A Desk with a View – The Necessity of at Least Two Monitors

In a time where it is absolutely crucial to maximize the efficiency of anyone in your restoration business who is juggling various documenting and reviewing tasks, including in software such as DASH, as part of their job, it is critical to supply them with the tools necessary to increase speed and reduce frustration. While we’re sure that many of you have already done this, for those of you who haven’t we propose that you move to at least a two-monitor setup. Three monitors would benefit some workers, but there is more likely going to be additional expense for this beyond simply buying the monitor.

Here’s a brief list of the numerous possible needs for seeing combinations of multiple applications simultaneously which justify the need for two monitors:

1. Job/Customer Info and Estimate

2. Estimate and Carrier/Client guidelines

3. Estimate and Water Monitoring information

4. Estimate and Equipment Placement

It may not seem like a lot, but anything that reduces the amount of opening and closing windows, searching for the application you want to reopen, and finding your place again adds up to big gains in productivity and a big reduction in frustration. It is also helpful if an adjuster calls in about a job to be able to have multiple documents open in order to answer any questions as quickly and efficiently as possible without subjecting the caller to the waiting that would be required as a person on one monitor switched back and forth from application to application multiple times during the call to answer different questions.

Please consult with your technology support person (if you have one) or search online to verify your computer’s ability to support two or more monitors. Most computers sold in recent years (running Windows 7 or Windows 8) have the ability built into their operating system already to handle this task. All that is required to check is to look at the video card to see how many video connectors there are for plugging into, although having three connectors is not a guarantee that the computer will support three monitors. In fact, supporting three monitors will often require an upgraded graphics card.

Here are a few handy web resources to help educate yourself:

http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/guide/syscheck.asp

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/monitor10.htm

Again, though, it is suggested you seek technical assistance if you aren’t knowledgeable in this – especially before opening a desktop PC up to swap out cards, as there are risks to yourself and your PC of which you need to be aware.

Once the additional monitor is correctly connected to your computer, you will need to go locate your display settings and select what you want your computer to send to the screens you have. The options will be to duplicate the desktop, extend the desktop, or display the desktop only on a particular monitor.

One last tip on multiple monitors for running your restoration business: investing extra money to buy a larger widescreen will pay for itself in reducing the amount of scrolling required in applications like DASH and in spreadsheets, so please consider that when making your purchase. While having two tiny monitors is still better than one, it isn’t gaining you as much efficiency as you might otherwise get. Also, purchasing a larger monitor also means that users can often align two applications on the larger widescreen and achieve the same effect as having 3 monitors.