Multi-monitor Setup and Productivity
Bigger is better. We all want a bigger house, a bigger car, the jumbo-sized burger (honestly, it is better value for money). And now it is screen real estate. To accommodate more room to display more content, phones have gone from small 4.5 inch screens to bezel-less works of art. Phones with multiple screens are a thing now. There is a rising demand for bigger screens and multiple screens, this is true for workstation setup too.
Gone are the days of computers with single bulky CRT monitors. Today we see desk setups running two, three, and maybe, even more, displays to increase the bandwidth and reduce the latency in observing and acting on the information in front of us. Most developers and visual designers work with a minimum of 2 screens (the good ones use more; don’t quote me on this), something that is becoming a necessity for others as well.
I use a two-monitor setup and I cannot go back to the true laptop experience. I don’t understand how anyone (past me included) can work on that tiny screen. It is good to read and write emails or reply to messages, but not much else. I am writing this blog on my external monitor.
It’s like eating really good biryani and then going and eating curd rice. It’s just plain unacceptable, inhuman.
These are not empty claims. Studies on the topic give us conclusive proof that using multiple monitors does increase productivity and better multitasking but more importantly, it helps improve ergonomics and posture.
There are multiple articles out there that claimed that using 2 or more monitors improves productivity.
This article says using 2 monitors improves productivity by 25%. This means if a task took us 4 hours to do with just a laptop, we would be able to complete the same task in about 3 hours when using 2 monitors.
Most companies have started integrating multiple displays into their arsenal. At the end of the day, the goal is to get things done with an emphasis on being mindful and taking care of one’s body using the most ergonomic products and a comfortable work setup.
Let’s face it. Our mattresses are the most comfortable place in the world and our blankets weigh us down to where we cannot get out of bed. When the pandemic started, a lot of us got into a habit of working (and eating) from our beds. There was no reason to leave it, ever. Life-work balance, posture, ergonomics, and spine be damned.
The real difference, I believe, is our mindset when we as humans have to sit or stand next to our desks and work. We are fresher and more productive than when we are sitting on the bed with our laptops (where productivity drops faster than the speed of light). Having a workstation at home helps create a better work-life balance, something we all have had trouble with ever since we started working from home.
A workstation is a good start, ensuring it is ergonomic is equally important. Everything you need to do your work should be within arms reach. A good office chair with under-thigh, lumbar, and neck support is a good investment. After all, you are your most valuable asset.
What should you include in your home workstation setup?
- At least 2 external monitors.
- External keyboard and mouse.
- A comfortable, ergonomic chair.
- Good lighting.
- Comfortable earphones/headphones.
- A big water bottle.
Amazing information about How to set an Ergonomic Desk.
We spend a lot of our time sitting (at a desk, commuting, eating). When working, we spend long periods of time on a chair looking at screens.
It is a good idea to take regular breaks from work. Remember the 20–20–20 rule (the 80–20 rule is a topic for another day).
Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If you use multiple monitors, you are more productive. If you are more productive, you can take more breaks (and we have come full circle). Remember to be mindful of yourself and your body.
I love nature and the outdoors. Whenever possible, at the end of a workday or workweek, I like to drive to the stream near my house. The view is beautiful.
Having a designated zone at home for work is essential and the right choice to make. And NO! Your dining table is not and should not be your work desk.
- 6 Ways to Improve Your Dual Monitor Setup
- Your Work-From-Home Survival Guide for Self-Care
- The Benefits of Dual Monitors and Why You Should Invest | Vibe