Could who you sit next to make you perform better at work?


ORLANDO, Fla. – A two-year study at Northwestern University found that sitting next to a high achiever can improve someone’s performance as much as 16 percent.

If you’re looking to improve your job performance, consider changing who you sit next to. A study published by Harvard Business School showed that when slower employees were moved next to more productive employees, it raised their productivity by eight percent. When less-effective employees were close to their colleagues who could handle customer service well, their effectiveness rose by 16 percent. Workers who received high-quality ratings encouraged a 3 percent raise in their neighbor’s quality ratings from customer surveys.

The study’s lead author says the results could be a combination of inspiration and peer pressure, but either way, sitting next to a high performer can help you pick up good habits, such as listening carefully and meeting deadlines. 

Researchers conducting a study from Princeton watched 370 cashiers in supermarkets and found that those who knew they could be seen by star coworkers had performance gains.