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I recently purchased two 23-inch monitors for work. Although my colleagues were impressed (and possibly envious), they also admitted that they wouldn’t have spent their own money on something that the company should provide.

However much I felt that my productivity would increase with two 23-inch 1920 x 1080 monitors, the company’s stance is that I should be able to do my job with the kit that they provide.

So it was either stick with a 15″ laptop and 17″ external monitor (max resolution 1024×768), spend time and effort putting together a business case that I had little chance of winning, or bite the bullet and buy my own.

A larger version of this image is available on my Flickr page

From left to right…

  • iPad on the Griffin A-Frame
  • External 17″ monitor (belongs to work) connected 17″ MacBook Pro
  • Leaning on the monitor is my iPhone
  • In front of the monitor is the Novatel MiFi
  • 17″ MacBook Pro with Apple Wireless Keyboard and Logitech wireless mouse
  • Two 23″ monitors side-by-side
  • The IBM Thinkpad T400 laptop
  • Wired keyboard and mouse

The T400 is docked in a docking station. The keyboard, mouse and LAN cable are connected to the docking station. One monitor is connected to the docking station via a standard VGA cable and the other monitor is connected to the docking station via a DVI cable.

Has my productivity improved? Most definitely! A lot of my work involves Excel and on a monitor that size I can see a great deal more columns and rows. I also build a lot of solutions with VBA in Word and Excel so I can have the spreadsheet/document displayed on one screen and the VBA Editor on the other.

It’s also great for running virtual training via Webex as I can have the chat panel and participants panel on one monitor whilst sharing the other monitor.

So would you invest in your own kit to have a better experience at work? After all, most of us spend more time in front of a computer at work than we do at home.

Let me know.