Increasing Productivity: How Dual Monitors Can Save You Time and Money

Business.com / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Want to know how a second monitor help to increase productivity by 20-30 percent? Read to find out.

Initially, you may think that purchasing a second monitor for your employee’s work space is a colossal waste of money. What can you accomplish with a second monitor that you can’t with only one?

While you can accomplish most tasks with only one monitor, two monitors allow you to accomplish the same tasks in a fraction of the time.

In fact, dual monitors have been proven to increase productivity by 20-30 percent, according to The New York Times’s report of a Jon Peddie Research survey. 

How does a second monitor help to increase productivity by 20-30 percent?

Related Article: 5 Productivity Myths, Busted by Data

A second monitor helps to increase productivity by decreasing the time it takes to complete certain tasks. These tasks can consist of a variety processes such as

  • Data entry
  • Drafting an email using source material
  • Comparing products side-by-side
  • Comparing an original image to the finished one in graphic design
  • Spreading large spreadsheets across two monitors to view a report in its entirety
  • Leaving a chat box open while you work.

Let’s look at how much time a second monitor can save you in data entry. Imagine you’re drafting your weekly reports.

  • First, you open your report template and locate which information you need to find.
  • Next, you open all of the related documents your employees have submitted to you.
  • After you open all of these documents, you go to the first document and scan it for the information you need.
  • You switch back to your report template and enter relevant information.
  • Then you switch back to the first document, double check that you entered the information correctly (because whose going to be able to remember all those numbers perfectly 100 percent of the time), and open the next document.
  • You repeat this process over and over again until your report has been compiled.

email inbox

Related Article: Can an Office Makeover Affect Employee Productivity?

Even if you only have three documents to compile into your report in this scenario, you’re switching between documents at least 13 times and that’s if you only need to pull one number from each document. With a second monitor, you can pull up the report template on one screen and then all of the source documents on the second screen.

Even if you follow the exact same steps, you only switch between documents seven times because you can see both the report template and each source document at the same time. In addition, your accuracy improves with a second monitor because you can see the source document and the report at the same time.

If you need to pull multiple numbers from one document, you still only switch between documents seven times with a second monitor because you can leave the first source document open while you input your numbers into your report. With only one monitor, the original 13 times you switch between documents increases exponentially by how many numbers you need to gather.

For example, if you need to pull five numbers from three source documents, you’ll switch between documents at least 40 times if you only have one monitor.

While decreasing the number of times you switch between documents sounds great, how much time does it actually save you? Switching between documents is only a click away so does it really matter how many clicks it takes to complete your report?

It takes about 1.5 seconds to move your mouse and click to switch between documents. After double clicking, the average delay time for the next document to open is 0.5 seconds, totally in about 2 seconds. If you need five numbers from each source document for your report, a second monitor would save you 66 seconds each time you compile your weekly report. Over the course of a year, a second monitor would save you about an hour on this one task.

While saving 1 hour a year doesn’t sound like that much, how much time would a second monitor save you if you used it for all of your tasks? According to the University of Utah, a second monitor can save each employee 2.5 hours each day if they use it for all of their tasks. If you have 30 employees, a second monitor saves you 75 hours a day, 375 hours a week, 1650 hours a month, and 18,825 hours a year. Even if you’re paying these employees a minimum wage of $7.25, which you’re most likely not, you’re still saving at least $136,481.25 a year.

When you can save at least $136,481.25 a year by spending a couple hundred dollars on a second computer monitor for each employee, why wouldn’t you? Invest in a second monitor to significantly increase your employees’ productivity, increase their value and decrease your costs. When you can cut costs, you increase your profit margin.

Increasing your profit margin is basic Business 101.

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