Use and Perceptions of Multi-Monitor Workstations: A Natural Experiment

Guy Amir, Ayala Prusak, Tal Reiss, Nir Zabari, Dror G. Feitelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Using multiple monitors is commonly thought to improve productivity, but this is hard to check experimentally. We use a survey, taken by 101 practitioners of which 80% have coded professionally for at least 2 years, to assess subjective perspectives based on experience. To improve validity, we compare situations in which developers naturally use different setups-the difference between working at home or at the office, and how things changed when developers were forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The results indicate that using multiple monitors is indeed perceived as beneficial and desirable. 19% of the respondents reported adding a monitor to their home setup in response to the Covid-19 situation. At the same time, the single most influential factor cited as affecting productivity was not the physical setup but interactions with co-workers-both reduced productivity due to lack of connections available at work, and improved productivity due to reduced interruptions from coworkers. A central implication of our work is that empirical research on software development should be conducted in settings similar to those actually used by practitioners, and in particular using workstations configured with multiple monitors.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE/ACM 8th International Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice, SER and IP 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages29-36
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781665444767
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Event8th IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice, SER and IP 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 4 Jun 2021 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2021 IEEE/ACM 8th International Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice, SER and IP 2021

Conference

Conference8th IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice, SER and IP 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period4/06/21 → …

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.

Keywords

  • Multi-monitor workstation
  • productivity

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