Get a Larger Monitor, Become more Productive

I’ve always liked larger screens, I mean I work on my computer 6-8 hours a day so the more screen real estate I have the easier it is to get work done. Back when everyone had 17-inch CRT monitors I decided to go out and get a nice big Dell 20.1-inch widescreen LCD. Back then everyone looked at me like I was crazy, but now look the standard seems to be a 19-inch or 20-inch LCD.

I’ve always said that having more space makes you more productive, but now someone has proved it.

Working late? Blame your computer screen. A new study finds that bigger monitors make people more productive.

Researchers at the University of Utah tested how quickly people performed tasks like editing a document and copying numbers between spreadsheets while using different computer configurations: one with an 18-inch monitor, one with a 24-inch monitor and with two 20-inch monitors. Their finding: People using the 24-inch screen completed the tasks 52% faster than people who used the 18-inch monitor; people who used the two 20-inch monitors were 44% faster than those with the 18-inch ones. There is an upper limit, however: Productivity dropped off again when people used a 26-inch screen. (The order of the tasks and the order of computer configurations were assigned randomly.)

The study concluded that someone using a larger monitor could save 2.5 hours a day. But James Anderson, the professor in charge of the study, tells the Business Technology Blog to take that result with a grain of salt: It assumes that someone will work non-stop for eight hours, which no one will, and that the tasks they perform will all benefit from a larger screen, which isn’t always the case. But things like moving data between files are ideally suited to bigger or multiple screens. Anderson, who uses a computer with two 20-inch screens and one 24-inch one, recommends that businesses take the time to match employees with the proper size screen based on job requirements.

Story from The Wall Street Journal

Right now I am using a Soyo 24-inch LCD (I finally let the Dell 20.1-inch go) and I have a smaller 20-inch screen that I use for instant messaging, twitter, pownce, and IRC. So I have all of my work on 1 screen and the 2nd screen is used for chatting etc. I really think that having a larger screen does make you more productive, which in turn makes you more money.