A few months ago I read a comment regarding worker productivity improvement when given a second monitor. I must admit that I didn’t give it any real thought since I have utilized dual monitors for some time. However, in my quest to provide you with the best information available I looked into the claims. On the high side there are proponents of dual monitors that claim a 50% improvement in productivity. Studies by NEC, Microsoft and HP have returned results as low as 9% and up to that amazing 50% increase. Therefore, quite a few articles and blogs have attempted to determine if indeed this is the case. Most of the studies have analyzed developers who are using either oversized or dual monitors but I also saw a study analyzing the performance of investors/brokers. In all cases productivity improved with the greatest increase noted when people were switching often between multiple applications and moving information from application to application.
Using the lowest considered increase of 9%, an annual salary of $50,000, and an estimate of 25% of the work day using a PC, results in a savings of $1125. That’s $1125 per year on an initial $87.99 investment for a 19 inch monitor.
Furthermore, multiple articles and blogs suggested that while measuring the productivity may be difficult, the subjective measurement is immediate. Give dual monitors to a heavy user of a PC or laptop and then attempt to take it back after a few months. It takes a brave person to face the gnashing of teeth and guttural growls. I know. I tested the idea yesterday by suggesting that I needed to takeaway a monitor and give it to another co-worker. Bad idea!
Consider this, perhaps it looks like an extravagance to have dual monitors in front of your workers but instead you are actually getting more work out of them. Let’s see, currently Broadvox provides me with two monitors, after this they may be motivated to ship me a third.
See you on Monday.