Attention, employers: buying larger computer monitors for your workers might help them get more work done.
That's according to a study done by researchers at the University of Utah. They tested how long it took people to edit documents and copy spreadsheet information over an 8-hour period, meant to represent a typical work day. Three different setups were used: a computer with an 18-inch monitor, one with a 24-inch monitor, and one with two 20-inch monitors. (Note: The study was commissioned by NEC, which produces monitors, but the lead researcher said it didn't matter what type of monitor was used.)
Those assigned to work on the 24-inch monitor worked 52 percent faster than those using the 18-inch screens, and those using the dual 20-inch monitors worked 44 percent faster than those using the 18-inch. But don't think throwing a 36-inch flat screen in front of your employees will get them moving at double speed. The study also found that using anything larger than 24 inches caused a dip in productivity. The study was conducted from July to December of last year and had 96 participants.
Overall, researchers found that using a larger computer monitor at work could save 2.5 hours per day. However, that's assuming employees are working 8 hours continuously, and not, say, taking a lunch break, or checking Facebook, or reading Digg.