Bigger computer screens increase efficiency at work

Monday, January 19, 2009

This should be a no-brainer for anyone that has given it any thought, but it's good to see that a study has confirmed this given that it's that much easier to convince one's boss for a wider screen when there's solid evidence behind the need for one.

The reason why the study is so important at this time is because of price:

But the price of LCD panels plummeted by almost a third in 2008, according to Sweta Dash, an analyst at the market research firm iSuppli. Ms. Dash projects the trend is likely to continue for much of 2009. What’s more, over the last year the display industry began to stretch its standard monitor sizes wider, making for screens that are ideal for working with two applications side by side (or for watching feature films). The roomy 22-inch widescreen monitor is fast becoming the industry’s standard size; at the moment, you can buy one for less than $200.
The writer also recounts his own experience in trying out a much wider screen:

As every office worker knows, trying to get anything done on a computer that’s connected to the Internet can be a test of wills. On my old desktop monitor — at 19 inches square, it was the Honda Civic of displays — the Web was a wormhole that routinely pulled me off track. I’d switch over to a browser window to look something up, but as soon as I did so all traces of my work would disappear from the screen and I’d forget about the task at hand. A half hour later, I’d wake up from a deep browsing trance, wondering how I ever got to, say, a page recounting the history of Adidas, or some other topic having nothing at all to do with my work.

A huge desktop didn’t remove all distractions, but it blunted their force. Now I could keep my e-mail and the Web open on one screen while my Microsoft Word document ran on another. This kept me on task. Even if I did go off to the Web, my document was always visible, beckoning me to come back to work.


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