Yesterday I wrote about changing the tone of the real estate conversation and one of the ideas I had was about the impact of three monitors on every desk on productivity. More often than not I see two monitors on every desk when I walk through an office. It’s become pretty standard to have employees with email on one and everything else on the other. But where are the organizations pushing for more?
I work from home and I’ve been using three monitors at my desk for going on 3 years now. The first monitor is my email/desktop. The second is for tasks that I am actively engaged in – Excel analysis, QlikView development, PowerPoint writing, whatever. The third is my miscellaneous – it keeps my browser, documents I need to bounce in and out of for productivity, materials to review and anything else I may need. Interestingly it’s the third monitor that I use the most and email that I use the least.
By having two monitors with one dedicated to email it’s really not much different than a one monitor solution other than it takes the worry about missing an email off the table. The logical assumption then is that employees shouldn’t have a monitor just for their email but the worry of missing an email from the boss is a prevailing one that is hard to get away from.
The difficulty with three monitors is the hardware. You actually need to buy computers that can do real work and not just computers that are modern day typewriters. There’s a cost to it – the third monitor in addition to the upgraded computers. But it doesn’t take up that much more room and it increases my productivity. If you count my phone I’m really at four screens since I do all of my personal browsing and working on that device and it’s always at my desk.
It’s a solution whose time has come.