Studies show that a second monitor can massively boost your productivity. But this won’t be the case for everyone. Given the expense involved, a thorough cost-benefit analysis is needed before making any decisions.
If your work requires you to multitask, you might be tempted to add a second monitor to your workstation. And in principle, that’s a pretty good instinct! A long-term study by John Peddie Research revealed that the right dual-monitor setup has the potential to increase your productivity by a whopping 42%.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to technology. Depending on how you work and what you need to do, two monitors might not increase your productivity enough to justify the extra cost. In fact, they might even harm it. Let’s take a look at a few of the pros and cons.
Double the monitors, double the screen space
This is something a lot of studies agree on: people tend to work better with a larger screen. It’s generally more comfortable on the eyes, better for the posture, and allows you to take in more information at once. But this applies to single as well as dual monitors, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you need two.
What dual monitors do allow you to do is to keep more documents, tabs or applications open at the same time. If you routinely need to consult and compare multiple pieces of data, this can save you a lot of time and bother. On the other hand, if you need to minimise distractions – such as social media, chat or email – it can actually make your productivity much worse.
Double the monitors, half the desk space
If your primary concern is having more screen space, then a bigger monitor should be your first port of call. To state the obvious, two monitors take up a lot more space compared to one. Your desk needs enough room for both monitors to stand safely, at the correct height and distance so you’re not hunching forward or craning your neck, and with enough space for your keyboard, phone and any other equipment you need.
Double the monitors, double the cost
Money is another factor when it comes to a dual-monitor setup. Not just the cost of buying another screen, but the added strain on your electricity bill can really mount up – especially for business owners, who may be implementing dual monitors for multiple team members.
Even if the productivity benefits of two monitors seem immediately obvious, we recommend a thorough cost-benefit analysis before taking on the extra expense. In some cases, the increase in productivity will more than offset the investment. But in others, you could have the same benefits at a much lower cost by upgrading to a bigger and better monitor and/or migrating to a more flexible cloud-based solution such as Microsoft 365.
IT is an investment, but that doesn’t mean you always have to go for the biggest and costliest solution. A knowledgeable IT support partner, such as Perigon One, can help you review the situation and decide what kind of workspace setup will be most productive – and comfortable – for each member of your team. If you would like to talk over your options, just get in touch to schedule your free 15-minute consult.