Why would someone ask for a second screen?

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18Aug2010

Why would someone ask for a second screen?

  • By Andrew Garrett
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201008181515.jpgIn recent years, there’s been an explosion of monitors on people’s desks. Not only has your standard monitor size grown from 14″ or 15″ to 20″ or so, but more and more people are seen with two (or sometimes more) monitors on their desk.

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I’ve spoken to managers and business owners who are sometimes hesitant to provide this to their staff.

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This is what I tell them.

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There are two type of people who will ask for a second screen.

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The first, and (I think) most common sort, is the person who wants to get more done. To work more efficiently. More screen ‘real estate’ is similar to having a larger desk surface, if you’re working entirely with paper. You can spread things out, read from one document (or spreadsheet, etc) while writing into another. You don’t have to keep stacking things up, and having to shuffle papers around to find the piece of information you’re looking for. This is particularly applicable to folk who spend a lot of time working in spreadsheet applications, such as Excel – a larger screen (or two screens) allows a lot more of a large spreadsheet to be visible at a time.

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These are the people you want to be more efficient. If they’re paid (for example) $60,000 a year, and you can get an extra 10 minutes worth of work out of them a day, that’s the equivalent of an extra week of work over a year – in excess of $1000 worth to you – and a $500 screen would be considered expensive.

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The second type of person is looking for status, for the sake of status, something better than everyone else has. Fortunately, these individuals seem pretty few and far between – and you know your staff well enough to be able to spot people of this ilk.

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Basically, if you have good staff who are asking for more screen real estate (whether that be a larger screen as an upgrade, or a second screen, either to go along side their existing one, or to be plugged in to a laptop), then it’s well worth the small expense to simply get them one.

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