Workers More Productive Today Than Five Years Ago; Still Room for Improvement
Staples Advantage offers solutions to improve worker productivity
FRAMINGHAM, MA — While nice weather and too many meetings rank high on the list of things that decrease productivity in the office, more than 70 percent of both office workers and managers believe that workers are more productive today than they were five years ago, according to a recent survey from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc.
Both office workers and managers agree that the following elements are essential to a productive work day:
• Mobile technology (29 percent office workers / 37 percent managers)
• Break times (23 percent office workers / 33 percent managers)
• Telecommuting (19 percent office workers / 35 percent managers)
On the other hand, both groups call out the following top two reasons for decreased productivity in the workplace:
• Technology limitations (31 percent office workers / 43 percent managers)
• Non-collaborative work environments (25 percent office workers / 33 percent managers)
Companies looking to increase productivity in their offices and overcome some efficiency hurdles should consider the following solutions:
• Collaborative workspaces – Businesses should take steps to create workspaces where employees can easily communicate and share ideas for group collaboration. Office furniture options now go far beyond the traditional chair, desk and cubicle. Companies should consider designing an open office environment by including a mix of casual and formal meeting areas to encourage spontaneous conversation and teamwork.
• Breakrooms – Stepping away from work in nearby breakrooms helps foster productivity by allowing healthy mental breaks, an opportunity to refuel and casual conversations. To help make a breakroom inviting and effective, companies should include comfortable furniture and offer a variety of snacks for workers.
• Technology – Companies should equip their employees with the technology needed to get work done efficiently – from printers and PCs to products that help enable telecommuting, such as tablets and remote access VPN’s. Implementing a managed print services program can also increase productivity by eliminating the need for workers and in-house IT staff to supply and maintain printers throughout the office.
“We’re seeing a trend in the right direction with 70 percent of workers and managers saying they’re more productive now than five years ago,” said Tom Heisroth, senior vice president for Staples Advantage. “Providing employees with the right tools and resources is essential to improving office-wide productivity. At Staples, we make it easy for businesses to be productive with everything they need including technology, breakroom supplies, furniture and office products.”
BYOD & Productivity
Office workers and managers also weighed in on how a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy impacts productivity. Thirty-five percent of workers and 54 percent of managers believe BYOD policies increase productivity. With Gartner predicting that half of employers may impose a mandatory BYOD policy by 2017, companies should consider effective policies that can grow with demand. One key requirement for BYOD is a strong security policy, for which Staples offers the following tips:
• Implement a strong password policy on all devices that “times out” every 15 minutes.
• Use data wipe software with the ability to “wipe” the data off a device if it's lost or stolen.
• Avoid saving data to a personal device, only to corporate servers.
Office workers and managers also agreed on a number of other hurdles to productivity including too many meetings (both 44 percent), nice weather (27 percent, 26 percent) and office space temperature (40 percent, 38 percent).
Staples Advantage offers products and solutions to keep employees productive. For more information, please visit www.staplesadvantage.com.
About the Survey
Staples conducted an online survey of more than 250 office workers and 250 managers at organizations of all sizes across the U.S. The survey, conducted in May 2013, asked a series of questions about productivity in the office, from both the office worker’s and manager’s perspectives.
Staples is the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer. For 27 years, Staples has served the needs of business customers and its vision is to provide every product businesses need to succeed. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples offers office supplies, technology products and services, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, copy and print services and a wide range of other product categories. With thousands of associates worldwide dedicated to making it easy for businesses of all sizes, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.
About Staples Advantage
Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), serves organizations of 20 or more employees up to the Fortune 1000, including global businesses, local, state and federal government, healthcare organizations and educational institutions. The Staples Advantage one source solution includes comprehensive products and services from office supplies, technology and printing to promotional products, furniture and facility supplies. Dedicated to providing organizations with greater cost savings and improved ordering efficiencies, Staples Advantage provides a customized level of account support and best-in-class customer service. More information is available at www.staplesadvantage.com.