We already know that how you sit can impact your health and your energy levels, but does where you sit also have an effect on you?
As Fast Company discusses, research from Cornerstone OnDemand and Harvard Business School suggests rearranging desks or sitting next to someone with a complementary work style can provide a cost-effective and easy way to boost energy and efficiency.
But many businesses now enable employees to choose where they work throughout the day, instead of sitting at designated desks, so how important is where you sit?
As a report from Deloitte on global human resource trends found, employee engagement and retention continue to be some of the toughest challenges business face around the world.
These issues are costly to companies in terms of time, money and reputation. Many businesses try to combat these challenges by offering a great company culture, providing benefits and by implementing policies such as flexible working. But the research suggests there could be a much simpler option.
For the two-year study (which was called the first study of “spatial management”), the researchers analysed data from over 2,000 workers at a large technology company that has several locations through the US and Europe. By seating certain types of workers together, the researchers found that productivity and profits increased.
They revealed that the proper proximity “has been shown to generate up to a 15% increase in organisational performance. For an organisation of 2,000 workers, strategic seating planning could add an estimated $1 million per annum to profit.
So, how exactly do company seating arrangements have such a positive impact?
Workforce scientist in residence for HiQ Labs and one of the authors of the study, Michael Housman, explains behaviour is contagious, especially strong performance. Housman believes this could be because “people have a competitive nature and want to perform at the level of those around them.”
So why not add a little healthy competition in your office?
Regardless of the size of your company, playing around with the seating plan could boost productivity and profits — this could be particularly beneficial during the summer months, when productivity and energy levels start to wane. You may just have to play a few rounds of musical chairs before you find the right fit.