Can Multiple Monitors Increase Productivity?

When you’re in the IT industry, one of the most rewarding things you can do for your clients is to help them increase their productivity with technology.
 
But if we step back and take a look at upgrades across the computer industry over the past, say, twenty years, there really aren’t many mind-blowing developments in this regard. As far as operating systems go, we’ve seen our desktop interface become more user-friendly, and we’ve seen some neat changes in capabilities… but we haven’t seen anything dramatic in the way of productivity.
 
Even the cloud, with all of its very legitimate benefits of convenience and mobility, does not offer a measurable increase in our productive capacity.
 
But when our clients ask us what we recommend as far as productivity tips, we do have one go-to answer: invest in dual monitors.
 
Below we’ll walk through the benefits of dual monitors, along with whether or not more monitors necessarily equates to more productivity.
 

The benefits of using two monitors at your offices

Implementing dual monitors is the only change you can make to your work environment that will actually boost your overall productivity by up to 30%. Thirty percent!
 
Specifically, NEC/Mitsubishi, ATI Technologies, and the University of Utah found multi-screen desktop configurations to be:

  • 29% more effective for tasks
  • 19% easier for recovering mistakes
  • 28% better for task focus
  • 38% easier for moving between sources

It really is a game-changer if you’ve not used it before; it’s incredibly natural for us to use one monitor as a reference for the other, and to not have to bother with flipping back and forth from tab to tab (and crossing our fingers that we don’t forget what was on that first tab before we make it onto the second).
 
Most of the folks in our office will have their email up on one screen, and a web page or document open on the other. If data entry or comparison ever enters the picture, the job is a cinch.
 
It’s really very simple to set this up with your desktop or laptop alike, and will only cost you a few hundred dollars to do so.
 

Will more than two monitors increase productivity even further?

When it comes to monitors, two really is your magic number; once you start talking three, four, seven screens, you aren’t going to see proportional increases in productivity since we cannot realistically split our attention that many ways.
 
Sure, some programmers may have unique needs that can make more than two monitors useful, but for the bulk of us, it really only takes that second screen to get the job done.
 
Our company recommends this setup to all of our clients, regardless of their industry or size, because it just plain works.
 
It’s a simple change, it’s a small investment, and it’s a sure-fire way to see some serious results on the productivity front.


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