Emergency Management

The Split-level Controversy

Importance of Rear Access
Do you know which sit-stand workstation to buy?

Americon has been manufacturing split-level dispatch consoles for many years in order to meet the needs of its customers who believe split-level work surfaces is a paradigm in the dispatch industry. My four decades of experience studying dispatchers and designing dispatch and call center workstations tells me that there is a better way.

Sit/stand Options

In our technology center, we demonstrate four sit-stand options that clients can sit at and evaluate. When tested side by side, the majority of the time, our full work surface lift and full workstation lift systems are chosen over our split-level versions.

There are some obvious reasons:

  • The split-level versions limit the amount of usable work surface in front of the calltaker.
  • The split-level versions have inherent pinch points not found in full-lift workstations.
  • Cable management is considerabley more complicated
  • The split-level versions are more susceptible to misalignment due to uneven weight distribution.
  • Cost: The motorized split-level is more expensive because it requires more motorized lifting columns and a more sophisticated actuating system.

After going through demonstrations and sitting at each, here are some customer responses:

  • - “We like the ability to utilize the full work surface to lay out papers and equipment.”
  • - “Because operators start their shifts by arranging the equipment to fit their needs, we like the idea that holding in a simple rocker switch until it reaches the desired level. This allows us to stay focused on our work without being distracted by adjusting individual work surfaces.”
  • - “We can see that the split-level has pinch points and things falling on the floor between the two surfaces would be a problem.”
  • - “It’s obvious that some people need to adjust monitors forward for better focus. Pulling monitors forward past the split in the work surfaces is problematic since monitors have to be pushed back before going from sit to stand. We see the potential for damaging equipment and worse.”

We continue to offer for sale split-level workstations because each client’s environment has its own idiosyncrasies. In some rare cases, the split-level may be a viable solution. My personal belief is that the split-level is an archaic paradigm but the customer’s perceptions and preferences have to be taken into consideration. Consequently, our sales consultants adhere to the adage “Your wish is our Command”.

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