In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have instigated social distance measures for their citizens. For most, this means that people who are not related, or living together, should remain at least two meters apart. In social circumstances this is reasonably achievable with common-sense and consideration.
Home office not possible in all environments
Governments around the world have mandated that people work from home where possible and only perform essential tasks at their normal place of work when it cannot be avoided. In a lot of work environments social distancing is not always easy. In particular in office settings and control rooms in which desks and workstations are spaced close together and operators sit within the two-meter recommended distance from each other.
Quite often there is a need to access computers and workstations that are fixed in location because of the layout of the surrounding equipment and technical infrastructure. Typical examples are operations control stations in plant and process control systems, broadcast transmission galleries and security and surveillance posts in government facilities.
Physically relocating fixed equipment to achieve social distancing at desks is not always possible: there may be insufficient space or rerouting interconnecting wiring may not be possible.
Simple relocation of the workstations
An alternative lies in the use of KVM extenders and switches. Simply by inserting a pair of console (CON) and local (CPU) devices between the computer source and operator it is possible to move the control position to virtually any new location: whether that is simply a few meters away in the same room, in another room within the same building or even in a distant facility several tens of kilometers away.
A KVM extender offers a full robust and reliable connection between the operator and his, or her, computer. All features and facilities remain operational; keyboard and mouse commands operate as normal and the visual image is as good.
Access to several computers from any location
A small KVM switch can be included that will enable several operators to access a bank of computers from any location giving even more flexibility. This will also help in situations where a whole room may need to be relocated, for example should it need to be deep-cleaned.
Both of these scenarios can be implemented rapidly and very easily on a temporary basis, enabling organizations to respond quickly, maintain essential operations and look after the health of their critical workers.