Where you sit in an office has a lot to do with your productivity. Simple moves and adjustments where you are in the room, in which room you are and to which direction you are faced in your room have surprisingly huge meaning.
Few years ago I worked with a person that was a real high performer. We did sit together and we were able to produce much together. He did sit on the left side of me and both of us were facing to the same direction. It was easy to communicate, but at the same time not to feel interrupted. You could keep your eyes on the screen and shout questions and answers. If we needed to see something from our screens, we could easily move the chair and work together.
When we did change office. He did move behind me. So that we were facing to opposite directions and our backs were facing each others. He wanted to do that because, according to his own words, he did not want to see anyone in front of him. It would help him to concentrate. For him it was perfect arrangement, but for me it was difficult. When he needed my help or contribution, it was interruption. I needed to turn around and my thoughts were away from what I was doing.
Both cases we were sitting in the same room with other team members. Only small adjustments were made.
Don’t be afraid to change where you sit in the office
I made recently decision that shocked many of my office mates. I decided to change room and move away from my team to other room with people who I don’t work with. I believe there is value to sit in the same room with your team – but I did change the room for several reasons.
My productivity has not been really high recently. It is because in my team room there is a lot of interruptions. A lot. I am the senior technical member of the team and the leader. My team asks a lot of questions from me – and I hear a lot of questions that are not targeted to me, but I know the answer. I don’t want to be answer machine. I want people to think and find out the questions by themselves.
Moving away to room that has fewer interruptions. I hope I am able to produce more.
I want the team to take responsibility and make the decisions. Me being there in the same room does not help the team to become independent.
3. Joining with new people
Joining new people, people I don’t usually work with, gives me more ideas and different view. When you make ideas to collide, you will produce something new.
4. Thinking outside the box
To think outside the box you need to move outside your box. I did it literally.
Nothing lasts forever. I can decide to go back to my room at any time.
Any movement is good. Movement where you sit in the office is the lowest level of movement and it is easy to arrange.
Try it. Move to other rooms for a while.
Photo credit Flickr Victor1558