Best Monitor Setups for Productivity

The best monitor setups for productivity can vary greatly based on job role. The optimal setup for computer programmers will differ from data analysts and customer service reps. We’ll highlight some of the most common and alternative monitor setups for different job roles for you to consider prior to making a purchase.

A wild monitor setup of a computer programmer sitting in front of 10 different monitors that hurt their productivity.

There are some people that say you can never have too many computer monitors, but the reality is that you should choose a monitor setup based on your specific needs. Each person’s requirements are a little bit different based on the amount of space available and the type of work they do on a computer.

Let’s jump in to look at some specific models and some alternative monitor configurations that are worth considering based on the industry that you work in.

Best 34-inch Curved Monitor for Productivity

34 inch Dell Ultrawide WQHD Curved USB-C Monitor

Dell has been making high quality computer monitors for years. This specific model has a slight curve to the screen which makes it easier to see both ends of the display while reducing head tilt. The height and title adjustments make it easy to find the right position for comfort and the high resolution lets you see more at a time than lower resolution models.

Ultra-wide high-resolution monitors are becoming increasingly common and for good reason. They offer a lot of value and take up less space than a comparable dual monitor setup.

Why we like it:

  • WQHD Resolution means more space to fit items on the screen.
  • 34” monitor size and curved means lots of space without lots of head tilting
  • Adjustable height, tilt, and viewing angles for comfortable ergonomics.

Best 27-inch Flat Screen Monitor for Productivity

27 inch ASUS ProArt WQHD Monitor

The 27in ASUS ProArt display is a great choice for people that work from home or don’t have the space on their desk for a larger monitor. This specific model has amazing color reproduction, height, and tilt adjustment along with the ability to swivel the screen for people that work with long form financial statements or other Excel documents.

When looking for monitor setups that improve productivity, this model may be one of the most versatile on the market. Purchasing two of these lets you rotate one of the monitors to a vertical position while leaving the other horizontal, giving you a lot of flexibility in how you work.

Why we like it:

  • Space efficient, high resolution means you can fit a lot of content on a single screen.
  • Ability to swivel the monitor for long form writing and computer programming.
  • Mac Compatible

Best 24-inch Budget Monitor for Productivity

24 inch Dell FHD Monitor

The 24-inch Dell 1920 x 1080 monitor is a productivity standard in the workplace. If you’ve had a white-collar job in the last decade it’s highly likely that you’ve used one or two of these at a time. While we think there are better productivity boosting options on the market today, they’re still a staple and you can often find them refurbished or used from businesses that are upgrading to larger higher resolution models for bargain prices.

Why we like it:

  • Extremely affordable new and used models available
  • A classic office and productivity staple
  • Dell is a leader in computer monitors and productivity hardware.

Let’s look at some additional considerations you should keep in mind when looking for the best monitor setup. We’ll highlight some of these in the context of common use cases by profession.

Summary of the Best Productivity Setups

The following are some of the most popular monitor setups for business and productivity purposes. We’ll list them here and then highlight different use cases of where and how you can set these up.

  • 34-inch Ultrawide – The new standard for productivity
  • Dual 34-inch Ultrawide – Extreme screen space for maximum productivity and multi-tasking.
  • Dual 27-inch 1440p with Rotating Stand – Good for coding and long-form content, reduces scrolling.
  • Single 27-inch 1440p – Best for physical space restrictions and basic productivity tasks.
  • Dual 24-inch – Budget-friendly, good for multitasking, bargain prices on pre-owned models.

With so many different monitor models on the market today there is no one size fits all solution. The following section splits out monitor setups by job role to give you a better idea of what could work best for your use case.

Best Monitor Setups by Job Roles

The following list highlights some of the best setups for different job roles. Even if you don’t work in an exact match, we’ll highlight some alternative setups that you may not have considered that can be extremely useful but are not discussed very often.

Finance, Accounting, and Business Intelligence

People that work in data analysis, accounting, finance, or business intelligence spend a large majority of their time working in Excel Spreadsheets, or business intelligence software such as SAS, Alteryx, Power BI, Tableau, Cognos, etc.

Most of these platforms benefit from ultra-wide high-resolution monitors. They allow you to see a full screen worth of reports while having the equivalent of another screen to present the different panels and configuration options without having to scale down the primary working space.

Suggested Setup

  • 34-inch Ultrawide Monitor – Gives users the ability to see over 2x as much content at one time compared to a standard resolution 24-inch or 27-inch. Users have the option to view split screen or view a lot more content at one time without having a plastic bezel impeding your view.
  • Dual 34-inch Ultrawide Monitor – A popular solution on Reddit. Take the benefits of a 34-inch ultra-wide monitor and stack two of them on top of each other. It’s a lot of screen space and starts bumping up on the amount of space that a 4k tv will take up. However, the wider format makes it better suited for productivity.

Software Development

Software developers spend a majority of their day writing and debugging code, testing software, or creating API integrations. Dual monitor setups that include monitors that can rotate 90 degrees to show lines of code in a horizontal vs vertical format can be especially useful.

Suggested Setup

  • Dual 27-inch 1440p Monitors with rotating stand – Dual 27 inch monitors that can rotate screens give software developers and people who work on long form content such as writing may find a productivity boost with a vertical screen. Being able to see more lines of code or writing at a time reduces the amount of required scrolling.
  • 34-inch Ultrawide Monitor – Ultra wide high-resolution monitors are the new standard in productivity. Two windows can be placed side by side or expanded to see more than you would otherwise be able to to on traditional dual monitor setups.

General Office Work

A typical office worker that’s not involved in any specialty will spend most of their time performing data entry, sending e-mails, and handling basic spreadsheet and document creation. Most of their day is spent in a limited number of office applications like Microsoft Office or Google Workspace.

Suggested Setup

  • Single 27-inch Monitor – Good for basic tasks, higher resolution 1440p monitors provide close to a dual 24 inch monitor setup but only requires one port to plug into and gives flexibility to see more at a time without scrolling.
  • Dual 24-inch Monitors – If multitasking is common, two budget-friendly monitors can increase productivity without breaking the bank.

While we don’t typically recommend single 24 inch monitors, there are many cost effective options costing less than $100 USD. They can be even less expensive when purchasing pre-owned models.

Be Aware of Desk Space and Office Space Restrictions

Before diving in and purchasing dual 34-inch ultra-wide monitors, or even a single ultra-wide monitor it’s important to measure your office space and have a plan of where and how you will place the monitors in your workspace. Try setting up your workspace how you would ideally want to have it without a monitor present and measure the distance that you have available.

Dual monitor setups often taken up more space than a single ultra-wide monitor. Stacking multiple monitors on top of each other or attaching them directly a wall can also require special mounting hardware. Make sure you have space behind your desk or monitor for the appropriate mounts.

Consider Ergonomics for an Ideal Monitor Setup

A well-thought-out monitor setup can significantly boost productivity. Dual 34-inch ultra-wide monitors offer expansive screen real estate for multitasking. Pairing a vertical 27-inch monitor with a horizontal one can be particularly beneficial for reading long documents or coding.

In either of these cases, you will be putting more screen space in front of your eyes, and increasing the number of times you may have to tilt your head to adjust your view.

Ergonomics and blue light exposure are important considerations for all screen sizes but become more important as screen sizes increase. Large monitors should be positioned to minimize neck and eye strain, and features like blue light filters or the use of blue-light blocking glasses can mitigate the risks of sleep disruption and eye fatigue.

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