Various studies have shown that the use of dual monitors can increase productivity by values of 9, 30 and 44 percent. Some of these studies involved tasks where the user was exclusively doing copy-paste work the entire time. Another study was funded by ATI, a graphics processing company, that would benefit from more people using extra monitors.
Nonetheless, I have used double monitors at work for 2 years and now have double monitors set up at home. Whatever people say about dual monitor studies, the fact remains that people who use dual or triple monitors rave about the improved experience. For me, the difference between developing with a single monitor and dual monitors is like the difference between driving with the right side of my windshield covered and driving with full windshield visibility.
If you are a developer currently using one monitor at work and would like for your company to provide you and your colleagues another monitor, some convincing information is below.
- Annual cost to an employer for a minimal salary developer: £35,000 (includes £20K salary + real estate + admin + insurance)
- Conservative productivity boost estimate: 3% (other studies say 9 to 44%)
- Annual Financial gain: £1050
- One off cost of extra monitor (£90 to £200)
- Benefit: £800 extra productivity in the first year and £1050 annually thereafter.