You may like your privacy or enjoy sitting among the friendly people who help you relax at work. If you want to get more done, though, put your desk next to the hardest worker.
Photo by David Joyce.
According to business site Harvard Business Review, who you sit near can affect how productive you are. If the person closest to your desk is getting a lot done, you're more likely to stay focused as well. If they're chatty and frequently distracted, they're going to distract you too:
We saw that neighbours have a significant impact on an employee's performance, and it can be either positive or negative. In terms of magnitude, we found that approximately 10% of a worker's performance spills over to her neighbours. Replacing an average performer with one who is twice as productive results in his or her neighbouring workers increasing their own productivity by about 10%, on average.
It's no surprise that a distracting coworker can lower your productivity, but it's equally true that a productive coworker can inspire us to work harder. Whether it's because we're competitive, or we simply don't want to stand out, we're more likely to try to match the productivity of those around us.