The use of multiple displays, or more than one monitor, can make it easier for employees to organize, manage, and work on large tasks.
However, purchasing additional monitors for every employee can quickly become expensive. Does it make sense for your business? Following are some pros and cons to consider to help determine the value of multiple displays for your company.
Multiple Display Pros
- Users save time when referring to another website or doing research.
- Displays offer a window for real-time data for those who need to oversee communications, such as emails and customer questions.
- There is less visual clutter when working with several windows concurrently.
- Multiple displays make it simple to compare documents side-by-side.
Multiple Display Cons
- Too much information could be confusing and frustrating to the user, such as when they lose their place or can’t locate the cursor.
- In some combinations there could be difficulties in set up and functionality.
- Productivity is not consistent across tasks and applications, as job type and user experience plays a role.
- Multiple displays require more desk space.
Research Results and Conclusions
In a study of dual monitors by the Software Usability Research Laboratory at Wichita State University, researchers looked at four configurations: single 17″ and 22″ monitors and dual 17″ and 22″ monitors. They found the larger, dual monitors to be the best combination, with 98% of the participants preferring dual monitors over single monitors, and the majority of those favoring the 22″ size.
After reviewing the variables, the study concluded that dual monitors are an advantage over single monitors — not so much for effectiveness, as they found similar project success rates in single and multiple monitor applications, but for efficiency. Additionally, participants using dual monitors reported higher satisfaction which, in turn, resulted in higher productivity.
This higher satisfaction rate could be a result of better control over the information, the ability to access it instantly, and improved organization of workflow. This can have benefits beyond increased output. Happier employees mean less turnover, more positive attitudes, and increased engagement.
Keep in mind that while two monitors are good, it doesn’t necessarily follow that more displays are better for business applications.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking for ways to boost productivity, dual monitors could be the answer.
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