A control room is the nerve center of your organization, where critical decisions are made every hour of every day. To make these decisions, operators need situational awareness and a space that makes decision-making more efficient, not more difficult.
In this blog post, we define 5 ways to increase productivity in the control room through control room design.
1. Machine learning tools to help manage all the data
Access to real-time data means control room operators get the absolute earliest possible indication that a critical event has occurred. Real-time information can provide actionable intelligence. The challenge, however, is being able to make the best use of that information.
Intelligence from real-time information can be used to monitor and assess risks as well as conduct impact analyses. However, data also needs to be shared among stakeholders and used to take action and respond to crises in the moment. The true value of real-time information comes from being able to inform decisions when even seconds can make a difference.
Implementing machine learning/AI software in a control room can help increase productivity by assisting operators in the following ways:
Alerting your team as soon as an event breaks — often before traditional news sources are aware of it
- Operators can be notified for both regional and global alerts
- Sorts through billions of data points to give your operators only the relevant information they need
- Multiple incident alerts can be supported including public health data, weather events, and cybersecurity — among many more.
- Deliver alerts based on urgency
2. Ergonomic consoles designed specifically for control room operators
Desks in a control room are an important component of an operator’s performance. With the latest ergonomic principles applied, control room desks can contribute to an overall “human factor” in the control room that reduces fatigue, encourages alertness, and overall improves operator well-being.
Constant’s control room furniture solutions include consoles with adjustable height capabilities which enable ergonomic comfort. Our adjustable sit-stand consoles can be customized to your exact requirements in order to develop the perfect command center furniture solution for your operators. When designing our articulating consoles, the engineers at Constant carefully consider cable management, equipment access, and power and data requirements to create a console that serves the needs of both a 24/7 environment and the operator.
Control rooms often require long shifts which can be taxing on both mind and body; Selecting the right furniture for a command and control setting can make a difference in operator comfort and performance
3. Central visualization for situational awareness
Situational awareness is key to a productive control room. In order to ensure that operators can act upon the real-time information, central visualization through a large video wall ensures all operators can see and collaborate with relevant information sources. The audio-visual setup in a control room can also be designed to share data with other relevant locations, whether that’s an adjacent conference room or another control room located at a separate location.
Proactive situational awareness in a control room demands that operators gather, analyze, and disseminate information in a timely manner. The AV system plays an irreplaceable role in helping operators complete those tasks efficiently. In addition to the video wall technology that can display a wide variety of sources, operational efficiency hinges on managing the flow and control of data. Video wall processors and control systems can assist with this.
In the management of mission critical data, it’s vital to define the types of information you will need, how you will gather and analyze it, and how you will manage and share the information. An organization cannot truly have situational awareness without having a clear and organized plan for the data that will be displayed in the control room. During the process of creating your operations center, a project manager from Constant can work with you to determine the exact functionalities necessary to integrate an intuitive system.
4. A control room layout that takes operators into account
The layout of your control room can affect the overall performance, especially considering whether it is optimized for operator use. Choosing an expert partner to assist in control room layout design will ensure your mission critical center is optimized for your needs.
Your control center should be designed in such a way that the layout encourages ergonomic comfort and collaboration to promote efficient operations.
Control room spatial design is key to how the space functions and supports operator comfort. Consoles, walkways, and video walls should be placed in a way that establishes a smooth workflow with easy access for operators.
One of the key elements of ergonomic control room layout design is a sight line analysis. The goal of a sight line analysis is to place operator consoles in relation to the display so that operators can see shared information with minimal head or neck movement or interruption to their work. The analysis also takes into account what would be in the field of vision to the right and left for someone sitting at a desk to maximize what operators can see with eye rotation before they have to turn their heads. Reducing operators’ need to move their heads or neck will minimize physical strain as well as make accessing vital information simpler.
From sharing information on a video wall to working alongside colleagues, collaboration is also integral to the successful operations center. In addition to ensuring each operator has optimal sight lines to the video wall’s shared information, Constant also considers collaboration in its console furniture layout and types. Huddle spaces, adjacent conference rooms, and workstations arranged in pod configurations can all promote collaboration within a mission critical space. Constant works closely with the end user to ensure the design works toward the installation’s overall purpose.
5. Durable control room equipment
Operators in control rooms work long shifts, and these spaces are often staffed 24/7. That means equipment such as the audiovisual system and the console furniture are used constantly. If not made well with mission critical use in mind, the equipment can deteriorate quickly under these conditions, potentially interrupting vital operations. The best way to avoid issues caused by your equipment is to select mission critical quality from the outset.
In installations where the reliability of the technology isn’t as crucial, there is a lot more flexibility with the quality of technology that can be installed. In mission critical, however, there are specific capabilities that must be carried out, so your AV integrator needs to be more selective with the technology and aware of the strengths and weaknesses of every product within the audiovisual design. There are products specifically tailored to work in mission critical environments. It is important to choose an audiovisual integrator with a deep knowledge of the mission critical industry to ensure they know these products and how to work with them.
In addition to the technology, your consoles should also be durable and purpose-built for mission critical. Dedicated control room consoles will have a rugged build to withstand 24/7 use as well as more substantial equipment storage and cable management.
With high-quality equipment, your control room can be more productive and avoid delays due to the deterioration of lower-quality products.
These are just a few of the ways that the design and products you choose for your control room can affect overall productivity. When creating a space where a high level of productivity is non-negotiable, it’s important to choose a partner you can trust.
Constant has worked with clients all over the world for decades, building unparalleled expertise exclusively in the field of mission critical. If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you with a new control room, contact us today. Our design and budget consultation is free.
Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+ years of experience, we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.