Your goal? To finish that PowerPoint presentation by EOD. Too bad the recipe board you discovered on Pinterest keeps calling your name. Still, your seatmate Monica looks hyper-focused. That could be enough of a cue to inspire you to get back to work, according to a new study published in Harvard Business Review.
Yep, researchers found that the person sitting right next to you in the office actually has a direct impact on your productivity and the quality of work you produce in a given day. They call it the “spillover effect”—aka 10 percent of your seatmate’s productivity has the ability to influence your own work.
This means that if Monica is crushing it at her desk sending emails and crunching numbers left and right, her head-down attitude will rub off on you, too. That said, if she’s the one on Pinterest, that can have the opposite effect and negatively impact the volume and quality of work you produce.
The takeaway? Choose your seatmates wisely. And if you have a mile-long to-do list, it just might be worth booking a conference room.