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Multiple monitors boost productivity by 35.5%

Antony Savvas

Workspaces equipped with three displays increase productivity by 35.5%, according to research commissioned by Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

Employees can perform a typical knowledge-sector job much more efficiently at a three-display workspace than at a conventional one, according to a laboratory survey by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), supported by Fujitsu.

Fujitsu said this is particularly relevant for jobs where digital information has to be processed very frequently, as is the case for scientists, editors, engineers or insurance company employees.

Overall, the study showed that larger screen areas increase productivity, and with the three-display workspace interconnected to form one desktop, Fraunhofer IAO scientists recorded increases in productivity of 35.5%.

The study was performed as part of the OFFICE 21 research project, and was supported by Fujitsu Siemens Computers which provided the test displays and PCs.

The Fraunhofer experts began the study with a test in which 67 people completed the same task at a conventional workplace with a 19in display.

The experts calculated a productivity benchmark to use as a reference, based on the time required and the points achieved for correctly solved partial tasks.

They then divided the participants into three groups: group one completed the next task using a 19in display, group two was allowed to use a 22in widescreen display, and group three was given a three-display workplace consisting of three 19in displays interconnected to form one workplace - as designed by the OFFICE 21 Information Worker's Workplace.

While group one increased productivity on the task by only 1.9% (based on the learning effect), group two increased efficiency by 8.4%, and group three were 35.5% more efficient in completing the task.


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