Sit next to the smart ones!

RTKL London OfficeFistful of Talent plays a major role in influencing my Tuesday evening watch list. It began with Up in the air, followed by Office Space and last evening I ended up watching Coffee Town. Not only movie choices, FoT also holds a fair bit of influence on what I write. Remember how I said, ‘Once a month, I will post my opinion on any one select piece published on FoT’? Well, while I might have broken that resolution, I am back to share my two bits on this piece.

We’ve been told ever since we were kids to keep the right company. On certain parent teacher meets, I’ve overheard my own parents scheming over my designated seating space. Since then I’ve stumbled upon a fair bit of articles claiming that ‘we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with’. I brushed it aside since I never found any research to back this up (Believe me I looked). Then, I stumbled across this piece on the Wall Street Journal and now, I tripped over the FoT post that referenced the same.

My favorite line in the WSJ article is this – Pick out a colleague who is really good in an area where you want to improve—and move your desk next to him or her. It could lead to quite a riot, couldn’t it?

However, the point I want to stress upon is one made by John Hollon. He quite rightly questions the amount of thought that actually goes into determining seat plans or designing office space. Do we consider the influence of the people seated next to the employee or are we just clubbing desks based on teams? I’ve also written in the past on how shuffling desks every 6 months could lead to a rise in engagement and how bringing in greenery could help relax. Yet, when allocating desk space, we somehow manage to do it with minimal thought. More often than not, space constraints also play a key role in underleveraging any benefit that seating could offer.

It’s not just seating either, is it? I am sure there just as many small levers that impact workspace productivity that we lovingly overlook. How many can you list? I think I can list at least five.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s