New Survey: Office Kitchens Key for a Happy Workforce

Staples Advantage Offers Easy Ways to Reclaim Lost Productivity and Boost Morale

Thursday, April 7, 2011 8:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Our survey suggests that simple and easy improvements can make all the difference from an okay day to a great day at the office. With next-day delivery available through Staples Advantage, getting products for the office kitchen couldn’t be easier."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Workers are finding bare cupboards and empty coffee pots in the office kitchen, forcing them to seek sustenance outside the workplace. Whether it’s to get food or beverages, U.S. workers are frequently leaving the office to find what they’re craving – and it’s eating into their productivity. New survey results from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., suggest that having a fully stocked kitchen, with food, coffee and amenities, can lead to more content and productive employees.

The survey, which polled U.S. office workers at businesses of all sizes, found that 73 percent said a well-stocked kitchen would make them happier at work, while 57 percent indicated that kitchen amenities could lead to a more productive workforce. Employers, take note: simple changes to the kitchen may encourage employees to stay in the office for breaks rather than venturing out, saving everyone time and money.

“Making small investments in the company kitchen can lead to significant benefits in any workplace,” said Lisa Hamblet, vice president for the facility solutions and services business of Staples Advantage. “Our recent survey found that 72 percent viewed the office kitchen as more than just a place to get coffee. To them, it represents a place for impromptu meetings, as well as a space to help keep energy levels high. This provides an opportunity for employers to create a workplace kitchen that boosts their workforce’s productivity and camaraderie.”

Employees Turn to Office Kitchens to Recharge their Personal Batteries

When it comes to office habits, one thing is overwhelmingly clear – nearly 80 percent of respondents said it was important to get away from their desks from time to time to take small breaks in order to stay focused. Many workers hope to find snacks, paper goods and cutlery in their office kitchen that they can use throughout the day.

“Although our survey found people are stepping out from time to time, overall, employees are working longer hours. With staff spending more time in the office, employers should consider making it a more comfortable environment,” concluded Hamblet. “Our survey suggests that simple and easy improvements can make all the difference from an okay day to a great day at the office. With next-day delivery available through Staples Advantage, getting products for the office kitchen couldn’t be easier.”

Staples Tips for Creating a Happy, Healthy Kitchen

Do you wonder how many people take breaks to get coffee? The Staples Advantage survey suggests more than 85 million people leave the office routinely to get coffee. Respondents estimated each trip taking 20 to 40 minutes, equating to more than two billion minutes each day, or 10.6 billion hours per year, of lost productivity.

In order to potentially gain back some of these hours, Staples offers an extensive selection of supplies and tips that can help create a kitchen that gives employees a great place to recharge their batteries and encourage a more productive, happy work environment. Some ideas include:

  • Provide several beverage options – Consider adding coffee, tea, flavored water, or hot chocolate to your cabinets.
  • Offer a wide range of snacks – People today are opting for healthier alternatives beyond cookies, crackers and donuts. In fact, a tremendous number of respondents (more than 85 percent) said they would want healthy snacks and beverages added to their office kitchen. If possible, include snack options like granola bars and trail mix.
  • Consider supplying the right “tools” – Survey data revealed that many employees hope to find a variety of products, including coffee cups (75 percent), forks/knives/spoons (72 percent), as well as plates and other paper products (65 percent) stocked by their company.
  • Supply first aid materials – Accidents happen. To protect your employees from the occasional bumps and bruises, your office first aid kit should include everything needed in case of an accident and should be kept in a central location, easily accessible to all employees.
  • Stay clean and healthy – Offer a broad assortment of cleaning supplies that employees can utilize to keep the kitchen and their personal work spaces clean and germ-free.
  • Make the environment a priority – Supply recycling bins and “green” supplies. Protecting the environment was noted as a priority for those surveyed, and 96 percent would like to see recycling bins in the office.

Staples makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to keep offices stocked with kitchen and cleaning essentials. From environmentally-preferable kitchen products to large-scale cleaning chemicals, Staples has solutions for companies in locations nationwide through Staples.com, Staples Advantage and Staples retail locations.

About the Survey

Staples Advantage conducted an online survey of office workers at nearly 200 businesses of all sizes across the U.S. The survey, conducted in January 2011, asked a series of questions about breakroom habits and the overall impact of a well-stocked breakroom in today’s workplace environment.

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 http://www.staplesadvantage.com.

About Staples

Staples is the world’s largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 90,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media.

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