by Jeremy Miller, Technician
When debating whether adding another monitor will increase productivity enough to justify the cost, consider this.
• What positions would need additional monitors?
• What sizes would be necessary?
• The product you have on hand?
• Are there any other solutions?
Different jobs and job types might require additional monitors. For example, any position that needs to be viewing more than one full-screen window at a time.
People who receive information electronically, such as an email, and then have to input information into some form or database would benefit from an additional monitor.
Also any one working with large or wide documents such as an Excel document with a lot of columns. Researchers can easily read from one screen and take notes on another.
If deciding to go with an additional monitor or multiple monitors you must decide on the size to be cost efficient as well. If you just need two screens to display information then you could use screens in the range of 16 inches and 22 inches.
Going above 26 inches can sometimes decrease productivity. In some cases having very large screens or even a single very large screen can leave you searching longer for information.
Exceptions to this could be a graphic designer or a video surveillance personal. It has been found that having more smaller-sized screens than one larger screen increases productivity in low-cost monitors.
Next, consider your product on hand. By this I mean: Do you have laptops, computers, monitors, desk space, or additional ports available?
If you already have a tower and a monitor, check to see if you can support additional monitors by checking if you have an open video port. If not, then you have to add a video card or use a USB monitor, and this can add to the cost.
Most laptops and notebooks come with an external video port. Also consider the type of available video port. There are many types of video ports including VGA, DVI, HDMI and less commonly, S-Video.
If your desk area is not large enough to support more than one monitor then you would have to either add desk space or mount the monitors in a manner that meets your space needs.
If for some reason you cannot support multiple monitors but wish to increase productivity from your monitors you can always purchase a higher pixel resolution one.
A good resolution is 2560×1440; this will add desktop space with minimal monitor size increase. The higher resolution the more that fits on to one monitor.
Consider the cost of the separate options. The cost of adding a monitor to an existing computer can be costly if you also have to purchase another video card.
If you are planning on purchasing new computers it might be more cost effective to be sure that they are capable of supporting multiple monitors from the start.