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Life Lessons

Life Lessons: High performance seating

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.

And workers who received high-quality ratings encouraged a three 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.

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.


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