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A partial myth: workers with more monitor square inches are more productive

Debunking. I love it, but this one hit home. I have written positively about productivity gains for lawyers who use two monitors (See my post of Sept. 30, 2009: monitors with 6 references.).

Support for my conclusion came from a study in 2008 that found productivity gains of 30-50 percent for text and spreadsheet tasks. The bubble meets pin, however, in PC World, Oct. 2010 at 77. NEC, a manufacturer of widescreen displays, commissioned the study, which should give pause to its findings, and in fact the researchers found a bell-curve distribution. “For a single-monitor setup, over 26 inches is too much, while dual-display gains top out at 22 inches.” Even more tellingly, “If you’re planning on using that second display for e-mail, Twitter, or other Internet-related distractions, however, you’re probably going to end up being less productive overall.” Sigh

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One response to “A partial myth: workers with more monitor square inches are more productive”

  1. The EMail issue is acute. Monitor real estate is highly valuable in comparing documents, doing research while writing, and similar tasks where a single task involves multiple panes or windows.
    Humans stink at multitasking; the moment you do two tasks in multiple windows, you’re losing rather than gaining productivity.