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The workforce, employees, resource, the team. The saying goes that you are only a good as your weakest link. But, how do you identify what or who is the weakest link and how is it feasible to improve upon this aspect of the business? To increase worker performance, employers often invest into several areas from rewards and incentives, to education and training. These traditional methods develop employees’ skills, day to day work experience, exposure to new expertise and way of working with the goal being improving the quality and service of an organisation.

AZTEC have identified that by applying various layers of consultation, across many professional fields, there is an obscenely simple way of increasing productivity. The approach requires minimal investment in a product that has immediate impact, short lead times and long warranty’s. The answer is as elementary as better office seating configurations and the associated people who will be located there.

AZTEC have captured data through setting up workshops on behalf of our clients’, contributing in one to one and team meetings. The questions we help our client navigate are based upon which employees sit next to who, which teams are adjacent to which department and how they perform together. Through analysing channels of communication, developing a less formal setting, grouping the right types of co-workers together. Productivity and work quality categorically improve and directly contributed to the overall team moral.

We analysed a specific client and the captured information over a two-year cycle, thanks to a phased project which, allowed us to reattend the headquarters at different phases of the build between 2015 -2017. The service offerings that this particular client provides as a global sports conglomerate equated to the perfect base line as a diverse multi-faceted organisation covering a assorted range of professional abilities.

To implement the research, we engaged with the client’s HR department alongside AZTEC’s Workplace Consultancy team to see if there were any distinct benefits from taking to the time to understand individual personalities and traits and the proximity of others within the workplace.

All sensitive information was covered via a non-disclosure agreement, any sensitive information has been omitted from this release.

  • A client master file was created which catalogued pertinent information such as hire and termination dates, job position, head of department, department titles.
  • Pre and Post engagement workshop were conducted across the organization and with heads of departments individually to identify any underlining key facts.
  • Building maps and floor plans to calculate the distance between each department, kitchen, soft seating area, meeting rooms and social/professional interactions.

Worker performance data

  •  Productivity AZTEC strategically placed a time lapse camera with a digital clock that measured the length of time it took a worker to complete a task. This data considered the length of time spanning from the shortest to the longest generating an average mean time that can be assessed against alternative configurations.
  • Effectiveness AZTEC created a tally of when a worker needed to refer a task to a different worker to solve. This occurred when the employee couldn’t resolve the task on their own and it was assigned to another. We also measured the distance and time that it took to travel from point A to point B for each individual employee.
  • Quality AZTEC measured the head of departments satisfaction with the task on a five-point scale so that this information can be compared against alternative configurations. .

Success through Association

 AZTEC noted that an employee’s location within an office has a significant impact on an employee’s performance which, can be either positive or negative. In terms of magnitude, we found that positivity and enthusiasm as a stimulant to the less productive employees as they feel more engaged. Replacing an employee who lacks enthusiasm and drive with one who is classified twice as productive results in adjacent colleague increasing their own productivity to reinforce that they are a contributing factor to the team. This measurements was scored against time and quality in all configurations to give a fair assessment.

Opposing Skills and Strengths

Through assessing the various configurations that were available due to team sizes, client GIFA, defined access and egress routes within the building and number of staff. AZTEC found that the best seating arrangements had productive and highly valued employees sitting beside each other. The conclusion being that productive and highly valued employee helped the other improve. The same view can be taken in sport. When a professional athlete is competing for example at the Olympics, the top competitors usually excel and set their very own personal bests or even world records due to the desire to exceed not only their own expectations. But, the expectations of others.

Separate the Wheat from the Chaff

 AZTEC’s research highlighted that workers with negative attitudes and poor work ethic often ended up sitting next to other employees with similar traits. An interesting fact that appeared equated to that the probability that one of the employees would be terminated. In percentage terms a person who has been recognised with the above traits. 27% (based on 340 employees) would be terminated or no longer be with the company in a 24 month. This information was provided by the client.

Another interesting fact is that If a disruptive worker sat next to a productive worker, the worker with the negative influence will more than likely bring the positive employee productivity down.

The value of this information is insurmountable and is a key part of any engagement survey. Understanding how an employee feels about their work environment, their team, their value is critical to the success of each and every organisation at any level.

This workplace research which AZTEC has undertaken highlights early warning signs for team leaders who may not notice these issues due to their own work load and day to day pressures. Subsequently, this information can be reported to HR for intervention and minimise future issues for the organisation.

AZTEC have been advocates of spatial management for nearly three decades. AZTEC understand that Senior Management and team leaders need to first look at employees’ performance to see how they can access the most of their vitals assets. Once the organisation identifies how to best manage their team, their space and brand with congeal effortlessly. Not only does it present the opportunity of enhancing their competitive offering to industry. It also means it is the perfect time to speak to the guys at AZTEC.

For more information, as to how AZTEC can help maximise your workplace please visit our website: –  Or call Paul Ashmore our Pre Contracts Manager on 0151 255 0850.  He always has time for a natter and a slice of Battenberg

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