The unwelcome arrival of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown forced many of us in small to medium-sized businesses here in London and across the UK to work from home. Now IT companies and technology and enterprise experts are predicting that working remotely – especially from home – will be the new normal, post-pandemic. If you should find yourself in this position, it’s important to replicate your office setup at home, so you can maintain the level of focus, flexibility, efficiency and productivity you’re used to. So, if you’ve got the space at home, we’d recommend you use a dual monitor setup instead of one screen. And in this blog post we’ll explain the benefits of doing so and why two monitors are better than one when you’re working from home.
If you already use a dual monitor setup you’ll know why two monitors are better than one
Many people already use two screens in the office and for reasons of continuity it would make sense to do so when working at home. But if you don’t, this article’s going to tell you more about the many advantages of giving it a go, and why two monitors are better than one when you’re working from home.
Using a second screen soon becomes second nature
Experts, such as the specialists in IT consulting companies, reckon it takes just a week or so to get used to using two monitors effectively. The result is that you’ll quickly discover you can efficiently move back and forward between both.
However, once you’re familiar with a dual monitor setup it’ll become second nature and we know you’ll wonder how you ever managed without that extra screen.
Dual monitor setups deliver twice the benefits
Dual monitor and Productivity
One of the key benefits of using two screens, the one that IT companies often talk about most, is the boost to your productivity. This is particularly true when you’re working from home, where it’s easy to get distracted by non-work related stuff.
Research shows the average time it takes to complete tasks is significantly lower if you use two displays as opposed to one. The fact that the basics are faster and easier helps to keep you focused and productive.
Two Screens and Speed
How many seconds do you waste every time you open, close or switch between a window, app or document? Now imagine how much time that adds up to when you do it on numerous occasions a day or week. Well, with two screens you can forget all that opening and closing lark, so saving yourself time and effort while ramping up your work rate.
Focus when two screens
If you have your e-mail inbox open on one screen and your actual work open on the other, it allows you to stay focused on your primary task and not get sidetracked into constantly having to click on your inbox to check it.
Essentially, if something important arrives in your inbox you can see it and deal with it. If nothing arrives, then you stay focused on the job in hand. Simple.
Any IT solutions company will tell you that an additional monitor can enhance communication and creativity. Basically that’s because it makes it easier to collaborate with your colleagues as you can keep your shared ideas to one screen, while you work on the other.
Whether you’re working in the office or at home, the pressures of today’s commercial world mean that you’ll often have to undertake more than one task at a time. So whether it’s something simple like copying and pasting or more challenging, such as joining a Zoom call while working on your notes for it, IT consulting companies report that dual screens simply make multitasking easier.
It’s believed that dual-screen configurations just makes the process of IT-based work easier, faster, more flexible and more pleasant. This is especially true if you’re used to working on a laptop or tablet, where usable screen space is limited.
Getting setup for a second monitor
Setting up your dual screen configuration is quite straightforward, can be achieved relatively inexpensively and usually without reference to an IT solutions company.
However, you do have a few factors to consider carefully:
Two Screens and Space
The desk space you have available at home is obviously a prime consideration. So while two 22” displays are a common dual monitor configuration, you need to source the right size monitors to fit your situation.
If working space is not a problem, try out a few screen sizes to see what works best for you. You’ll surprised at how crowded a 22” or 24” screen can seem once you’ve got a few windows, web tabs or apps open.
Dual Monitors and Graphics cards
If you’re choosing a new laptop so that you can setup two screens, make sure you buy one with a graphics’ card that can handle both. Don’t worry, most can these days.
Alternatively, if you want to add a second display to your existing computer, you may need to upgrade its graphics’ card to cope with a dual screen configuration. Again, don’t sweat this, it’s simple and inexpensive to achieve. If you’re in any doubt, have a chat with your IT company.
Bezel or border sizes
Try to select monitors with fairly thin or narrow bezels or border edges. Not only do narrow bezels mean you see more information on your monitors’ screens, it also means you can fit them closer together. This makes it easier to switch your eyes and your work between both.
Today’s monitors usually come with a combination of VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort ports, so you’ll have a choice of a couple of ways to connect your monitors to your PC. While its common for VGA and DVI cables to come ‘in the box’ with a new display, you may have to purchase your HDMI or DisplayPort cable separately if you go that route.
Again if all that jargon seems a little confusing, there are plenty of IT companies out there that’ll advise you.
How to setup your dual monitors
Setting up dual monitors is quite straightforward but much depends on the computer or laptop you’re connecting them to, whether you’re a PC or Mac user and what operating system you’re running.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume you’re using a PC and are running one of the common Microsoft operating systems. Here goes:
Step 1: Simply connect your second monitor to a power outlet and an available port on your PC. Easy.
Step 2: Next tell Windows how to manage the two monitors.
On Windows 7 and 8, that means right-clicking the desktop and selecting Screen Resolution.
The Multiple Displays pull-down menu enables you to control how the two screens work together. Choosing Extend these displays will prompt Windows to treat your displays as one contiguous screen. Then in the resulting dialog box you can specify your displays’ arrangement.
On Windows 10, select Display Settings and click the Identify tab under the graphic to establish your monitors’ arrangement.
Step 3: Choose your monitor order. You can tell Windows which monitor is on the left or right by dragging the screen icons at the top of the dialog box. Get this wrong and scrolling the mouse will get confusing!
Step 4: Choose your primary display. The Make this my main display option controls which monitor gets the taskbar and Start button. If you don’t see that option, the currently selected monitor is already the main one.
Note: you can also control many of these settings by simply right-clicking the desktop and selecting your graphics control panel.
For further help, look to London’s leading IT solutions company
As we’ve said, setting up dual screen configuration for those members of your team that work from home is generally straightforward and can deliver significant business benefits. These range from ease and speed of working to greater effectiveness and productivity.
But if you’d like highly expert and experienced help from London’s go to managed IT support team, please don’t hesitate to call us here at totality services for a confidential, no obligation chat about your remote working needs. We’d be happy to advise on everything from procuring the most cost effective technology and how to connect it all up correctly, to actually configuring your dual monitor set-ups for you.
Give us a call and find out why we’ve become one of the Capital’s most trusted IT companies, with no less than two consecutive Feefo Gold Trusted Service Awards, Five Star ratings from both Trustpilot and Google and a 98% client retention rate.