Simple Scientific Ways to Be More Productive

A business only runs as well as its employees, but, unfortunately, it’s easy for people to become stressed or sidetracked. Luckily, science can help you conquer some of the influences that make your employees feel sluggish and help them perform at peak capacity.

Whether it’s small details like interior design and color or workflow processes like when and how employees take breaks, organizing the workplace has a lot to do with the overall productivity of your employees. Some of it depends on their personal behaviors, but much of it depends on the workplace environment you, as an employer, provide.

Here are five simple, proven ways to increase productivity in the workplace.

Try new seating arrangements

You never know what kind of innovation and refreshment a simple change of seating could lead to. Changing where your employees sit can boost creativity and productivity, according to Christian Catalini, assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. Catalini told the Wall Street Journal that grouping workers together by department can foster focus and efficiency, but mixing them up can also lead to innovation.

Sigal Barsade, a University of Pennsylvania management professor, said that workers’ dispositions can actually be contagious, so grouping people based on their temperament can really have an impact on a company’s work environment.

“People literally catch emotions from one another like a virus,” Barsade said, adding that if you want to cheer up a stressed-out employee, grouping that worker with cheerful, energetic employees is the best strategy.

The Wall Street Journal also reported on several companies that have experimented with different seating arrangements and have seen interesting results. Representatives from HubSpot found that grouping their executives together made employees feel like they were too far removed from the company, for example. And’s co-founder Paul English found that placing new hires in specific areas based on their personalities and work habits could really change the dynamic of different groups in the office.

So whether it means redecorating the office a bit or allowing employees the space for mid-day socializing or coffee naps, employers can leverage these scientific findings to improve the productivity of their workplace. Offering nap rooms or multiple out-of-office breaks isn’t just nice, it’s scientifically proven to make your business run more efficiently, reduce turnover and keep your employees more productive for longer periods of time.

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