Here's why every office worker deserves a 4K monitor

Viewsonic monitor

Businesses spend countless hours trying to figure out how to improve the productivity of their workers even by a fraction of a percent. That's because every single process that can be tweaked, every second that can be shaved and every step that can be finetuned brings tangible benefits in terms of overall efficiency.

Yet, there's one thing that literally stares us in the face and doesn't receive the attention it should: your computer monitor. Employees usually look at it for at least eight hours a day if desk-bound, and it's due a revolution.

Traditional tech buying cycles usually take into account base units and input peripherals, but displays are left out of the equation because they still work and are a pain to move around and refurbish.

Even the widespread shift from fixed personal computers to laptops didn't change that despite the fact that notebooks have much smaller displays and often better graphics performance compared to the units they usually replace.

The business advantages derived from multiple displays are well documented: Bill Gates and the late Terry Pratchett were well-known advocates, but rolling multiple displays across hundreds of desktops is not an easy task as it can be quite disruptive if the installation requires dedicated monitor stands.

Millions of pixels to play with

Enter 4K monitors; they allow you to enjoy the benefits of multiple monitors using a single display. Their prices have fallen significantly over the past two years as the technology has matured and more companies roll out more affordable models.

Given that even entry-level smartphones like the £99 Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 have a full HD resolution, far higher than many laptops or monitors in use in businesses, it makes sense for businesses - and not just gamers - to look seriously at 4K.

You can now find monitors sporting that resolution for around £300 (and even less if you opt for a 4K TV set) and a growing number of laptops - such as those with DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0 - can connect to them natively.

Common 28-inch 4K displays can replace up to four full HD monitors and have the footprint similar to a 27-inch full HD model. In other words, they're easier to install, don't take a lot of desk space and require only one power connector and one data port.

Most mainstream operating systems are already optimized for high resolutions. Windows 10, for example, allows you to easily tile four full HD windows in a snap.

A much higher pixel count translates into more being displayed onto the screen, which can give you more than 5,200 spreadsheet cells in Microsoft Excel and the ability to display four A4 sheets side by side in Microsoft Word.

Want 4K as soon as possible? Then make sure that you have enough free desk space and that you are comfortable with the size of the fonts and icons. Your computer needs to support 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels at 60Hz) and offer the appropriate connectors.

Check out our top 10 monitors on the market

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.