Multiple monitors: They are not just a wish list item
Christopher Null of the blog "The Working Guy" had a great entry:
Two monitors = 44 percent increase in productivity
He writes about "...the New York Times which cites research that -- on certain text-editing tasks -- users were 44 percent faster using two 20-inch monitors instead of a single 18-inch screen."
See the original NYT story titled Boss, I Need a Bigger Screen. For Work Efficiency, of Course.
We've seen this for years. Multiple monitors are like adding a room on your house: the add more floor to stretch out in and more space to work in. The efficiencies can be seen in adding a second monitor to a laptop or 2 or more monitors to a desktop computer. The extra virtual room will increase your productivity simply in the fact that you don't have to keep using the mouse or keyboard to get back to the other three projects you are working on at the same time.
And don't forget the interruptions for Instant Message chats, incoming mail notices, and the screen space used by toolboxes, tool palettes, task bars and docks.