Ben Martin's dual monitor post got me thinking about article I saw a while ago on digg about old hardware and employee morale. Long story short: sticking with old hardware to save a couple bucks is a bad idea. Of course, the most obvious reason is that common tasks take longer to do. Excel opens slower. Word opens slower. Memory-intensive programs like Photoshop and InDesign crawl.

The less obvious reason is increased workplace dissatisfaction.

British and French respondents said working on outdated
computers was the most irritating aspect of office life.

IT departments tend to prioritize equipment based on tree charts. I've always thought that was an extremely bad idea. It creates a toxic environment. On top of getting less done, staff begin to resent management and IT people.

Hardware is cheap. Ben's second monitor probably cost less than $300. For a potential productivity increase of 9%-50%?! That's a steal…and a lesson for anyone making those types of decisions.

Written by

Fred Simmons

As a Managing Partner and the Director of User Experience at Gulo, Fred enjoys making website interactions more natural and improving UX design. Outside of work, Fred enjoys golf, BBQ, craft beer, movies where the bad guy wins, comma-separated lists, and talking about himself in the third person.