By Jewon Ju
Initially, investing in a second monitor for your employee’s work space may seem like a massive waste of money and unnecessary use of desk space. After all, what can you accomplish with an extra monitor that you can’t with the one you already have?
Although you can accomplish most tasks with just one monitor, having two monitors can help your employees accomplish the same tasks faster and more accurately, increasing productivity of workers by reducing the time they take to complete particular tasks. Here are five attractive benefits of using a dual monitor setup at work:
1. Productivity Gains
Research by the University of Utah found that multi-screen configurations boosted the productivity of white collar workers in tasks such as data entry, research writing, PowerPoint production, data editing in excel, file sharing between multiple applications and other ordinary office tasks.
This is because having two monitors enables employees to minimize time and effort spent on editing, correcting information, and re-writing draft. The employees also experienced increases in ease of task tracking, ease of task focus, and comfort. The study indicates that the gains from having dual monitors are heavily dependent on the nature of the work and the amount of time spent on tasks and on multi-screen tasks. The findings also seem to indicate that there was diminishing returns on size of the monitor due to head movement required to keep track of their work on larger screens.
2. Communication Improvements
According to an article by Samsung Business Insights, banks such as Morgan Stanley have experienced productivity and communication improvements after implementing dual monitors in their offices. The additional monitor helped employees remain connected in real-time while sharing information more accurately. Dual monitors allow them to leave a chat box or email open while working on other tasks. It also allows them to have other documents open during video calls. This is effective in saving time and in improving the accuracy of communication between workers.
According to Dr. Phyllis King, associate director of the Center for Ergonomics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, a byproduct of improved productivity from using dual monitors is increased comfort, workload management, and higher satisfaction at work.
In addition to worker productivity increases, dual monitors can help reduce unnecessary printing of documents and pictures, reducing operational costs and environmental footprints in the long-term.
4. High Return on Investment
Dual monitors have excellent return on investment. Let’s assume that it takes a typical employee two seconds in total to move the mouse and click to change between different windows. If the employee needs five numbers from five different source materials, having a dual monitor would save about 60 seconds on average. Assuming the employee has to do this task weekly, stretched over one year period, having that additional monitor would save the employee about 52 minutes just for this task.
Although 52 minutes may not seem like that much, imagine how much the extra monitor can save if you used it for all your tasks? According to the research done at the University of Utah, dual monitors can save up to 2.5 hours per day if the work heavily requires multi-screen environment. If we assume that we are paying this employee a minimum wage of $7.25, we will be saving approximately $4,730.63 per year.
The total amount saved increases substantially if we consider an office of multiple employees. Spending about $300 for a monitor and other accessories to set up dual monitor environment seems almost insignificant in comparison to the productivity gains.
Installation and usability of dual monitor setup is surprisingly simple and inexpensive. The setup usually only requires the monitors and one cable. Most computers these days have enough graphics card power to support dual monitors without any problems. If the employees use their own laptop, the configuration can easily be set up with one monitor and a cable. The dual monitor configuration can also be set up to save desk space and improve organization in the workplace through the use of monitor stands.
Dual-screen configurations have become increasingly common in sectors such as finance, technology, marketing, and graphics design; fast-paced, high-pressure industries that require great attention to details and accuracy. Thus, if you’re looking for a simple and economic solution to increase productivity and working environment for your employees, a dual-monitor configuration is highly recommended.
About the Contributor
Jewon Ju is the Business Development Intern at PEPWorldwide Asia. As a technology enthusiast, Jewon tries to incorporate various technologies at workplace to increase productivity and improve time management. He is currently studying Economics and Conservation Resources Studies at the University of California — Berkeley.