The Importance of Desk Neighbors at the Office

Changing the organizational chart of an organization has a limited impact. But changing where people sit, has a massive effect. That’s from Ben Waber, CEO of Sociometric Solutions, who uses sensors to track communication patterns in the workplace. He says a worker’s immediate neighbors account for 40-60% of interactions a worker faces during the workday. If you’re two rows away, it’s reduced to 5-10%.

The fact is, who you sit next to at work matters. Are they negative? Are they positive? Are they needy? Do they suck the life out of you? Or do they inspire and motivate you? Whatever it is, it will impact you in significant ways.

Some companies report that simply changing where people sit saves them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Bottom line – you should think very carefully about where your team sits and who they sit next to. The person an employee is next to has an enormous impact on their attitude, productivity, and results.

So the question is – who are you sitting next to?  Is that a good thing or bad thing?

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This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.

Phil Cooke
Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke is a filmmaker, media consultant and founder of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, California. His latest book is Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking. Find out more at