What is the Best Dispatch Desk?

Posted by Ken Carson on Feb 21, 2024 7:25:29 AM


What is the best dispatch desk?

How often do you google “What’s the best…?” Every time you shop for something unfamiliar, I’m guessing. And shopping for dispatch desks usually falls into that unfamiliar territory. After all, the desks last a long time—10 to 20 years—and they’re not exactly advertised on TV. Unless you intentionally keep up with innovations in the technical furniture industry, the Google machine is often your best hope to start researching the desks.

Once the Google-guided hunt begins, you quickly realize that there is no straightforward answer to “What’s the best dispatch desk?” That’s because the best dispatch desk is the desk that is best for your dispatch center, whatever its unique size, needs, and budget. But how do you sort through the dizzying array of features and claims to find what’s best for your center?

The key to finding the best dispatch desk for your center is to document your needs and prioritize them. I know that can be a challenge, so I put my 30+ years of experience in the 911 dispatch center market to work for you. Follow this handy guide to what you may need and want in dispatch desks for the next 10 to 20 years.

Protect Health & Productivity

If the word “ergonomic” makes you yawn, think about the health and comfort of your dispatchers. An ergonomic environment offers endless benefits that protect health and productivity, including preventing the pain, costs, and absenteeism from musculoskeletal issues such as carpal tunnel and headaches from neck pain and eyestrain. Features to look for:

  • A height-adjustable range that complies with the ANSI/HFES 100-2007 standard, allowing users from 4’11 to 6’2”, sitting or standing, to achieve the proper desk height. With the desk at the proper height, users can ensure the neutral wrist that prevents shoulder, neck, and back pain.
    Tip: Any manufacturer can say a desk is ergonomic. For a truly ergonomic desk, it must meet or exceed this standard.

  • A curved desk shape and desk edge that provide higher levels of comfort, whether repeatedly reaching for a radio control, glancing from monitor to monitor, or leaning against the desk for a moment. Curved desks can better fit a room and expand the user’s primary reach zone, decreasing repetitive stress injuries.

  • A dual surface option that allows the monitor surface area to be adjusted independently of keyboards. This provides greater flexibility when adjusting multiple monitors to the proper focal depth and viewing angle.

Hold All that Equipment

Health and productivity are easy to prioritize. Next comes all that expensive equipment dispatchers use throughout the day. Look for:

  • A monitor array that holds multiple screens, side-by-side or stacked, without bowing. It should be modular, allowing easy replacement and upgrades. It’s not uncommon for a dispatch desk to accommodate 8 monitors of all shapes and sizes.

  • Simple ways to make ergonomic adjustments so monitors are at the proper focal distance and viewing angle. This does wonders to preventing eyestrain and neck pain—but getting people to actually make the adjustments requires ease of use.

  • A specialized cabinet for the computer to free up desk and floor space. Cooling fans and dual-access are recommended for computer cabinets.

  • Tools for managing all the cables that power the equipment. Expert cable management prevents snagging hazards, equipment damage, and the chaotic look of tangled cords.

  • Easy access to swap out keyboards or mice for seamless replacements.

  • Free design and layout services. Once your designer accounts for all this equipment, they need to design a room layout that accounts for your communication processes. Find designers that are fully degreed with experience in managing egress and ADA concerns.

Ensure Strength & Stability

Strength and stability are non-negotiable features in a height-adjustable desk loaded up with equipment that helps dispatchers perform life-saving work. To ensure that a desk won’t tip or cave in, injuring a person and damaging equipment, look for certification from the Business and Institutional Manufacturers Association, otherwise known as BIFMA. To meet voluntary BIFMA standards, manufacturers must submit products for rigorous testing that includes setup, strength, durability, usability, stability, and more.

Tip: As with ergonomics, you’re not looking for the manufacturer to claim strength and stability. You want third-party proof through BIFMA.

Confidence through the Warranty & Service

To prevent downtime from a broken desk, take a look at the manufacturer’s warranty. A strong warranty on manufactured parts, moving parts, parts from third-parties, and labor indicates confidence from the vendor. Look for a warranty of at least 10 years for parts—a lifetime warranty is a bonus.

Warranties don’t do much on their own. You need service to get the workstation up and running, whether it’s a wealth of DIY videos, FAQs, a live person on the phone to answer questions, or a visit from a technician. Find out what you can expect in terms of response and resolution for a 24/7 environment.

Don’t Discount Creature Comforts

Without a doubt, I believe dispatchers require strong, stable, height-adjustable desks that handle multiple monitors, all backed by a great warranty and service. That said, the features customers embrace are about comfort and convenience. You might look for:

  • Ambient back-lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Custom LED light colors
  • Personal fan
  • Person heater
  • Data port for phone charging
  • Built-in cupholder
  • One-touch adjustments for alternating between sitting and standing
  • An app for saving lighting, temperature, and height preferences
  • Health tracking tools

While these features fall firmly into the nice-to-have category, they clearly enhance employee morale, which improves employee retention.

As you start to prioritize features and determine the best desk for your dispatch center, feel free to reach out to Xybix at any time. We have satisfied customers at centers with 1 desk, 100 desks, and everything in between. We can help find the best desk for you.


Topics: Ergonomics, Features, Dispatch, Xybix vs. Competitors