No matter what you do for work, when there is time in front of a PC involved, there are benefits to a multi-monitor setup. Being able to expand your workspace across two screens could give you a dedicated E-Mail monitor for at-a-glance e-mail checking (like myself), or you may need to expand a linear video editor across both screens for more granularity in video editing, or simply have a dozen proprietary company app’s open at the same time and not have to constantly find its icon in the task bar. No matter what, there are benefits.
You may use 2 or more monitors at home and are comfortable with the setup and the benefit will be instantly attained, you just don’t know how to present it to your Boss/Manager/Overlord who may likely decline it. I have collected a couple tips for you here gained from my experience as a IT Professional with a history of Multi-Monitor use in the workplace.

Video Forensic’s Unit cropped

  1. Find an unused monitor and ask to use it until it is needed. Rather than having an old or spare monitor collect dust in a store room you can ask your manager if you can make use of any unused monitors. I found specifically asking for a particular monitor is more likely to get an instant denial than asking for any monitor. It makes your manager have to think for a minute about what monitors are available. If your manager says there are no spare ones, then just politely ask them for one if it becomes available.

  2. Digg!

  3. Inform them. It’s a fact that more desktop real-estate improves productivity, look it up! Just be prepared to back it up if you ever get your second screen. Remember additional desktop space = Productivity!
  4. Two small ones are cheaper than one big one. If they are hung up on the added cost, then let them know how much money they would be saving.
  5. Trial offer. If productivity is going to increase than offer to prove it. Here you can make a deal for another monitor in exchange for working faster, or completing that long overdue project.
  6. Dress to impress. Are you seated in a public location that customers are likely to pass? Having workstations with multiple monitors portrays employees who work efficiently doing twice the work. When you sell your manager on this be sure not to elude that you will be doing double the work, that’s the illusion, but realistically it will not be as much as two fold.
  7. Suggest that they use a Multi-monitor setup themselves. Sometimes managers will not let you have more “toys” than them, so when are informing them of all the great benefits you hint at how much you would benefit from it too.
  8. Special application needs. Find a task you use often and explain how it will specifically benefit from a wider or taller screen. This could be a video editor time line, or a programming application. This is up to you, but I’m sure you have been using it long enough you already know just what application this is.
  9. Play the disability card. Using a bigger desk space may enable you to use a lower, less eye straining resolution without losing desk space. And you will be exercising your eyes a little by looking to the other screen and back.
  10. Negotiate. I never tried this one, but if you are just a number at a large corporation I could see it working. Ask for 4 monitors if you need 3, 6 if you need 4, or 10 if you are a day trader. Whatever your need, ask for extra and then hope for the best. If they cut you back a couple then you may get the number you needed. Your mileage may vary.
  11. Request a laptop. In a roundabout way, it’s a screen! You can then use a variety of methods to use the laptop and desktop at the same time with software reported on this site. Or if you are upgraded to a laptop, keep your old screen and use both the built in screen and the old monitor at the same time. This is one of few options if your workstation does not have multiple monitor interfaces.
  12. Ask someone else. This is a last resort and a sure fire way to get in big trouble if busted. I will never advocate going above your manager, but asking a friend in the IT department might prove resourceful
  13. Request a second PC. Sometimes you have to take the long way around. If you aquire a second PC with its own monitor for your workspace you can then use MaxiVista or Synergy.
  14. B.Y.O. Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and bring in spare hardware from home to set yourself up right.
  15. Good luck to you, remember you may be paving the way to company wide dual monitors, if proven successful. And then everybody wins.


3 Responses to “10+ Tips for getting a Multi-Monitor setup at work.”

  1. D&D on July 27th, 2007 3:16 am

    Just asking for 2 or more monitors can actually work quite well. Since I’m a programmer at my job, and have actually used two monitors before (they were spares at the time), I can rather easily explain the benefit of me having two widescreens as opposed to just one cheap monitor.

    Going through the proper channels, a purchase order was made, and I got myself two 22″ widescreens to work with. 🙂

  2. Grizz on July 27th, 2007 8:17 am

    Matching 21’s are nice. I added an 12th way to get an additional monitor that occured to me last night.

  3. It’s all Hard » 10 Tips to score a Multi-Monitor setup at work on November 8th, 2007 12:16 pm

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