Are your employees still using single monitors?

by | Dec/23/2009

Microsoft’s research shows that worker productivity increases from 9% to 50%:

Dual monitors can pay for themselves quickly with increased worker productivity.  If a worker’s productivity is increased even only 9%, and you calculate 9% of their yearly pay, you can see what a bargain the dual monitors are as long as the employee is busy.

Another way of looking at this is that if you have a $50K/year employee who is overloaded and frequently flips between windows on their screen during the day to get work done, your choices to improve their work production at least 9% include:

  • Hire a new part time employee for $4.5K/year, plus HR costs, plus find a place for them to sit and work, buy them a computer and monitor, and spend time and money training them.
  • Or, get the first employee a second monitor for $300.

The prices are much lower than ever before. You can find high resolution 25.5-Inch widescreen LCD monitors for less than $300 each.  Most modern workstations support dual monitors—even many laptops.

Would you consider working on a desk that was 19″ or smaller diagonally? These days, the computer screen is your “desk.” Most desks are huge compared to the size of a single computer monitor.

Users who try two monitors and see how productive they can be never go back.


  1. Mike Foster

    In visiting with CEO’s, one of the common questions is, “How do I use 2 monitors?”

    The answer is that, after your IT professional sets up your second monitor, your mouse pointer will be able to move from one screen to the other. You will experience “a monitor twice as wide as before.”

    You can easily drag applications (like your web browser, e-mail, etc) from your main monitor to the spare monitor. This doubles the amount of information you can see at the same time.

    The learning curve is essentially zero.

  2. Mike Foster

    The 3D movie Avatar shows some amazing uses for large monitors. If you see the movie and want to, remember to notice them. One of my favorites is the monitor the air traffic controller uses on the planet Pandora. The monitors in the cockpits of the large troop transport in the beginning of the movie are amazing too.

  3. Kate Weinstock

    Mike, first of all you have a great blog. Everything is so easy to read! This post in particular is so true because I use to only have one monitor at work but now that I have 2, I get so much work done. Everyone at The Purple Guys uses 2 monitors. I also asked my boss for another monitor for doing work at home because my laptop screen just isn’t enough.



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