Dual-monitor workstations may be more expensive to set up, but the investment can be worthwhile in the long run. For many employees, working from two monitors can increase productivity and efficiency, resulting in a better product created faster. Here are the pros and cons to providing a two-monitor setup, and what you’ll need if you decide to set one up at your business.
The Pros and Cons of Dual Monitors
A dual-monitor workstation brings more pros than cons overall. Two monitors will increase productivity and efficiency. Imagine having to work from a spreadsheet and a Word document at the same time. Instead of needing to switch between windows constantly as you’re working, you’ll have both on side-by-side screens at the same time. An employee’s workflow will be increased significantly. That’s the main advantage to setting this up, and it’s a big one.
The main downsides to using dual monitors are cost and space. If your budget is limited, then you’ll want to make a conscientious decision about which employees actually need dual monitors. You’ll also want to consider office space. Two monitors take up more room. Make sure the desk and workspace are big enough to support them. You may also need to invest in newer equipment that can support two monitors and won’t be slowed down. Some older laptops, for example, may have trouble adding a second monitor.
Which Jobs Benefit?
Not every employee needs to work from a dual-monitor workstation, although they’ll all certainly appreciate it. Any employee with a dual monitor can, for example, keep communications apps and to-do lists open on a second screen. They can jump quickly into work conversations and chats. But overall, this setup is best for jobs that require running and working from multiple programs at the same time.
Graphic designers and video editors, for example, thrive with a dual-monitor workstation. They may be editing a photo on one screen for a layout they’re putting together for a magazine page on the other. Or they may be editing a video while also putting together a graphic for that video on a different screen.
Writers and researchers can also benefit from this setup. They can write an article on one screen while researching supporting evidence on the other. Web designers and social media consultants will also thrive with this setup. They can edit a webpage or manage a social media account on one screen while researching articles to share with readers and answering questions from potential customers on the other. Paralegals and attorneys will also like two screens. Consider writing a brief while also researching case law; the project will move along a lot faster with two screens.
People who work in architectural design and similar fields will also benefit. If you’re doing 3-D rendering, for example, you may have programs like AutoCAD, Photoshop and a browser open simultaneously. Being able to see them side by side can speed up productivity. As you can see, many jobs will benefit from this setup.
How to Get Started
First, you’ll want to buy a second monitor that’s ideally similar in size and resolution to the current monitor. If the desk isn’t big enough, you may need to buy a larger desk. You may also want to get a dual-monitor stand. Make sure you have the right graphics cards, display adapters and ports to support dual displays. You may want to consult an IT professional who can give you advice on which equipment is best for your office.
Remember to include your employees when you’re picking the monitors. Some jobs require special equipment. For example, some writers and researchers may prefer a vertical monitor since they write long articles or view webpages that they’ll want to see at a glance. Others may need a specific resolution or monitor size for their job. So talk to your employees about what works best for them.
There are far more advantages than disadvantages when it comes to investing in a dual-monitor work station for some of your employees. If your budget allows, this is one office improvement that you won’t regret.
Have you used a two-monitor workstation? Share your experiences with us on Twitter.