The buyer’s guide to consoles for equipment-intensive environments

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5 questions to help you save money and improve worker performance.

Need workstations for your NOC, 911 call centre, process control or security operation?

The following questions will help you choose a console solution that meets the long-term needs of your workers, your department – and your bottom line!

  1. Does does the console adequately address ergonomics and worker comfort?

ergonomic consoles and workstations - Console with sit/stand options for worker comfort.Whether you are dealing with the safety of your local community, or the critical operations of your business, your workers play a vital role in your operations. You can have the greatest systems and technology in the world, but if your workers are uncomfortable, or tired, they will respond slowly and make poorer decisions. (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.)

To keep your workers comfortable and alert, your console solution should meet or exceed office workstation standards such as ANSI / BIFMA (For example: BIFMA G1 – 2013 Ergonomics Guideline).

It should also allow workers to switch between sitting and standing, and to adjust aspects of their local environment, such as lighting, airflow, and temperature.

  1. How does it accommodate and protect your equipment?

Console wall with channels for cables and built-in cooling.

Technology is playing a bigger and bigger role in monitoring environments. Today, we regularly see operations with more than a dozen pieces of equipment per workstation.

All of this technology requires special care and handling. It needs to be kept cool in order to maximize lifespans and prevent shutdowns. Power and data cables need to be kept tidy and separated in order to prevent signal interference. Equipment needs to be kept safe and secure from theft and environmental threats ranging from dust to seismic activity. Make sure to check that your console solution is built with technology in mind.

  1. Can it easily adjust to different worker preferences?

Console showing customized worker setups.

During every shift change, the first thing the incoming worker will do is adjust the console setup based on their height and personal preferences. Over time, this repeated action leads to frustrated staff and a lot of wasted worker hours!

A console that easily adjusts to each worker will not only save time, it will increase worker satisfaction, and therefore productivity. (Read the study from the National Research Council of Canada.)

  1. Is it adaptable to new and non-standard equipment?

Custom equipment installed in 911 console.

Could anyone who bought a console 5 or 6 years ago have predicted the meteoric rise of tablet computers in the workplace? To accommodate these new devices many organizations have been forced to come up with custom solutions because their consoles weren’t built with future changes in mind.

You want to make sure the solution is flexible by design – easily able to incorporate new and non-standard equipment.

  1. Can the console be expanded or reconfigured if required?

With a modular design, existing console walls are easily leveraged to add new workstations.

Most organizations want to get at least 5 years of use from a new console. During that time, it’s safe to assume that your operation will undergo some kind of change. For example, you may need to add more workers, or split a large console into separate smaller consoles.

A console that employs a modular design will make expansions and reconfigurations quick and easy. A modular design also allows you to leverage the components you already have in place. For example, when you need add another worker to your console, it is a simple matter of adding on to existing components.

Final thoughts

Many businesses have wasted thousands of dollars purchasing console furniture that simply wasn’t up to the task. Using these questions as a guide, you’ll get a console solution that is purpose-built for equipment-intensive environments.  In the long run it will save you money and create a more productive environment for your workers.

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