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PSAP and 911 dispatchers spend long shifts tied to their workstations, often going many hours without a break to stretch. Long hours in the same position make ergonomics a critical pain point for any dispatch center. In the high-stress dispatch environment, tools must be in the right place, monitors adjusted to fit line of sight, and ample surface space free of obstructions or clutter. The comfort and efficiency of a dispatch desk setup can directly impact performance, often with life-and-death results. Here are a few ideas for how to make a dispatch console more comfortable.

Dispatcher with Watson console ergonomic dispatch workstation

1. Workstation Airflow and AC

Everyone tolerates temperatures differently, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for office temperature. In order to keep all employees comfortable, individual environmental controls that regulate air flow and heat for each workstation are the best solution for keeping dispatchers comfortable and focused during long work shifts. Just a few degrees too hot or too cold can completely disrupt workflow, reducing focus and reducing comfort. And while the typical office thermostat wars can be frustrating and distracting, there isn’t time for that in a dispatch center or control room.

Many dispatch centers have already taken advantage of filtered air fans to push room temperature air at dispatchers. While most console furniture manufacturers provide options for desk fans, it’s the implementation that sets them apart.

One of the most important features of any dispatcher workstation is fan location. Some workers prefer to have in-desk fans that boost airflow and cool off the immediate workspace, while others prefer to have standing fans that are easily movable and altogether separate from the desks. Both can be great options, and often it comes down to individual preference.

Watson Console sit-stand dispatch console

2. Adjustable Sit-Stand Dispatch Consoles

With several dispatchers often using the same desk, it’s vital to offer desks that are not only ergonomic but are also easily adjustable between shifts. Dispatchers come in all shapes and sizes, so why should dispatch consoles be one-size-fits-all?

Enter sit-stand consoles. They offer maximum adjustability, allowing dispatchers to sit or stand, and switch between the two quickly. Traditional fixed-height desks don’t provide the flexibility many dispatch workstations need.

Varying posture helps to prevent injury, reduces strain on the lower back from prolonged sitting, increases muscle activity, combats a sedentary posture, and boosts overall productivity. Additional flexibility provides options, which is always a hit in any office.

Just as custom desk height is important, so is workstation focal depth. Choose a dispatch console that allows for customizable workstation focal depth to prevent eye strain and improve productivity and comfort.

Dispatch office ideas with Watson desk setup

3. Comfortable, Ergonomic Chairs

Research shows that 74 percent of office workers experience pain at their desks on a regular basis, which leads to distraction and decreased productivity. In addition, lower back pain is the second most common reason for employee absence. A good chair helps your health and helps you avoid absences. It’s a win-win!

Comfortable, ergonomic chairs prevent this lower back discomfort in several ways by conforming to each dispatcher’s specific shape, supporting the spine, and keeping tissues and joints in neutral alignment.

Ergonomic dispatch chairs should provide customizable support in adjustable seat height, adjustable armrests, and appropriate seat width and depth for every employee.

Watson Quality

When choosing a dispatch console, quality is the most important factor. All Watson Consoles are made with the best quality materials and state-of-the-art comfort options. Customize your desk with airflow and environmental controls, sit-stand height options and adjustable workstation focal depth. Bring comfort to your dispatch center with our Mercury line of workstations for maximum ergonomics and adjustability.

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