As some workplaces prepare for the gradual return of employees and overhaul office layouts and seating plans, research has shown this could also have implications for employee productivity and company performance.
Research performed as a collaboration between Cornerstone OnDemand and researchers at Harvard Business school in 2016 uncovered that where employees sit at work can have a big impact on employees’ performance. When the research was conducted, the analysis showed that placing the right type of workers near to each other can positively affect productivity and has been shown to generate up to a 15 percent increase in organizational performance. With employees now having to keep their distance this could decrease any possible positive effects.
The research, which included analysis of data from more than 2,000 employees over a two-year period provided by a large technology company with locations in the U.S. and Europe, identified three types of workers: Productive, Generalists, and Quality. Seating Productive and Quality workers together and seating Generalists separately in their own group showed a 13 percent gain in productivity and a 17 percent gain ineffectiveness. In short, pairing together employees with opposite strengths has the biggest and most positive impact on performance. Their strengths are little affected but this positively affects performance measures for employees’ weaknesses.
At a time when businesses are under pressure following the Covid-19 pandemic, gains in operational performance will go a long way for recovery. For an organization of 2,000 workers, the analysis showed that strategic seating planning could add up to an estimated $1 million a year to profits, indicating the importance for businesses to still ensure close collaboration between these workers.
News Source: HR News