make it more appealing with something as easy as allowing users to be more comfortable.
Video Walls – Video walls are also getting nimbler and more responsive to room design. In the past the video wall dominated the entire room design. Everything had to work around a massive wall. Video screens can be smaller and placed on more than one wall. Information is easily transferred from one screen to another. This opens the room for better console layout design. You can now take into consideration operator groups and how they need to work with each other, and out of the traditional classroom design where everyone is inline facing the front of the room.
Console Layouts – The traditional command room layout typically has all of the consoles facing forward to the video wall. This classroom style layout is one of the least efficient for having consoles fit into a room. If you are growing and need to fit more consoles in the same space, there are some alternatives. Talk to a console company that has interior designers on staff.
Bigger Screens - The use of 42” screens split into quarters, when needed, are becoming more and more common. They look great and with today’s software you can easily change the screen to meet your needs. Look for 4K monitors with a fast refresh rate. Also look for a console which has the monitor surface separate from the keyboard surface. This is what the industry calls "dual surface". This type of console will allow you get the monitors lower and keep the site-lines view of any video walls.
Not many people get excited talking about operators consoles, but when it comes time to make that upgrade in 2020 everyone is ready. There is nothing better than getting new furniture in the place where you spend most of your time.