If you’ve ever watched a film or TV show that features a 911 dispatcher on the job, then you know that these types of workers don’t sit in any typical kind of desk or cubicle, as these employees aren’t your traditional office drones. No, instead of a row of desks, these workers are often placed in a spacious command center facility with screens in front of them. In fact, you may not notice it, but their dispatch furniture has a lot going on when it comes to determining how they best function in the role of crisis communication. Whereas many office workers can do their job anywhere, dispatchers need to have the right space in order to do their jobs properly.
When it comes to command center console furniture, the NASA look of yesteryear is long gone. Heavy, metallic consoles and equally weighty wooden furniture are considered relics of the past, in a bit of the same way that NASA space shuttles have gotten sleeker and more agile. The latest approach to designing command centers is minimalist, with thin shapes and lines and even lighter materials, like faux wood, Lucite, and Plexiglas. Desks that look like above-ground submarines have been replaced with polished tables with ample leg room like you’re flying first-class.
While “design process” means something different in a lot of industries, generally engineers have a distinct idea of what it entails. For them, it’s when mathematical and scientific skills come together to fulfill a common goal. When a building doesn’t follow principles, as is sometimes the case with areas like control rooms, command centers, nocs (network operations centers), and data centers, mistakes are made that can often cost companies a lot of money, just because of the wrong design process.
Whether it’s control room consoles or office desks, purchasing new furniture is fun. (Who doesn’t love shopping at IKEA?) But just as you look for a sofa that will last through many a cat nap and maybe even an occasional couch-crasher, you should also put the same ideals into searching for control room furniture (although you don’t want employees napping on the job). Command center furnishings should help staff members be able to do their jobs to the best of their abilities for many years to come, without inhibiting their comfort while standing up to wear and tear.
There’s a lot that goes into designing the perfect control room, including the console furniture. Believe it or not, it takes more than providing a space with optimal temperature and room for appropriate technology. There are a lot of things to consider, including how the control room plays into an organization’s efficiency.
As the heart of an organization, a control room or command center should be given the utmost attention to detail, as these centers can make or break an operation.