Productivity vs Monitor size vs CVS

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by MRichterFlournoy, May 26, 2004.

  1. We have an interesting situation at a large company in the southeast.

    We have been tasked to find some productivity-related reasons to use
    larger monitors. Most of our monitors are 17" HP versions that are at
    least a few years old.

    In curriculum development, we work mostly with authoring software such
    as Adobe Framemaker, which requires more than one
    document/window/catalog/etc. to be viewed simultaneously. Often there
    are SEVERAL of these things that need to be viewed at once, severely
    overloading a 17" monitor's viewing area. We spend most of each work
    day glued to the monitors.

    I gradually became aware of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) personally
    after noticing this job was decreasing my distant acuity. Normally I
    have slight myopia (20/25) that was good enough for me to get an FAA
    Class II medical certificate every year and not require corrective
    lenses. After a year in this job, staring at the crowded 17" monitor,
    I am approx 20/40 and for the first time in my 57 years, I may have to
    wear glasses to fly legally.

    I also experience other symptoms of CVS in varying degrees: neck
    soreness, blurred vision, fatigue. (Also, I have been told I get
    cranky when I sit too long at the computer.)

    While reducing the effects CVS is obviously important, the
    bean-stackers are loathe to release any funding unless they can see
    some productivity improvement or cost savings. So, what I am after is
    some way to show that new 22" monitors will be worth the $500 or so
    each of them will cost. The types of statements I need might sound
    like these:
    - The reduction in CVS typically will reduce fatigue to the extent
    that productivity will improve 10%.
    - Healthcare costs vary inversely with monitor size.
    - CVS with its associated discomfort and annoyance, reduces morale to
    the point that increasing monitor size may have a direct effect on
    morale-related productivity; possibly a 1:1 ROI.
    - Other large organizations have shown significant cost
    savings/productivity improvements with larger monitors.

    Thanks for any information.
    MRichterFlournoy, May 26, 2004
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  2. MRichterFlournoy

    Mark A Guest

    The sharpness of the monitor is just as important (if not more so) than the
    size. Also the video card (and the refresh rate used) has a significant
    impact on CVS.

    Many newer video cards will support multiple monitors so you can put each
    document on a separate screen.
    Mark A, May 26, 2004
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  3. I know sharpness and video cards matter. Some sections here use dual
    monitors, also, with special video cards. An additional monitor AND
    video card will cost about the same as a replacement 22" monitor.

    What I am after is some sort of relationship between productivity and
    monitor size, assuming a given sharpness.

    The eye docs have told me the further away from the monitor the eye
    is, the less the myopia-inducing strain on the lense. If I get more
    than two feet from a 17" screen loaded up with Framemaker stuff, I
    can't read it anymore. Two feet is still too close for a small enough
    myopia-inducing strain.

    I need much larger font sizes, which is not a possibility now. Larger
    fonts need larger screens for a given amount of material presented.
    Larger fonts will let me get 3' away from the screen, maybe.

    There is a reduction in productivity when CVS sets in. The morale
    factor alone is significant, knowing I am ruining my eyes permanently.

    There has got to be some study somewhere that shows a relationship
    between productivity and monitor size. Maybe the relationship might
    not be quite so direct,... it might be nothing more than a
    relationship between productivity and CVS.

    Anyway, anyone out there with some ideas, please let me know.
    MRichterFlournoy, May 26, 2004
  4. MRichterFlournoy

    Mark A Guest

    All productivity "studies" are bogus. It's not science, it's common sense.
    Mark A, May 26, 2004
  5. MRichterFlournoy

    Dan Abel Guest

    I have my favorite productivity study that I studied in a management class
    that I took many years back. It's not completely off topic, since it
    attempted to measure productivity changes due to changing light levels.
    It was a plant that assembled telepone equipment, so it was easy to
    measure how many got assembled during a given time period. The study
    found that productivity increased, when light levels were increased,
    decreased or left the same! They attempted to figure out why, and found
    that the job was so mind-numbingly boring that the fact that somebody was
    paying some attention to the workers made them feel better enough about
    their jobs that they became more productive.

    I think the problem with any productivity study done concerning larger
    monitors, is that such work is almost impossible to measure. In fact, I
    would guess that for some jobs where it was possible to measure
    productivity changes, a small monitor that showed just what the worker
    needed to see would be more productive than a large monitor which
    interfered with the space available for other equipment.
    Dan Abel, May 27, 2004
  6. MRichterFlournoy

    Lew Guest

    : "All productivity "studies" are bogus. It's not
    science, it's common sense."

    Of course it is common sense. So what!? You aren't getting the Dr's

    I can directly relate to his problem. Where I work common sense
    doesn't mean diddly when it comes to costs and funding. All that
    matters is that the purse-string-pullers see some sort of cost
    advantage. It is part of their religion -- they must see a savings or
    less time spent or increased revenue. If they don't see a near term
    quantifiable improvement, they won't spend any money.

    I don't have any productivity numbers. Sorry. There is, however, a
    growing understanding of CVS and how it affects the bottom line.
    Maybe the accountants might get motivated if they saw huge healthcare
    expenses associated with UV, posture, and vision problems from working
    with lousy monitors.
    Lew, May 27, 2004
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