The Enterprise-C bridge always fascinated me. It was so utilitarian compared to any prior (or subsequent) Enterprise command centre. Add to that the reused TOS movie Space Mountie uniforms (minus belt and turtleneck) and Wrath of Khan
phasers, and it always makes me envision an era where Starfleet was dealing with extreme budget cuts.
As for the consoles, I doubt those preparing the set gave much thought to their functions. They just arranged a few generic consoles on their standard guest ship set. If that far forward console was meant to be manned, it'd block the view of the screen.
Or maybe the bridge is supposed to be far bigger than the actual set? Imagine those rear consoles and upper level continuing all the way around. It'd be huge. A giant TNG/STXI-sized viewscreen wouldn't be so hampered by one or two crew at the far forward station so much as the Ent-D battle bridge viewer would.