Many Lean experts advocate setting up work areas so there is counterclockwise flow. This principle goes hand-in hand with the U-shaped cell. Using a counterclockwise flow comes from the fact that most people are right-handed. As they move through the cell, their dominant hand is closer to the work sooner.
While it seems on the surface that this might not save much time, the seconds add up quickly in a fast-paced work area. It also appeals to people ergonomically, as there is less twisting and turning at each station.
The flow is especially pronounced in many machining cells, where chucks for equipment like lathes tend to be on the left side of the unit.