Are more monitors a help, a gimmick or make things worse?

As a lad you bought a razor to shave and it was a single blade then the new razors came with two blades which suddenly became 3 and now they are up to 5 blades for the closest of shaves, or so they say.

Now as regards monitors I’ve been happy using two monitors for many years but now it seems two are de rigour and I’m seeing Accountants at desks with three monitors enclosing them and seemingly trapping them at their desk.

I moved to a two monitor system as I found it easier to display items I was reviewing in one screen whilst working on the second, it saved constantly opening and closing screens and I never really liked using a split screen as I found the text smaller and I was getting a feeling of not seeing the whole picture in split screen mode.

Now I can understand two monitors and can recognise how they can help productivity, as I’ve said I use two myself but three?

When I look at the three-screen set up and ask Accountants why do they have a need for three screens I’m astonished that the third screen is permanently used to display their inbox so whilst working on a set of accounts or cash flow or tax return they are constantly monitoring their incoming emails. That in itself to me seems bad enough but they are seen breaking off their work to respond to incoming emails.

With commentary after commentary commentating about the levels of stress in the accountancy profession this three screen setup must surely be adding to the stress and pressure levels to say nothing about the impact on the actual work that the accountant is taking his or her eyes and mind off every time they look to the third screen.

You know, life is too short for this, I have no need to look good to colleagues by amassing a welter of monitors on my desk and I believe that concentrating on the job in hand is the more important thing so for now I’ll stick with two.

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