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Workstation Organization May Boost Productivity

Published: August 4, 2016

Organizing employees’ workstations correctly could help to boost productivity in the workplace, according to research in the US.

A report compiled by Harvard Business School found worker performance could be improved by reassessing who workers are positioned next to.

The research looked at how rearranging seating could lead to up to a 15 per cent increase in business performance.

Data from 2,000 workers at a leading international IT firm was used to look at how companies could improve productivity in the workplace. Three types of worker were identified in the research – productive, generalists and quality – and it was concluded it was most efficient to put productive and quality workers close to each other.

“Until now, not much has been explored on how the physical location of an employee and proximity to others can impact their productivity and performance,” said Dylan Minor, visiting assistant professor for Harvard Business School.

“These results suggest that companies can develop a framework to maximize organizational performance simply through the physical placement of workers. Physical space is something organizations can manage relatively inexpensively, and it should be viewed as an important resource in increasing the returns to human capital.”

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