One workflow adjustment that’s been gaining popularity in the last few years is the use of two computer monitors instead of just one. And it’s not just those that work in technology that are adopting a dual-display workflow.

It’s being used more commonly in all types of offices to give users expanded screen space for their tasks and thus improve productivity.

Part of creating better business processes is looking at the core areas of a workflow and understanding how things could be optimized. One of the foundational elements of a user’s workflow is their screen. How much space they have to work with dictates much of their productivity in every application they use.

How Much Does Adding Another Monitor Help?

In studies comparing a one-monitor to a two-monitor workflow, it’s been found that adding an additional monitor can significantly boost productivity by over forty percent.

That’s an improvement that should make every business owner consider investing in additional monitors for their team. With the low price of adding a monitor (just a couple hundred dollars on average) and the big increase in efficiency, it’s an upgrade with a fast payback and continuing benefits.

Here are some of the study details on a two-monitor setup:

  • Jon Peddie Research: Average increase in productivity of 42%
  • Dell Whitepaper: Average increase in productivity of 44% for text tasks and 29% for spreadsheet tasks

What Do Users Say About Switching to Dual Displays?

Other findings in those studies found that users overwhelmingly thought the dual-monitor setup was more pleasant to work with and made their job easier.

Two quotes from the Dell report were:

  • “The two-screen layout made finding information easy and quick.”
  • “I felt that I had enough space to have all the windows I needed open.”

Problems that users noted with using just one monitor included that the screen was so small that they couldn’t see the full menu bar in documents, causing their work to take longer for editing, formatting, etc.

Users also complained that using two windows side-by-side was more difficult due to the lack of enough screen space to fully see both documents at the same time.

Ways That Adding a Second Monitor Improves Productivity

Easier to View Two Windows at Once

When it comes to referencing information for a document or comparing a draft with a finished page, it’s often necessary to look at two application windows at the same time.

When working with a single screen, that can be difficult and involve having to resize windows so small that you can only see a few lines of text at a time in both.

Using a second monitor makes it much easier to do this type of side-by-side work. You can have both documents open fully, one on each screen, for faster referencing and editing.

Reduce the Cost of Window Switching

Just the simple task of switching between apps several times per day can eat up approximately 30 minutes per day per employee. Over a month, that’s approximately 10 full hours (at $20/hour, it’s a cost of $200/month).

The less screen space a person has, the more they need to switch between apps minimizing one and opening another continuously throughout the day.

With two monitors and much more screen real estate to work with, users can reduce the time spent window switching. The additional monitor allows them to have more programs open and moving attention between them is a simple as glancing over at the other monitor.

Easier to Find Information

Another time-consuming workflow task is finding information. Whether you’re looking for an email with a certain file attachment or trying to locate a file in a cloud storage system, searching for documents can steal hours of productive time weekly.

In the Dell report, users in a Wichita State University study were surveyed on multiple workflow tasks, including finding information. They noted that locating information was twice as easy with a two-monitor setup.

Image from Dell’s whitepaper

More Flexibility When Sharing Screen in Meetings

Hosting video meetings and sharing your screen can be challenging. Most video conferencing tools don’t give you a lot of options for how to arrange windows and will often pop up bars or inset menus that get in the way when you’re trying to reference something on your screen.

With two monitors, you have a second screen that participants can’t see. You choose which monitor you want to share when you begin screen sharing. This allows you a place to have your meeting notes, have your email open to watch for urgent messages, and gives you much more flexibility when you host a call.

Save Time & Money With Help from ECN IT Solutions!

ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson area business with expert guidance when it comes to business productivity solutions that save you time and money.

We’re here and ready to talk productivity with you! Reach out at 520-200-1055 or through our website.