Does Seating Buddy Employees Together Decrease or Increase Productivity


By Amit Prasad on November 12, 2018

In an office environment, where the employees sit has much to do with how satisfied and productive they will be.

According to a Cornerstone OnDemand and Harvard Business School combined research, seating the right types of workers – the complementary pairs – together is a cost-effective way to inject energy and efficiency into a workday.

In this post, we’ll learn how seating proximity has an important role to play in employee productivity. Along with discussing another essential employee productivity quotient, as you go through the entire article.

How Seating Arrangement Impacts Employee Productivity?

Your office space and the workplace environment is an all-inclusive ecosystem, where each of the inhabitants (the staff members and you) function most effectively and efficiently when they’re at the right place and proximity. At least, that’s what we could infer from the Cornerstone OnDemand and Harvard’s combined research.

The researchers analyzed the data from more than 2000 workers at a large tech company with offices located at several locations across the US and UK for a period of two years. The right employee seating arrangement with proper proximity, they write, “has been shown to generate up to 15% in organizational performance. For an organization of 2000 workers, strategic seating planning could add an estimated $1 million per annum to profit.”

Determining the Perfect Pairing

The study looked into three types of workers: 1) Productive, who have high productivity but low quality, 2) Generalists, with average productivity and quality, and 3) Quality workers, who are less productive but are high quality.

It found that the best pairings are symbiotic relationships where people with opposite strengths are placed together so that the traits and skills of a person with high quality and/or productivity can ‘spillover’ to help a person with lower productivity and/or quality. See the infographic here.

As much as the combined productivity improves by seating certain people nearby, it is negatively affected when toxic workers are seated around. According to the study, seating toxic employees nearby increases the probability of one of them getting terminated by 27%.

Office Space As a Productivity Quotient

Apart from the seating proximity, the design and style of the entire office space also influence the overall employee productivity. Software Advice spoke with three office planning experts about the type of office space that can cater to the working style and needs of different types of employees. For example, the extroverts, who prefer an open office plan, and the introverts, who want a closed office setup for more privacy.

The team at Software Advice concluded that facilities manager and company executives should determine a ratio of private and open spaces, as well as ancillary areas—such as bathrooms, conference rooms, huddle rooms, etc.—that enable the type of work required for each type of department and its employees.

According to Software Advice, this type of seating arrangement should help you achieve these productivity goals:

  • Improve collaboration among department by breaking down barriers
  • Increase productivity by giving certain employees more private workspaces
  • Facilitate and encourage more remote work

To conclude, seating budding employees together is as important as it is to give your employees an office environment with the right ratio of private and open workspaces. Just by creating the right ecosystem, you can boost the overall productivity and performance of your employees.

Improve Employee Productivity by Making Office Space Management Easier with QuickFMS

QuickFMS’s space management software module lets you easily track space utilization from requisition to blocking, and scheduling to allocation. You can allocate space by project, department or vertical, and monitor live space utilization using access card data. Furthermore, you also get access to floor layout drawings with details of who sits where, which you can use to achieve better seating distribution and to eliminate duplicate allocation.

Space and Workplace Management Software

These are just a few of the features that our space management software provides. For more information, schedule your free, personalized demo with us.