Should every government employee be given two computer monitors?

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Corey McCarren 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #159254

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Microsoft’s awesomely-acronymed Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment (VIBE) group has shown that larger screen area can significantly improve productivity. And by “significantly” I mean 10 to 50 percent depending on the task.

    Given the productivity benefits of two screens, why isn’t every government employee issued two computer monitors? What type of tasks do you think in particular would receive a boost in productivity through the use of dual screens?

  • #159302

    Corey McCarren
    Participant

    Not so much right now because I find it inconvenient with my laptop, but when writing articles I find it useful to have one screen a full-page with my writing and the other screen my references. It keeps me able to view both at once, which is really helpful. Also, writing out reports based on spreadsheet data.

  • #159300

    Jane
    Participant

    I find it very helpful….Much easier to keep a number of programs up and ready to work on, or access when a citizens calls with questions.

    It is a great help when dealing with a number of spreadsheets.

  • #159298

    Scott Horvath
    Participant

    I’ve always had multiple monitors. At one point I had three. I was doing a lot of coding, database development, designing, etc. I don’t have three any longer. I’m down to two again…my laptop screen and then a larger monitor. Going above two monitors is really going to be a job dependent type of thing. However, I think (personal view here) every employee should have two. One monitor can be for your email application and other minor things and the second one can be for everything else…writing/editing, development, etc. It’s amazing how much you’re productivity increases when you’re not trying to minimize windows or switch windows…and you’ve always got things open in view.

  • #159296

    Bill Brantley
    Participant

    At home I have dual monitors and a second laptop. At work, I have one monitor with one computer. This is why I telework.

  • #159294

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Absolutely. That’s a good workflow for writing articles. You really don’t notice how much you flip back and forth until you’ve worked on two screens.

  • #159292

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    That’s interesting workflow. So if you have a customer call-up, you can have his/her info one one screen, and the FAQ or whatever on another? I like that.

  • #159290

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Scott, three would be very useful for the technical tasks that you were working on. I have two 27-inch Mac monitors. When I use a laptop now, it feels like I’m using a screen the size of a thermostat panel.

  • #159288

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Lol! That’s a good reason, for sure. You’re doubling up your productivity — working from home AND using two monitors.

  • #159284

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Jessica, that’s great setup as well.

  • #159282

    Steve
    Participant

    Well, at the local government level, at least here, every employee doesn’t have two computer monitors because of budget issues. That being said, I think technical tasks, webmaster tasks, and any type of task that requires you to be in multiple systems at once are good candidates for multiple computer monitors.

    I’ve gone with dual monitors at home (as well as at work) and it is difficult for me to go back to a single monitor.

  • #159280

    Bill Brantley
    Participant

    Some great ideas for workspaces. Lifehacker often has a featured workspace design that is very inspirational: http://lifehacker.com/5905004/the-workspace-in-the-roof

  • #159278

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Steve, you’re right – seems like budget contraints wouldn’t advance this productivity booster anytime soon. Based on all the comments thus far, it sounds as if a lot of professionals choose to make the investment in a second monitor themselves because of the work productivity. If you can get another hour or two out of your day, then it’s worth it.

  • #159276

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Great link. I love that workspace setup.

  • #159274

    I still use a box monitor at work. We wont be getting flat screens for years. There is no way that we’d ever have the budget to use two monitors for every employee regardless of the productivity improvements

  • #159272

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Man, I forgot about box monitors.

  • #159270

    Jane
    Participant

    I am so glad we have flat screens…much easier on the eyes. We have done the upgrades gradually and based on needs/uses. Not all employees have or need two screens. But it is a great time saver and also very helpful in dealing with the public. It makes it much easier to access the information they are wanting quicker. (local municipality)

    I would love larger screens for doing spreadsheets, but am very happy that I have two screens, so will wait for that upgrade.

  • #159268

    Corey McCarren
    Participant

    I definitely agree that not everyone needs or even wants two screens. Though who really would prefer two screens could find cheap options. If it were that important for me I would probably consider purchasing a second monitor myself.

  • #159266

    Henry Brown
    Participant

    kinda dangerous to wholesale distribute 2 monitors for each government employee… A significant number of employees are only single tasking for the majority of the work-day. And there are cases where more than 3 monitors would dramatically improve productivity… And if the “regulations” were set so that everyone could have 2 monitors, a 5 to 10 percent increase in productivity would probably have a rather low Return On Investment, and the people who could increase their productivity by having more than 2 monitors would, in some cases, have to fight an uphill battle to get 3.

    For several years I used 2 monitors because I was expected to monitor/manage several projects at the same time. About two years ago, got a 40 inch monitor which pretty much eliminated the need for multiple monitors.

  • #159264

    Allison Primack
    Participant

    Got tons of responses to this question on GovLoop’s Facebook:

    Cathy Tang ‎2 monitors is definitely the way to go! Multitasking!

    Mark Kane Multi-tasking … gotta have it.

    Elliot Samuel Volkman At least two monitors you mean
    Doug Mashkuri I wonder the environmental impact has ever been measured of additional monitors in the workplace.

    Elaine Zubkoff Blackman I find it a huge help.

    Kilian Sullivan Don’t know how I managed without the second, and wish I had two at home.

    Kurt Rosenkranz I have two at home. When I use my single monitor at work, my screen feels about the size of a postage stamp.

    Iris Mars Two computers … saves time going in and out of apps.
  • #159262

    Kurt Williams
    Participant

    Two screens is always better than one!! I work in graphics and web design so its needed. Productivity is so much better I know because I freelance at home on one small screen.

  • #159260

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Absolutely – two screens is a good start.

  • #159258

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Never considered that – just get one giant monitor, which would eliminate need for two. Good breakdown on the economics of two monitors.

  • #159256

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Oh yea, especially if you’re a freelancer. Dealing with multiple client projects. Two is a must!

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