How to design the control room for your retail store

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How to design the control room for your retail store

Owning and running a retail store comes with a lot of responsibility and anxiety. With all your money invested in the store itself, the products on display, the assets behind the counters and the people you’ve hired to help you – safety is a daily concern.

No one should have to deal with that stress while they’re trying to serve and assist customers. But that is why you invest in a surveillance control room. Just make sure that your control room is equipped with everything you could possibly need and designed with key factors in mind.


Why your store needs a control room

Before we get to the design factors your control room needs, let’s look at the reasons why your store should have a control room in the first place.

As the manager, you can’t be the eyes, ears, service consultant, complaints director and bouncer all in one. It’s impossible. What you can be is a smart manager who designs a control room and hires a professional to manage and control it. You aren’t the only one who worries about their safety in the store. You, your employees and your customers are all vulnerable in the event something happens.

Knowing there is surveillance of the store being monitored on a live basis will make people feel more at ease and will decrease the chance of robbery as they will be caught on camera and identified. It will also serve useful in the case where liability claims have been made against you or your store regarding an in-store incident.


Keep it friendly

When designing your control room, you should try your best to keep it friendly. Now, that doesn’t mean it needs to be painted bright colours with smiley-face stickers all over the walls. It just shouldn’t be intimidating or give people a reason to worry about their security.

Yes, you are taking measures to make your store a safer one, but you don’t need to give your staff a reason to think there is a huge threat to their safety. It’s only a precautionary measure.

So, to do this, you can incorporate your company colour scheme and theme in the room as you would in your own managerial office. Make sure there is enough space to accommodate all the necessary equipment so that it doesn’t seem like a desperate measure to over-provide security. And before you finalise the colours on the wall, try and stick to neutral grey or cream colours, as these will help with productivity, focus levels and decrease visual strain.


Think “ergonomics”

Ergonomics is an important part of control room design and should be incorporated into every aspect of the room. Ergonomics takes comfort in the work environment into consideration and while the rest of your staff is working hands-on with the merchandise and customers, your control room operator is sitting behind a desk of computer screens and video footage.

Areas where you can think “ergonomics” include:

  • Desk: The height of the desk in relation to the operator’s arms is important so that blood flow isn’t compromised and strain isn’t caused in the shoulders, neck or back. The organisation of hardware on and around the desk should also be organised with no wires or clutter lying around the desk and restricting movement.
  • Chair: Most of the control room operator’s work day is going to consist of sitting on a chair and, for that reason, it should be an ergonomically designed chair with a supportive backrest, sufficient cushioning and armrests. The chair should be height adjustable to complement the desk and height of the operator.
  • Hardware: Should there be a keyboard and mouse or general control board, it should be designed in a way that supports the operator’s wrists to decrease the likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome. The computer and video screens should also be high-quality technology so as to last as long as possible and not have flickering issues that could damage eyesight after a prolonged period of time. You should also ensure that there is enough lighting in the control room itself.
  • Ventilation: You can’t expect someone to be stuck in one room all day and not offer some sort of ventilation system. Air conditioning, extractor fans or windows (with blinds to control lighting).


Keep it organised

Organisation should be easily attainable in a control room that is efficiently designed. And the best way to achieve that is to keep the design and space simple. Don’t clutter the room with unnecessary equipment or furniture, all you need are the essentials. You don’t want to risk obstructing a clear line of sight to the screens or to the one door (should an emergency exit be required).

And an organised control room means organised control over your retail store.

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