Do you find it hard to complete your work on a single laptop screen or a single out of the box 19″ monitor? Contrary to what your boss may think, it may not actually be your fault; it could well be the tools that you are given.

There have been a number of studies dating back to the early 2000’s which have shown that using two monitors or a larger monitor can significantly improve productivity for workers performing a wide array of tasks, from web design to word processing and much more. These include studies commisioned by Microsoft, NEC and John Peddie Research (reported in the New York Times). Whilst these may have been commissioned by monitor manufacturers and computer hardware companies, I think that anybody that has transitioned from one monitor to two (or possibly the other way around) will agree that there is a notable difference in productivity.

We look into some of the advantages of using two monitors in the workplace and how this can improve your productivity in the office.


A lot of jobs working with computers require the users to perform a number of different tasks using a number of different software, often at the same time. Here are some typical examples of working practices which would benefit from  a dual monitor set-up:

  • Watching a video tutorial on one monitor and going through it in the application on the other monitor at the same time
  • Comparing websites/versions of the same website side by side with a full screen for each
  • Reading an email on one monitor and performing the required actions in a software application on the other e.g document alterations, website changes, copy to duplicate etc
  • Copying information from one source to another
  • Writing a document on one monitor whilst researching information on the other monitor
  • Entering code into a website editor whilst previewing the live site on the other monitor
  • Editing an image and comparing it to the original or inserting it into a leaflet/website/document on the other monitor


For a limited amount of desk space that an extra monitor takes up, there is a significant increase in work space (double usually if you have two identical monitors). Here are some of the benefits from the extra display space:

  • No longer having to split a small monitor into multiple parts in order to view different applications/software at the same time without tabbing between them (as shown in the image above)
  • Reduction in the risk of eye strain if the worker no longer has to compromise on application size on the display
  • It supports an organic workflow – it feels more natural to work from two screens
  • The extra work space is great for managing multiple social media networks at the same time
  • Stretching a document across both screens – useful for wide spreadsheets
  • Increased visibility of web browser tabs – split the workload into a browser in each monitor so that you can see what each tab is for when working from a lot of tabs at the same time


When it comes down to it, time is money in business. Imagine how much money you could save if each worker’s productivity was improved by just a small percentage. If each colleague achieved just one hour’s more work per day, it would only take a couple of weeks to pay off the cost of each additional display, but the benefits would keep coming, with added perks including an increased staff morale and a higher job satisfaction, as the workers will be able to work in a more fluid way without repeatedly stopping and starting tasks. Whether you are a small or large sized company, this could bring about some serious savings of both money and time. With monitors available from under £100, why not try it with a few of your staff members and see if you can notice the difference. We certainly think that you will!


Photo by someToast

by Ian Shaw
April 24, 2015