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Why the corona virus made me switch to a 43” screen

Yeah, it does seem a bit over the top, but hear me out. It’s actually a pretty good idea – and there’s a point here, that has nothing to do with screens and everything to do with people.

But first, why would anyone in their right mind work on a 43” screen? For me, the real question is why anyone would settle for less!

Note: I didn’t only go from 32” to 43”, but also from 1920 x 1080 to 2560 x 1440. The screen can do the full 4k, but I prefer this resolution for it.

  • You have plenty of screen real estate. Having several open windows that are still decently sized? Tricky on a laptop. No problem here.
  • Video and images just look better when they’re full-screened on a big screen. There’s a reason TVs are getting bigger, after all!
  • If you want to do a little gaming when you’re not working, it’s much nicer on the big screen.
  • It’s a conversation piece. Weird as it sounds, having a huge screen always sparks interesting talks, because when people comment on it, you can take the conversation more or less anywhere. I know it sounds a bit strange, but I’ve seen this happen at 27”, at 32” and now at 43”.
  • Most importantly, though, it’s a huge plus when doing video calls. Do a zoom meeting with 7 people on your 15” screen (or Cthulhu forbid – your phone!) and facial expressions lose nuance due to being tiny. Here? You can have big, clear mug shots of participants open while simultaneously looking at documents, checking excel sheets, etc.

For me, it means that I get less exhausted after Zoom meetings (and when often running 5+ hours of meetings pr day, that is really noticeable).

It means that I can easily be present in meetings while still being able to navigate in whatever thing we’re working ON.

It means that if I need to find something during a meeting (digitally, that is, the screen doesn’t make me lunch – yet!), then I can do that without reducing the size of those smiling faces.

But don’t take my word for it. Do your own experiments with big screens and video calls.

And yes, I know, I know… you probably feel that I’m getting unduly excited about this. But honestly, if you could spend a couple of hundred euros (perhaps even of someone else’s money!) on something that would lessen your exhaustion EVERY DAY YOU’RE AT WORK, wouldn’t you at least consider it?

Corona – and working from home since March 2020 – certainly made me realise that if I was going to do a massive amount of Zoom meetings every week, I might as well make it as pleasant as possible.

What about going even bigger, I sense you teasingly asking? Why stop at 43?

The truth is that I have considered getting a 65” like the TV we have in our living room. But for that setup, I need a bigger table.

Finally, I promised to have a non-screen-related point.

It’s a simple one, really.

I’ve been slowly upgrading my screens for many years now, and I’ve talked about screen sizes with a (surprisingly large) number of people.

Guess how many have experimented with (what they consider) over size screens, to see if they liked it? Note that I’m not asking how many have joined me in my big-screen evangelism, but just how many have even tried it out.

The answer is a very low number.

Why? Why not try something out that a friend/colleague/etc has said saves him exhaustion every single day? Just trying it can’t hurt, right?

Because we’re human, and we have a hard time looking ridiculous – even if it might be helpful to us.

And if you sometimes wonder why people are bad at trying out new things that might be good for them, for fear of seeming ridiculius, then remember the 43” screen.

Or you could try it out. You might just find that you like it, and end up getting a 65” before I do!

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Claus Raasted serves as the Director of the College of Extraordinary Experiences, is a Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company and does high-level experience design consulting for clients around the world.

www.clausraasted.dk

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Director, The College of Extraordinary Experiences & Coach at McKinsey

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