Workplaces with three displays increase productivity by 35.5 per cent

In a Fraunhofer IAO laboratory survey supported by Fujitsu Siemens Computers, participants using a three-display workplace completed tasks faster and more accurately than in a conventional one-display scenario

Bracknell, February 18, 2009 Employees can perform a typical knowledge-sector job much more efficiently at a three-display workplace than at a conventional one, according to a laboratory survey by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO). This is particularly relevant for jobs where digital information has to be processed very frequently, as is the case, for example, with scientists, editors, engineers or insurance company employees.

Overall, the study showed that larger screen areas increase productivity – and with the three-display workplace all interconnected to form one desktop, Fraunhofer IAO scientists recorded increased productivity of 35.5 per cent. The study, performed as part of the OFFICE 21® research project, was supported by Fujitsu Siemens Computers which provided the test displays and PCs.

The Fraunhofer experts began the study with a test in which all 67 people completed the same task at a conventional workplace with a 19-inch display. The experts calculated a productivity benchmark to use as a reference, based on the time required and the points achieved for correctly solved partial tasks. They then divided the participants into three groups: group one completed the next task using a 19-inch display; group two was allowed to use a 22-inch widescreen display and group three was given a three-display workplace consisting of three 19-inch displays interconnected to form one workplace – as designed by the OFFICE 21® Information Worker’s Workplace. An example of this multi-display workplace will be on display at Intel's stand at CeBIT in pavilion 33. Intel is also a partnerin the OFFICE21® project alliance.

The results of the experiment were amazing. While group one increased productivity on the task by only 1.9 per cent (based on the learning effect), group two increased efficiency by 8.4 per cent. Group three was extremely productive, as participants in this group were 35.5 per cent more efficient in completing the task. The users’ reaction was also very positive; a survey of participants revealed that the test participants in groups two and three were on average considerably more satisfied with their display system and the associated convenience of such a workplace.

"Our laboratory survey clearly documents that a large display can result in an enormous growth in productivity, particularly with regard to a knowledge-sector job", said Udo-Ernst Haner, Head of the Competence Team ‘Information Work Innovation’ at Fraunhofer IAO. "It is also remarkable that this effect was achieved at the very first time. Further optimisation potential is possible with the appropriate staff training courses and an improved layout of the information on the display."

Thomas Karg, Senior Director Marketing, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, added: "As the leading European IT infrastructure provider with a fast-growing display business, it was extremely important for us to support this trend-setting Fraunhofer IAO laboratory survey using our displays and PCs. Our developers are working daily on what a future workplace will look like, as well as how productivity, employee satisfaction and ecological challenges can be amalgamated in highly innovative products. Findings such as those of Fraunhofer IAO are specifically incorporated into our innovation processes and help us launch trend-setting products."

Pictures of a three-display scenario will be available for download at:

About Fujitsu Siemens Computers:
Fujitsu Siemens Computers is the leading European IT infrastructure provider.
Our range of infrastructure products, solutions, services and managed infrastructure offers and the various combinations thereof give our customers the opportunity to select exactly the IT infrastructure that perfectly meets their requirements.

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