In this guide, we discuss what you should consider when buying a command center desk so you can get the best value for your organization and ease your employees’ workflow.
Choosing Furniture for Control Rooms, Command Centers, and Mission Critical Environments is No Easy Task
Command center desks (also known as command consoles) are not your typical workplace furniture. Since they are designed for 911 dispatch, air traffic control, campus security, and other high-stakes professional operations, these highly specialized workstations include a wide variety of features you will not find anywhere else.
Because the organizations that use command center desks are so specialized, it’s often difficult to find guidelines that tell you which exact features you are most likely to need. However, you can get an idea by talking to your operators about their workflow, as well as what they do and don’t like about their current command center desks.
Be sure to ask whether your employees have or would use the following features:
10 Features to Look For on Command Center Desks
1. Electric Height Adjustment for the Command Center Desk Surface
A standardized, non-adjustable command center desk will only have the ideal ergonomics for a small proportion of your staff. To make sure all of your employees can work comfortably with their wrists straight and feet flat on the floor, choose work surfaces with at least 12” of electric height adjustment as well as height-adjustable chairs.
2. Adjustable Monitor Mounting Options
Many employees who work in mission-critical functions need to use multiple large monitors at the same time. If this is the case for your organization, you will need a command center desk with a Slatwall array. The array should hold monitors in unusual configurations like multiple double stacks, portrait configurations, and large screens.
3. Accessible, Built-In Storage Space
If your operators need additional equipment beyond their computers and keyboards, they will want storage space close at hand. Look for command center desks with tech pods or technology cabinets, plus vented panels and ultra-quiet fans to keep equipment cool if needed.
4. Status Indicator Light or Supervisor Alert Options
For 911 dispatch and many other operations, employees need a way to quickly alert their supervisors and other employees about certain status changes. Some command center desks include these features as part of the furniture.
5. Cable Management Features
Cable management is an underrated but critical part of a functional command center desk. Make sure your operators’ workstations have something to keep all their cords, wires, and cables organized and safe from accidental disconnection.
6. Power and Data Features
Your operators will likely want to keep their devices charged while at work. Why not help them out by choosing a command center desk with convenient power and data features?
7. Multi-Monitor Height and Focal Depth Adjustment
When employees adjust their monitor viewing angles, all monitors should move together with a single-touch control.
8. Sit-Stand Height Adjustment
To boost wellness beyond basic ergonomic features, consider getting a command center desk with full sit-to-stand electric adjustment. As a minimum, your console furniture should support the 5th percentile female sitting to the 5th percentile male standing. Make sure your organization also has ergonomic solutions for anyone who is unusually short or tall.
9. Dimmers for Task Lighting and Ambient Light
Your employees should be able to easily adjust the lighting around them to maintain a comfortable environment and prevent eye strain.
10. A Lifetime Warranty on All Command Center Desk Parts and Materials
Your command center desks should ideally come with a 10-year warranty that covers shipping and labor for necessary repairs on all parts and materials. The product guarantee should be easy to understand and should not include too much fine print.
Design Your Best Possible Control Room With the Right Command Center Desks
For more tips on command center design, check out our recent posts on user-centered design, ergonomics in mission-critical environments, and setting up computer control room furniture with maximum efficiency.