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Optimal Productivity: Sit Next to a Productive Person

Posted by Brian Spence on Mar 22, 2017 8:00:00 AM

ProductivityDo you want to improve your productivity and are struggling to find a strategy that works? It turns out, the key at work might not be creating to-do lists or working extra hours. Instead, the solution is simpler than you'd ever thought. It just might be that all you have to do is put your desk by someone who's already productive.

Recent research shows that the office seating chart has the highest impact on workers' levels of productiveness. To determine the result, the researchers looked at data from over 2,000 workers over two years at a large organization.

Looking to improve productiveness in your office? Here's how you can apply these results in your daily working life:

  1. Ask to sit by a highly productive worker. The study found that the correlation between a worker's performance and their office neighbors was about 10%. Sitting by an especially productive colleague will boost your own performance without you making any other changes.

  2. Get paired with a neighbor with a different working profile. If you produce high quality but slower work, sitting next to a productive, fast worker will help you and them. Not only will you improve in production, but both of you will work more effectively with fewer errors.

  3. Avoid sitting by toxic workers. Toxic workers are defined in the study as those who participate in toxic behavior such as workplace misconduct or harassment. Sitting by these workers decreases the productivity of non-toxic neighbors and increases their risk of becoming toxic.

  4. Ask your productive neighbor for help. Although there's an efficiency boost from sitting by your neighbor, on average it lasts about two months without additional help. So if you really want to be like your coworker in the long-term, ask him or her for boosting techniques that work.

Interested in learning more about this and related topics? Visit the Productivity and Self-Improvement sections of our blog.


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Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.