What is important when buying a monitor for the office? Today, we want to investigate that question. Important is to not choose the first monitor you run into for your workplace. Because anybody who sits in front of a monitor for many hours, should first consider some relevant factors. Let’s have a look at the factors that are most important when buying the optimal monitor for the office. Additionally, we want to show you what else is important considering while working on a monitor.

What size should an office monitor be?

In order to work in front of the monitor appropriately, its size should be too. One advantage of today’s monitors is the low price for big exemplars. In general, a monitor at the office should at least be 22. But monitors with 24″ or more are even more suitable for working in the office.

Therefore, many screen windows can be shown at the monitor simultaneously – a huge advantage for various office work. Ultrawide monitors are worthwhile as well as there can be shown three windows at the same time easily.

What screen resolution should the monitor have?

Monitor for the office: What to look for in a new monitor for work 2

A monitor for the office: here you can see a dual monitor setup attached to a monitor arm.

The resolution plays a significant role when choosing the perfect monitor, for the office too.

In order to avoid a strain of the eyes, the screen should be as sharp as possible and therefore have a high resolution. In any case, it should feature a Full HD resolution of 1080p. Usually, this already applies for modern monitors anyway. But if several windows are opened simultaneously while working, even the monitor should have a higher resolution, so small font sizes can be red easily too.

Anybody who has high graphical requirements for their monitor, should in fact opt for an 4K resolution if necessary.

Tip: if you struggle reading with high resolutions, largen the font size in the operating system.

What kind of connections should be available for an office monitor?

The optimal monitor for the office should essentially provide specific options for connection: these include for example a HDMI port. However, both, a VGA (blue) and DVI port (white) are standard. If you’re using a 4K monitor, you need to have a HDMI 2.0 port or a DisplayPort 1.2 for the monitor, and the computer with which it is intended to be connected.

At least a USB port at the monitor can make sense for plugging in devices that have such a connection. In some cases, a USB-C port can be useful as well.

What kind of settings should the monitor provide?

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For amateur photographers and designers, it is essential being able to gauge the monitor. / Picture: REDPIXEL / fotolia.com

On the one hand, the optimal monitor for the office should contain some external settings. For that, it should for example be adjustable in its height, so it can be adjusted to the eye level. Therefore, a false posture can be avoided effectively. The monitor should also be adjustable in an appropriate tilt range.

The ability to rotate is beneficial for specific work in the office. For example, in an accounting firm, a digitalised A4 document can be screened onto the monitor. Optionally, this can be done by a rotatable monitor arm as well.

The optimal monitor for the office should also have diverse internal settings. For example, brightness, contrast, and the temperature of colours should be adjustable. Therefore, you can roughly adjust the screen with the monitor itself. In addition to that, the response time of the monitor should be appropriate, minimum 2ms in order to avoid flickering and ghosting on the screen. The better the response time, the clearer the screen.

Power consumption: why you need to opt for a high efficiency

Every monitor used in the office, should have a high efficiency regarding its power consumption. This is because of the monitor’s daily use for many hours. By the permanent use, a low power consumption is necessary in order to save costs and work in a sustainable way.

If the monitor has a power save mode, this is an additional indication for its efficiency.

What are the costs intended for a monitor?

The amount of the costs depends on the size of the monitor and its specifications. A simple, but good, 22″ sized monitor often costs only $100 or less. Anybody who wants a bigger monitor with a size of 24″, will have to charge $100 to $150. A 32″ monitor is about $250 up to $350.

A monitor with a 27″ screen costs $150 to $250. However, 4K monitors can be purchased for approximately $300. Depending on the size, the price can be even higher. Special monitors which are bent for example, usually cost a little bit more than standard monitors.

What are the advantages of a dual monitor setup?

Mit 2 Bildschirmen produktiver & besser arbeiten

This is an exaggeration – but at least a dual monitor system is worth it!

The dual monitor setup is a great solution for the workplace: two monitors are used at the same time, or rather get plugged onto one computer.

If working with two monitors, therefore it’s much easier to switch between a wide quantity of screen windows. This can be a huge advantage for various office work because therefore, time can be saved.

As a consequence, the efficiency increases. Due to the fact that most modern computers have two outputs for monitors, two monitors can be plugged in without any problems. Before purchasing a monitor, you should consider if a big monitor or a dual monitor system is rather appropriate.

What to consider when adjusting the font size

A bigger font size can always be regarded as an advantage. This is because eyes don’t get overstrained by that. For that reason, a bigger monitor can be an advantage as well. Usually, the font size should be adjusted according to the monitor’s distance. In order to avoid a damage of the eyes, the distance should be at least 50cm.

Due to the adjustment of the font size to the distance, latter one should be e.g., for a distance of 70cm, 4,5mm to 6,4mm big. For an 80cm distance, the font size should be between 5,2mm to 7,33mm. The height of the letter can be calculated easily by dividing the distance in millimetres by the figure 155. This is the rule of thumb for the optimal font size.

How important are monitor ICC profiles?

The whole colour profile plays a significant role when working at the monitor too, because when its adjusted optimally, you can avoid a strain of the eyes. At first, you should pay attention to rich colours and an adequate colour depth if you purchase a monitor. The monitor’s colour profile should only be adjusted manually if therefore the strain of the eyes gets reduced further on.

Some mistakes you should necessarily avoid when working in front of a monitor

On the one hand, you should always avoid low contrast while looking at the monitor. If the monitor’s contrast gets adapted to a high level or rather the maximum setting, e.g., texts can be red more easily. Therefore, the eyes get strained less and it is possible to work for many hours. On the other hand, there is the common mistake of not turning on the monitor’s blue light filter. Nowadays, most monitors have a blue light filter which filters the harmful, blue light and so, eyes become less strained.

A mistake that is made frequently is providing not sufficient light at the workplace. This especially applies to working during the night or in a dark room with only few windows in it. In this case, an appropriate standard lamp or one for the table should be provided because the lightness at the workplace should be minimum 500 lux. But too much daylight should be avoided too as it can be dazzling and therefore lead to the screen not being visible – or only with an enormous effort.

It is best to use anti-glare monitors for the office, so no reflections can occur. If the monitor is standing right in front of a window, that should be darkened a little bit if necessary, so the eyes don’t get dazzled.

The post "Monitor for the office: What to look for in a new monitor for work" written by:

Sophie Voigtländer

Expertin für Bürogestaltung und Ergonomie

Sophie joined deskonia at the beginning of 2021. Since then, she is mainly responsible for translating all kinds of texts into English.

She studied International Communication and Translation.

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