What's the point of having multiple monitors

Screen work: more monitors make you more productive

In many professions, one spends at least eight hours every day before the monitor. It is read, written, researched, designed, programmed, created, deleted again and started again. The screens have become more and more modern and larger, of course, but meanwhile a new development is becoming more and more popular at workplaces: People are no longer working on just one monitor, but rather on several screens at the same time. Whether arranged side by side or one above the other, the effect remains the same: More space to work and greater clarity. Critics question the usefulness of such a workplace design, yes Studies show that multiple monitors are actually worthwhile ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

More monitors make you more productive

The more screens, the more productive. What sounds like the justification of a technology nerd and status freak is actually the result of a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering and Organization (IAO). 67 test persons took part in the tests and first had to solve typical tasks on a 19-inch monitor.

Then they divided the researchers into groups: the first stayed on the 19-inch monitor, the second was upgraded to a 22-inch widescreen monitor, and the third group was assigned to one Workstation with three 19-inch monitors set that were interconnected. Then: new task and new result ...

Group 1 could do the productivity at least 1.9 percent increase (the researchers suspect this is simply a learning effect), while group 2 increased performance by a whole 8.4 percent.

The winners of the contest, however, were the participants in group 3: you improved your performance by an impressive 35.5 percent. Or as the Fraunhofer scientists summarize it: For knowledge workers, not only larger, but above all multiple screens can lead to an enormous increase in productivity ...

The big advantage of having multiple monitors

But where does the big increase in productivity when using multiple monitors come from? The reason for the great advantage of having multiple monitors lies in the way they work. Various windows and applications are always open. You regularly switch from one program to the other, read a note, process it, jump back to the research, look at the intermediate result and then continue with improvements that you noticed.

A workstation with several screens opens up the possibility of to open different programs at the same time and side by sideto reduce the constant back and forth. Instead of closing one window, opening another, looking at the information you are looking for and switching back to the original program, you only need to look to the side on the second monitor on which the document you are looking for has already been opened.

So sit down multiple monitors against a particularly large screen. Although several programs can be opened and edited in parallel, there is less space in the end if several windows, which one would like to view in full screen, have to share the area of ​​a monitor. How exactly the screens are arranged is up to each individual in the end. However, most of them opt for a horizontal arrangement - i.e. several monitors next to each other at the same height as possible.

How do multiple monitors affect health?

An often-voiced criticism of having multiple monitors on the desk: It is bad for health. The arguments often sound similar and are quite understandable. First and foremost, it's about the additional burden of constantly turning your head to let your gaze wander over several monitors. But do multiple monitors really affect workplace health?

A study has also dealt with this question and it was shown: No, It does not have a negative impact on health if you arrange several screens in parallel next to or on top of each other on your desk in order to work on them. Rather, it turned out that not the type of screen arrangement, but rather the task that most strongly influenced the physical parameters studied. The researchers were able to determine that the muscle activity in the shoulder and neck area showed significant differences - but only depending on which task was being performed and not how many monitors the test person was using.

The detailed results of the study can be downloaded and viewed in this PDF.

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