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Are two monitors better than one?

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Have you been toying with the idea of a dual monitor setup but aren’t convinced of the benefits? Perhaps, you’ve had employees requesting a second monitor claiming that it will help them to get more done. In this article we’ll look at whether two monitors really are better than one and look at the plus points and negative points for a double monitor setup.
Let’s start off by looking at some of the business benefits of a dual monitor setup and how these could apply to your company.

Benefits

Increased productivity
One of the biggest reasons to choose two monitors instead of one is a boost in productivity with some studies showing a massive 40% increase compared to a single monitor setup. This is most apparent in several jobs such as graphic design, web development, IT, reporting and other related jobs. But it is not just these jobs that it can help improve productivity for, here are some common tasks that can be completed much faster and more accurately with two monitors:

• Data entry
• Writing a report
• Viewing and editing a large spreadsheet
• Communication
• Product comparison
• Word processing

Collaboration and data-sharing
With a huge proportion of the UK workforce now working remotely, there has been a huge rise in the use of collaboration and video conferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco WebEx and many others. Multiple monitors make it easy to share data with colleagues while keeping a separate screen for your video conferencing application making it easy to switch between tasks and screens.

Health benefits
In addition to the business benefits of dual monitors having a second monitor has been found to make working with a computer for long periods of time more enjoyable. This is linked to the 20% reduction in errors for workers using multiple monitors which helps them achieve a greater sense of job satisfaction and workplace happiness.
According to a study by the University of Utah employees also experienced a reduction in stress when working with dual monitors compared with single monitor workspaces. A two-monitor setup using a laptop is growing in popularity in a lot of workspaces as it allows for flexible working and hotdesking so employees can simply plug in to a second monitor and get to work in a matter of seconds.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits let’s look at some of the negatives of a two-monitor setup.

Negatives

Reduced desk space
This is not such a big deal in most modern offices as monitors are now much slimmer than ever before meaning that most standard office desks can easily accommodate multiple displays. And, while this might not be possible in every situation most employees would benefit more from an additional monitor than they would from having more free space on their desk.

Additional cost
Probably the biggest decider for businesses is the extra cost outlay for a dual monitor setup. But when you consider the 40% boost in productivity it suddenly starts to look like a small price to pay in order to get the most from your workforce. You could always start with the employees who will see the most benefit first and gradually upgrade and add additional equipment over time for all employees.

Setting up dual monitors

Getting started with two monitors is a lot easier than people imagine with most business workstations capable of running dual displays. For laptops the advice is to get a model with a decent graphics card although most built-in windows graphics are fine for two monitor configurations.

Simply plug your monitors into your PC base unit or the ports on your laptop and if you are using Windows or MacOS you will be able to identify your screens and set these up to either extend your display or duplicate your screen depending on your system preferences.

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