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One of the best aspects of working from home is the ability to maintain a work-life balance and to arrange the workplace as you wish. A proper desk, chair and equipment can help you be productive and comfortable while you work hard. Most of us have spent our working lives with only one monitor and will probably admit that it has worked well for us. What if it could work even better?
What is a dual-monitor setup?
A dual-monitor installation is just that; two monitors used for a PC or laptop. In IT it is quite common to use more than one monitor on your desktop. For a long time, computer professionals and perhaps only gaming enthusiasts have considered this possibility. For gamers who enjoy PC games, it can help them focus on more than one aspect of the game at a time.
Today, it is much more common in the workplace to install workstations with multiple monitors. Whether they are call centre professionals, data analysts or even office managers, more and more professionals are learning that two monitors can be very useful.
Display Email or Twitter on one screen
If you want to be more accessible to your clients or other professionals in your network, you may find that a second screen can make your job easier.
Although you can use the main screen for most of your work, your email or Twitter may be constantly open in a second browser. While this is usually associated with reduced productivity, using a second screen for this purpose can help you stay focused on your work, while allowing you to quickly scan what’s coming at you (and react quickly) without interfering with your work.
Better task switching
First of all, let’s clarify something. There is no productive multitasking. People are unable to do more than one thing at a time, and you should not encourage that in your employees.
What we often call “multitasking” is actually a change of task. It happens just fast enough for us to imagine that we are doing two or more things at once.
Why is this observation so important? It’s important because the more you can shorten the time between “changes”, the more productive you will be in what you do.
Dual monitors give employees the opportunity to do this. Think of the seconds your employees gain when they switch from one program to the other that work together. Then add those seconds over a day, a week, a month, a year and an employee to see the real productivity gains your business will realize.
Having multiple monitors allows you to improve communication with colleagues and customers. A single monitor of your incoming email or social media ensures that no important updates are missed.
This will be of great help if you are monitoring a support email or chat box on your website. The ability to always be notified of an incoming request makes you a customer service superstar!
A dual monitor is also useful to follow the progress of your imaginary football team or watch the latest YouTube trend video on chats without being too distracted. Come on, you know you did it!
Advanced cutting and pasting
One thing that often happens, especially in administrative work, is copy and paste. If you are using a single monitor, you will need to do the following:
- Select the amount of text you want to copy.
- Copy it either by mouse click or keyboard commands
- Tabulator to the insertion target in another window or program
- Insert the text block in the required field.
- With a split screen, you can simply select the text, click and drag it into the new program and drop it wherever you like. The more actions of this type with a dual monitor, the faster you will get to what you need to do.
One of the main advantages of having two screens is the ease of setting up the process. Even if you are not technically proficient, the process is not as complicated as you might think. In fact, all you have to do is connect the compatible adapter cable from your laptop to a new screen. Once this is done, you may need to adjust your settings slightly to make the display suitable for two monitors. There is also no need to purchase additional software for the monitor, as it uses the software on your laptop.
Fortunately, the cost of setting up dual monitors has decreased considerably over the years. It is important to note that you do not have to buy the best and most visually appealing monitor. You can find a reasonably priced monitor that offers the same features, so there is no pressure to spend too much money if you have a budget.
Remember that it’s not how a second screen (or a big screen) makes us work faster, but rather how working on a small screen slows us down. Remember that your laptop (or PC) screen is a metaphor for your physical desktop. If your desk were to be replaced by something the size of A4 paper, how hard would it be to work efficiently? Very difficult.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.