Having multiple monitors has been a great debate in many fields of business. Do they cause distractions and less productivity or do they make you more productive and able to multi-task? There have been several studies conducted on this subject and while most have showed it does increase productivity there are many that disagree.
One study done by Researchers in the Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment group conducted a study using participants that had no experience using dual monitors. They had them complete a series of tasks and their studies showed that adding the second monitor for everyday task conducted in normal job routines does increase productivity from 9%-50%.
There have also been studies showing the opposite. Farhad Manjoo, a writer for the New York Times has been a loyal second monitor user for many years and decided to conduct his own study. He shut off his second monitor and conducted tasks as normal and tested his productivity daily. He noticed as a writer that there was no effect on his productivity and the second monitor was simply an added expense.
If you are considering adding a second or even third monitor, here are some Pros and Cons to think about:
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The Pros of Multiple Monitors:
1. It can increase productivity – It can help you virtually multi-task. You can be on a Skype call while working on another monitor or you can have two projects up at the same time.
2. You can stay on top of things. You can have your email account open and have the ability to answer emails while working on another screen. If you are in the marketing, then you can have your Facebook, Twitter, and Google + pages open on multiple monitors to work simultaneously.
3. Allows Flexibility. Most people need to move while working, or need to work from home from a laptop.
The Cons of Multiple Monitors:
1. Lack of Space – Having multiple monitors can limit your workspace and cause clutter.
2. Distractions – Having multiple screens can cause some ability to lose focus on your project and work.
3. Cost – adding multiple monitors does come with extra cost.