If you've been following my SMB blog for a while, you will know that one aspect of productivity I believe in is getting the right tools for the job. In the interest of cost savings, unfortunately, getting the right tools is an aspect that is sometimes overlooked by small and medium-sized businesses.
Examples abound, and might range from staffers struggling with faulty keyboards or mice that are easily replaceable, to failing to tap into the capabilities of existing software. You know, like individually printing out hundreds of mailers, as opposed to setting up a mail merge and printing them automatically over lunch.
Today, I would like to explore the idea of investing in a good monitor stand to enhance productivity. As I have already written about getting a second monitor for a dual-display setup, I shall be writing in the context of a laptop paired with an external display.
One common problem with netbooks or laptops is how the size of the LCD display has shrunk over the years as computer makers attempt to make lighter devices. The inevitable result when placed on the desktop is eyestrain as users have to squint at the displays for long hours. The better brands of monitor stands come with adapters or have models specifically designed to elevate laptops nearer to the eye, offering relief from eyestrain.
In addition, the use of monitor stands with a flexible arm for external LCD monitors also mean that they can be adjusted nearer or further in order to obtain the most comfortable viewing distance and angle. This is a far better situation than relying on the static base that the majority of LCD monitors come with.
Is your external monitor positioned too high or too low? Perhaps you need them nearer when writing, but positioned further when working on a tablet in Photoshop? A good monitor stand allows easy adjustments to the position of the display; the best allows its position to be extended forwards by up to 25 inches.
Where laptops are concerned, another problem is that extended use isn't often the main design objective, and ergonomics is usually absent. If anything, the increasing popularity of "laptop stands" is ample evidence of what I'm trying to illustrate here.
So why do we sit cramped at desks working the whole day or typing on a laptop that is ill-fitted for extended use? Personally, I type on a full-sized wireless keyboard, while a flexible monitor arm fitted to hold my laptop allows me to work in a comfortable position.
Helps to keep desktops uncluttered
Desktop monitor arms attach to the edge of the desk, and because they lift the monitor up, free up precious space on the desk otherwise taken by the base of the displays. The immediate benefit is additional desktop space that is less cluttered with computer equipment. If necessary, some monitor arms also allow users to push the monitors completely out of the way in order to use the entire desktop.
I personally purchased a couple of Ergotron branded Desk Mount LCD arms two weeks ago for my home office. So far, I can say that they have fulfilled all the promises that I've outlined above. Similarly, I am sure that the right combination of monitor arms can bring you improvements in your productivity too.