Did you know that where you sit in the office has an effect on your work and productivity? It also has an effect on your employee’s happiness and overall work satisfaction. New research from Harvard Business School has emerged, proving that sitting with colleagues with a complementary work style has a positive effect on office productivity.
How important are your work neighbours?
In the same manner as you would like to choose like-minded house neighbours to make sure your relationship and living close by is as smooth as possible, sitting next to people who are on the same wavelength is equally as important. Who you sit next to in work has an effect on your personal relationships which leads to better business relationships. This, in turn, helps to build stronger teams, encourages collaboration and improves employee retention in the long run.
Being close to the people you collaborate with and not who you report into makes office communication a breeze. Encouraging productive members of the team to sit beside like-minded colleague should be encouraged but strong and weaker team members sitting together isn’t a bad thing either. “If you sit a strong and a weak performer next to each other, the weaker employee performs much better, and the stronger employee’s performance doesn’t decline much at all.” This is, in part, due to our innate competitive nature, wanting to do as well as if not better than our peers.
Involve your employees in this decision as at the end of the day, they spend more time with their colleagues than their families. Ask who they would prefer to sit close to, give reasons why and let them choose their professional partners, reviewing as necessary. Don’t encourage your staff to sit next to team members they are not comfortable with.
Obviously, it isn’t always possible to choose where your staff sits, often it’s a case of wherever there is a free desk. If you do have a choice or are planning an office move or refurbishment, try to opt for an open plan office layout. It gives all employees an opportunity to collaborate with their peers, both formally and informally encourages interdepartmental communication and promotes cross-selling.
What can I do to improve?
Seating arrangements in the office should be a priority and not something you do as an afterthought. When a new employee starts, consider their style of work and if they fit in with their intended office environment before placing them. This should be reviewed after an agreed period and amended if needed. Try to seat senior staff and people with the same work ethic and level of responsibility together, so that the senior leadership team are all close by.
If you are considering a move, setting up a new business or would like to take the stress out of looking for your ideal office, let Premier Business Centres help. We offer a range of serviced office type and sizes to suit your business. Contact Therese via phone or email to learn more.