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Control Room & Console Trends

By Sustema

Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that employers are investing more resources into creating more optimal workspaces. It comes as no surprise that the industries we operate in, are some of the most physically and mentally demanding ones. From emergency dispatch centers to utility centers, these industries operate at a high pace, requiring a 24/7 focus. In addition to such high demands, comes the fact that most of these industries often involve extended working hours in comparison to other more conventional jobs. It is not uncommon for employees at a given dispatch center to work upwards of 12 hours per shift.

That is why at Sustema, our team of experienced sales reps, designers, and engineers pay close attention to our customers' needs, not only from a functionality perspective but from a design one as well. The following article sets out to address some of the more popular design trends we see occurring in the control room industry today.

1. An Emphasis on Ergonomics

Though making a work environment more ergonomic seems like a simple task, it is in fact a process that takes into consideration a handful of factors that often go overlooked. It has been said, that small details such as; the height of the seat, the elbow positioning, the height of the monitor, the distance between the user and the screen, and the height of the desk, all play crucial roles in the overall long term health and job performance (BostonTec, 2020). Since the average office worker sits for 10 hours a day, the argument can easily be made that workstations should be as comfortable as the homes we live in. Failure to do so will eventually lead to unwanted negative side effects.

Implementing an ergonomic working environment is undeniably costly, but one of the smarter investments a company can make. According to Mark Middlesworth in his 2021 article titled “5 Proven Benefits of Ergonomics in the Workplace”, employees will take notice of their employers putting forth their best efforts to ensure their health and safety. Employees will also begin to no longer experience tiredness and irritability during their workday, which can “reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement”. Some other noteworthy findings as it relates to ergonomics are; a 48% average reduction in employee turnover will occur, a 75% reduction in lost workdays as well as a 58% average reduction in employee absenteeism.

As you can see in the images below, all of our consoles generally adhere to ergonomic standards (also read our article on ergonomics).

  • Our Transit series offers a dual, height-adjustable surface, which allows multiple users to preset their desired heights for their keyboards and monitor surfaces. This also allows users to stand while working, which has been proven to offer certain health benefits (see article on advantages of standing at the workplace).

  • Our transit series also comes equipped with curved edges allowing for the uttermost forearm comfort and preventing injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome (see article on curved edges).

2. An Emphasis on Aesthetics

More and more, we find our customers paying closer attention to the design process of their consoles. Several options within the design process exist:

  • Surface color: Selecting the right surface color is an important part of the design process. At Sustema, we offer upwards of 20 different surface colors and finishes, with the most popular being grey tones, according to John Greene (lead engineer at Sustema).

Swipe right to see some of the more popular surface colors at Sustema

  • Edge type: Surprisingly, not all consoles have the same edge. At Sustema, our clients have access to upwards of 10 different edge types, and believe it or not, every edge type comes with its' own set of advantages. Some of the most common types of edges are the following: Urethane, T-Molding, and Edgebands.

3. An Emphasis on Employee Productivity

Gone are the days when a desk was just a desk. Today's control-room workers are highly skilled individuals, requiring much more than just your traditional desk. It isn't uncommon for many of our clients to require upwards of 6 computer monitors, integrated cooling & heating systems, as well as fully adjustable lighting systems. Today's consoles are often equipped with features that are often overlooked by the naked eye, however, are the determining factor between an employee having a mediocre work shift and a highly productive work shift.

In our recent article titled "How Ergonomics Improves Job Performance", we explained how employees will recognize their employers making an effort to ensure their health and safety via investing in ergonomic consoles. Employees will also begin to no longer experience tiredness and irritability during their workday, which can “reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement”.

4. An Emphasis on Durability

It's always tempting to want to equip your control rooms with consoles that are more cost-effective. However, before making the decision to purchase just any console, make sure to inform yourself first on what materials are being used and are there any warranties included with your console? At Sustema, we've seen numerous clients come to us disappointed with their original console purchases. One of the most common comments we get is that the consoles broke down much earlier than anticipated at which point we remind them that many console manufacturers fail to recognize the fact that control room consoles are being put to use 24/7/365. This means that in order for the consoles to last the test of time, the uttermost top-quality materials are required.

At Sustema, we don't cut any corners just to save on costs. Rather we go above and beyond industry standards to ensure that our consoles are built to last. And surely, it's one thing to make the claim that our consoles are built to last, but it's another to back that claim with a limited lifetime warranty. Due to the many quality control protocols implemented into our manufacturing process, we've built a strong reputation for building superior consoles, with one of the highest approval rates in the industry.


Whether you're new to control room consoles, or you're a seasoned veteran, the trends will continue to evolve to meet the physical and aesthetic requirements of the many different industries we serve. For more information on today's current trends, give us a call today at 1-800-455-8450 or email us and our member of our team will be glad to help you.


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