Flexible and collaborative spaces are transforming classroom learning

The 21st century classroom needs to look anything but plain while still remaining just plain smart. Because learning is a social phenomenon, students and educators alike work best in interactive learning spaces where a variety of learning styles are welcomed with open arms and open minds.

Students today don’t lack access to technology, so what they really need are spaces that invite collaboration, are flexible to meet their needs, and enable teachers to engage and inspire.

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  1. Spontaneous learning: support students’ natural curiosity with collaborative and private spaces that spark conversation.
  2. Reconfigure classrooms: as project-based learning becomes more widely used, so do solutions for changing the landscape of a classroom.
  3. Technology as a tool: gone are the days when monitors were used only for presentations and videos.

Interested in more institutional design layouts and how students are influenced by their surroundings? Get more information about these and other design trends from Business Interiors by Staples.


Staff Loyalty: Happy Staff = Loyal Staff

Job satisfaction is the key to staff loyalty. Eight out of ten workers who are the most dissatisfied with their jobs are currently looking for a new job, according to our recent Workplace Index report.

Staff churn can be seriously damaging for a business. Every time an employee leaves, employers must go through the lengthy and expensive process of recruiting, hiring and training a replacement. This incurs costs – not only in terms of hiring costs but also in terms of the lost management time to identify and interview candidates as well as train new hires.

Employers with the highest employee dissatisfaction experience five times the level of staff churn compared to employers with happier staff. That’s five times the recruitment costs and five times the amount of management time spent unnecessarily.

So how can you aim to diminish staff churn in the workplace? Take a look at some of the main issues that employees cited as key factors in their decisions to leave:

  • Poor office culture
  • Lack of current challenges in their role
  • Salary
  • Distrust in leadership

Learn more about promoting positive office culture in next week’s blog. And to download the full Workplace Index Report, click here.

Camping With Staples Advantage

Here at Staples Advantage we take great pride in our sustainability initiatives and recycling programs – so we were thrilled when one of our empty paper boxes had been reused and upcycled into a camping oven to make cookies and pizza at a Girl Guides camp in Ontario!  Stephanie DeFazio, Non-Stock Procurement Manager at Staples Advantage (as seen below) shows us how it’s done!

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  • Line the box, including lid with aluminum foil (shiny side out)
  • Place a pie plate with hot charcoal briquettes in the middle of the box, and place 4 empty pop cans in each corner of the box (one per corner)
  • Place a wire cooking rack to sit on top of the cans
  • Place a baking sheet on top of the wire rack and close the lid

25 minutes later – everyone is enjoying freshly baked pizza and cookies!

Just a reminder to never leave cooking unattended and always ensure to provide adult supervision when kids are involved.

Six Tips for Keeping Your Breakroom Well Stocked

The benefits of a well-stocked breakroom are often more significant than some businesses may realize.

Having the right supplies on hand enhances employee morale, encourages worker socialization and collaboration, and provides employees quick access to the items they need, reducing the amount of time they spend out of the office.

Here are some tips on how to effectively stock your breakroom to get the most out of your employees, while reducing costs.

  1. Consolidate your spend
    Ordering breakroom supplies from a variety of different vendors is time consuming, expensive and can lead to more frequent stock-outs. Getting most of your breakroom supplies from a single vendor streamlines the ordering and restocking processes and offers opportunities for reduced pricing.
  1. Buy in bulk
    Buying in bulk makes sense for some products, but not all. High-use items such as cleaning supplies, dish detergent, disinfectants and paper products don’t expire — buy them in bulk and combine the shipments into as few as possible. For items with an expiration date, like coffee creamers and snacks, smaller, more frequent orders are the best way to keep stocked.
  1. Free and frequent delivery
    When an office manager is responsible for buying the breakroom products, leaving the office and transporting goods back becomes time-consuming. Working with a supplier that offers free delivery can ensure that breakroom supplies are consistently replenished with less wasted time for employees.
  1. Use versatile products
    Instead of buying multiple cleaning products, it can be more efficient to find one product that does the job of several. For instance, to keep all your breakroom surfaces clean, consider an all-purpose cleaner or wipes. But, one cleaner does not fit all — working with an account manager can help identify the right multi-use products for the job.
  1. Minimize waste, reduce order frequency
    Certain breakroom products require more frequent restocking than others. Making some basic changes in the breakroom can reduce consumption of some materials. For example, buying or encouraging the use of reusable glasses, mugs and plates instead of disposable equivalents is not only good for the environment but also cost-effective.
  1. Measure use to stay well stocked
    A common mistake when it comes to stocking the breakroom is not planning ahead. Make a plan to keep track of inventory and how often items are reordered. Working with a supplier that does this for you will help reduce costs, avoid last-minute, higher-dollar buys and will indicate the best timing for shipments.

In today’s economy there’s no room for waste — implementing these simple tips can help keep your breakroom well stocked while reducing costs.

To learn more about how Staples Advantage® can help you keep your breakroom stocked, visit StaplesAdvantage.ca/breakroom.

Is Your Workplace Safe?

Safety in the workplace affects everyone. From being armed with the right equipment to do a job safely, to parking lot hazards and evacuation procedures, all employees have the right to feel safe and should be fully aware of your company’s safety controls and measures.

But that’s not quite the case. According to a recent Staples Advantage survey, almost 30% of employees weren’t aware if they had a safety expert onsite, while another 20% said their offices don’t communicate safety plans effectively.

Working indoors or sitting at a desk may feel like a safe working environment, but there are many other safety measures to take into consideration. Air quality, trip hazards, safety protocols, and security measures, to name a few, must all be taken seriously and audited on an ongoing basis.

Use the Room to Room Checklist below to take a quick audit of the basic essentials so that you can ensure you’re better prepared to avoid any major health, safety or security risks.

Click on image for full printable version.

Room to Room Checklist

Is your office lacking any essential safety equipment? Shop health, safety and personal protection equipment on eway today.