Do multiple screens increase productivity?

Industry experts agree “Not only does screen space impact on a person’s productivity, it also affects employee satisfaction at work”


Evidence suggests that introducing multiple screens per workstation is one way in which employers can increase productivity. Should you be making the investment now to see future gains for your business?

The statistics

Studies carried out by the University of Utah, Microsoft and Jon Peddie (as reported in The New York Times) highlight several significant findings relating to using increased screen area, whether that’s with a larger single or dual screen set up:

  • Productivity increased by up to 42%
  • Tasks were completed 52% faster than on a single monitor
  • Spreadsheet editing is faster on dual screens
  • Mistakes were reduced by 20%
  • On average, increased speed freed up 2.5 hours a day
  • $1.5 million can be saved yearly

Further studies commissioned by Fujitsu Siemens Computers found that a three-display workstation made users 35.5% more efficient at performing tasks, supporting the finding above.
Several industries already use multiple monitor set-ups to increase productivity making daily tasks easier to achieve. Designers, publishers and accountants all utilise this arrangement to enhance working conditions. When J Carlton Collins surveyed 400 accountants he found that 58% used at least 2 monitors and 12% used 3 or more. But these aren’t the only industries that can benefit from access to larger screen area. Pfeiffer Consulting identified that a 30-inch screen can increase productivity in office applications such as word processing and spreadsheets.

The practicalities and implications for your business

Do the figures stack up?
The practical uses of a dual-monitor system are fairly obvious, but what does it mean in terms of cost and benefits to an enterprise thinking of introducing this into the workplace? Are you going to see a return on your investment?
Whilst spending money on monitors may seem like a huge investment if employees have laptops or screens in place, evidence suggests that the relatively low cost of modern screens means that businesses will easily see a return on their investment.
The increased speed at which users were able to work meant that on average they were freeing up 2.5 hours a day, which can equate to massive savings for an enterprise over the space of a year. It was suggested that in a company of 250 employees this increased productivity could save a business over $1.5 million even with electricity and the monitor costs factored in. Pfeiffer Consulting’s survey shows that an ROI of thousands of dollars can be made on the investment in one single 30-inch screen.

Take the next step

If an enterprise is reconfiguring its current workspace and IT systems it’s a perfect time to introduce technologies that can make dual screen a possibility for those employees who would most benefit.
Introducing universal docking stations into your IT set up means that several peripherals can be connected to a laptop at once, including multiple monitors. There are several models on the market that allow the user to connect more than one monitor at once, including our own USB SuperSpeed™ Dual Video Docking Station, and these could offer the perfect solution.
Universal docking stations make the set up of a workspace with adequate monitors easy. They help reduce the number of cables needed, allowing desks to be free of clutter yet still provide enough ports to enable users to connect printers, keyboards and mice at the same time as running two screens.
The technology in Targus’s docking stations can support high-resolution screens too, so having more than one monitor won’t affect picture quality – a huge benefit for designers, editors and those who work with images on a regular basis.

In summary

“Not only does screen space impact on a person’s productivity, it also affects employee satisfaction at work … smaller screens are no longer justified in terms of productivity returns and worker well being.” Dr James A. Anderson, Ph.D. University of Utah.


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Targus offer a full range of docking solutions to support a complete range of requirements and price points. Please call us to find out the best docking solution for your Organisation.

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Discuss our range of Universal Docking

Targus offer a full range docking solutions to support a wide range of requirements and price points. Please call us to discuss the best docking solution for your organisation.

Speak to Targus

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