Why Two Monitors Are Better Than One When Working From Home

The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to many significant changes in how we work. Remote working, once the stuff legend, has become the norm. The majority of office-based workers have transitioned to working from home

Remote working, or working from home, comes with unique challenges, and it’s important to retain the same focus and productivity as before.

It’s important to try and create a workstation that successfully mimics your office space where possible. Yes, it’s important to breathe some life into your working environment and make it comfortable, but going too far is likely to be detrimental. That probably means no working from the sofa. 

Try to make sure you have comfortable seating, not only for comfort but also for long-term health issues. If possible, use two monitors instead of one. In this article, we’re going to go into more detail as to why two, is definitely better than one.



How to set up dual monitors

Dual monitors are ideal if you usually have several tabs open simultaneously. With so much information to take in at once, having a single screen to work off can be frustrating. If you are considering investing in dual monitors for your office or workspace, then you will need to know how to set up dual monitors. Take a look at the steps below to see how you can set up a dual monitor workspace. 

Most office spaces operate using a laptop. If you want to get another monitor for work, you must ensure that your laptop has an HDMI port, the older Type-A port. The same goes for any type of desktop PC. This will be the port you plug your additional monitor into to extend the display. 

To set up an extended display, go to settings and select the “system” settings for your computer. Where it says “Multiple displays”, make sure you select the “extend these displays” option. In these settings, you will also be able to tell your system which screen it should prioritise during start-up. Once these settings are configured, you will be good to go. 

The benefits of having dual monitors

There are several benefits of having dual monitors. Many say they are far more productive when they have a dual monitor setup. But do you need two monitors for work? 

Having two monitors prevents you from toggling between multiple tabs all the time. This is particularly useful if you are conducting research or must read and report simultaneously. Finding the right page when you have loads of tabs open can be annoying, but having a second screen saves a lot of hassle. 

It also helps to improve focus as you can completely concentrate on the task at hand, thereby making you a lot more productive during a work day. 


Just try it

If you were using two screens in the office, having two screens while working from home is likely to be hugely beneficial, and will add a degree of normality to your working day.

If you don’t use two monitors in the office, this is probably the best chance you will get to give it a go – as it has been shown to boost efficiency and productivity.

The adjustment period for going from one monitor to two is normally just a week or two but after this, you’ll be wondering how you ever functioned without them. It’s a bit like going back from an ergonomic keyboard to a standard keyboard – very jarring. Ask an IT expert about it, and you’ll likely get the same reply. It is simply a significant upgrade.

The Benefits

The most important benefit that you are likely to get from switching to two monitors is increased productivity. We all struggle with motivation and focus at times, so improving productivity is always greatly welcomed. 

Research shows that having two monitors significantly lowers the average time needed to complete most tasks when compared to one monitor or using a laptop. Little aspects that we often don’t even consider, like opening and closing windows or tabs, build-up over a sustained period. How many times do you think you do it in a single day? Now think how much that multiplies across a whole year

Dual monitors help us maintain focus. Just imagine having your email inbox open on one screen, while conveniently being able to write up a document on the other. This allows us to retain focus on certain tasks much better because we are not constantly cycling through different pages. 

Whatsmore, a second monitor fosters better communication and creativity, making it easier with colleagues because it is possible to keep shared ideas on one screen while working on another. 

But the benefits don’t stop there. Multi-tasking is made considerably easier, with copying and pasting simple and painless. If you are using skype conferences, dual monitors allow you to keep a dedicated screen with notes or documents, while talking on the other.

Perhaps most importantly, it creates a much more pleasant working environment, by decreasing those little annoyances that come from trying to manage multiple tasks on a single screen. During these difficult times, making your remote working environment as comfortable as possible is something that we should all be thinking about.

What’s needed 

Setting up a second monitor is simple and can be done so relatively cheaply. If you are purchasing a new laptop, make sure that it comes with a graphic card that can be used with two monitors (most of them do).

If you want to add a second display to an existing computer, you may need to upgrade your existing graphics card, something that can be done relatively cheaply. But think about how much desk space you have available. If you are a little short on room, it may be a good idea to explore the options for something a little smaller than the standard 2 x 22” screens. 

How do I do it

Setting up a second monitor is surprisingly easy. It’s when you decide you want a third when things really start to get tricky. There are numerous specifically designed auxiliary screens available on the market, but it’s always a good idea to double-check with an IT expert before making a purchase.          

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