Should You Invest in a Second Monitor?
Imagine this: you are enjoying a nice cup of coffee and croissants from Lune (yum!) while sitting at your desk and enjoying the view of the Melbourne skyline from your office. Then, you look at your monitor and realise you have a mighty task of sorting out tabs/windows currently open. It gets worse if you must split the screen into two for two apps so that you can see both beside each other. Oh! What a way to ruin a beautiful chilly morning!
This would be an ideal situation in which investing in a second monitor would immensely benefit you. The extra screen real estate will reduce the time you spend continuously struggling to open the right window amidst a layer of open windows on the desktop. You must be wondering looking at people using two monitors and thinking that they do some fancy tech job, but two screens are a boon to anyone whether an accountant or marketer or admin, etc.
You can improve productivity with a second monitor to a large extent, more than you can imagine. A study conducted by Mavenlink says that 73% of the businesses interviewed spent almost an hour each day locating the right apps and switching between them. Another research by Jon Peddie conducted over several years found about a 42% increase in productivity had occurred with two screens across a wide range of job types. According to more studies conducted from 2002 to 2017, there has been a steady rise in businesses using double monitors and this trend saw a compound annual growth of 10%.
This productivity is associated with expanding screen space. With more important information being visible on screen, more work gets done on time. In addition, the time spent to find the right window is significantly reduced, you are not struggling with that anymore so you can utilise this time to be more productive. With two screens, you can have important programs like email/Slack/messages always open on one while you switch between other apps more fluidly on the other. With increased fluidity, you can do much more in less time!
Increase Laptop Screen Space
Laptops are extremely useful because of how portable they are. Most people now use laptops for all work and businesses prefer providing their employees with laptops as opposed to computers. It suits well businesses, especially those that require their staff to travel often or work in a hybrid working environment (working a few days in the office and a few days from home). The downside to this is that laptops have small screens and require the person to often stare down at the screen when they are on a desk.
It is important to have the screen at eye level for better ergonomics and better productivity. Thankfully, laptops can easily be connected to monitors and can improve your working experience drastically, almost as if you are connected to a desktop PC. After connecting monitors, you can choose to have a few apps showing on the laptop screen and others on the monitors or simply mirror your laptop screen onto the monitors.
Makes comparisons easier
On an average working day, several tasks need you to compare data from different windows and compile on another. You may be editing designs or creating roadmaps and would require multiple windows visible at the same time. Or you may even need to create a PowerPoint presentation with lots of data and also include notes, graphs, and other data. Getting two windows beside each other on the same screen is quite challenging and you may frequently lose your configuration of windows when you switch between applications.
When you try resizing a window or accessing a menu item or try to open a new window, you would have to spend more time setting up your previous window configuration. When you get two windows beside each other on the same screen, it also reduces screen space for each window leading to difficulty while working. With two screens, you have the flexibility to maximise two different windows so that you can easily finish your work and spend much less time doing it.
Makes Multitasking Easy
When you screen share on video calls, you would have to clean up your screen so that you do not get unnecessary notifications or some confidential information from popping up. In case you need to check your notes or email during the meeting, it is difficult to do so with a single screen. During long meetings, it becomes necessary to keep an eye on important emails so that you don’t miss out on essential items. When you have two monitors, you have the choice to decide which screen to share and at the same time have other windows open on the other screen, which cannot be seen by the meeting attendees. It is a plus if you want to quickly check your email or peek at your notes while you share screens in a meeting.
Adding another monitor to your workstation isn’t as expensive as you would think. It is quite inexpensive when compared to today’s technology expenditure. You can buy a new monitor for anything between $125 to $250 and they last for a long time. When you look at the stats provided above, more than a 42% increase in productivity will get you a great ROI. A bonus is that there is no learning curve with this as you would just need to connect the monitor to your computer/laptop, and it is ready to start using instantly. All you must do is drag windows from one screen to the other. It is almost as if you had one large screen.
If you require help improving productivity, reach out to us to get access to a range of technology tools that provide a high ROI with a minimal investment.
About the author
Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.