New Science Unlocks Vast Hidden Potential Of Office Seating Arrangements

by • October 22, 2013 • Architecture, DesignComments (0)2605

Each office I have ever worked in has begun with that very first day where I take my first step inside, thinking to myself, “Dear God, please give me an amazing spot.”  I can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed, but there have been instances where I’ve needed to do some major tinkering and micro-management of the space around me in order to get it feeling just right.  I’m a huge Feng Shui buff (although purely at an intuitive level), so flow, light, and neighbours are critical elements in getting it right.  These concerns are hardly unique to me, and are major sources of concern — and even inspiration — to many folks in the working world.  But the next time you sit down at your desk, take a good long look at your surrounding environment and realize that there is much more going on than meets the eye.

In a fascinating article published in The Wall Street Journal, Rachel Feintzeig looks at the science of office seating arrangements and discovers there are ways to unlock its hidden potential in order to maximize good temperament, productivity, focus, efficiency and innovation.  “Mr. Waber says a worker’s immediate neighbors account for 40% to 60% of every interaction that worker has during the workday, from face-to-face chats to email messages,” Feintzeig writes.  “There is only a 5% to 10% chance employees are interacting with someone two rows away, according to his data, which is culled from companies in the retail, pharmaceutical and finance industries, among others.  Want to befriend someone on another floor?  Forget it.  ‘You basically only talk to [those] people if you have meetings,’ Mr. Waber says.”  

There is much more to this story and you can read it in full by visiting The Wall Street Journal.  Seating arrangements, however, aren’t the only thing affecting your work environment and experience.  To hear what Amy Cuddy has to say about how your body language is playing an enormous role in affecting your life, you need to watch her brilliant speech by CLICKING HERE. (NOTE: the office pictured in the photo above is from the stunning Horizon Media offices in New York, designed by a+i Architecture). 

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