It’s National Coffee Day!

In celebration of National Coffee Day today (September 29), Staples surveyed a number of office workers to find out just how serious they are about their coffee habits. It came as no real big surprise to learn that the workforce loves their coffee. In fact, 37 percent of workers say they can’t even get dressed for work without their first cup of coffee. And, nearly half consume at least three cups of coffee each day.

In addition, workers revealed that there are a number of tasks they can’t handle before their first cup of the day:

  • 44 percent said they can’t have a conversation or commute without coffee
  • 40 percent said they can’t check email before their morning brew
  • 38 percent said they can’t eat a meal before consuming coffee

For a significant percentage of the workforce, one cup each day will not suffice. Over 57 percent need at least two cups of coffee to feel productive and alert. In today’s always-on work culture, coffee has become even more essential. When asked if they had to give up social media or coffee forever, three out of four employees said they would give up social media instead of coffee.

To give a morning boost to employees across the country, and to celebrate National Coffee Day, Staples Advantage is giving away coffee for the office! Contest closes October 2, 2016. Enter today for your chance to win: http://ow.ly/RVzL0

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Making Sustainability Happen

At Staples Advantage, we strive to minimize our environmental impact on the planet and the communities we serve. So we are proud to share that since April 2013, our partnership with Bullfrog power has allowed us to greatly reduce our environmental footprint.

The Staples Advantage Canada head office is proud to be Bullfrog Powered with sustainable and clean electricity. Since partnering with the clean energy provider in 2013, Staples Canada has purchased 21,930 MWh of green electricity for Staples and Staples Advantage Canada head offices, 10 Staples stores and 4 Print & Copy production centres, displacing more than 4,870 tonnes of carbon emissions!

Below is an infographic on our cumulative green energy purchase over the course of our partnership with Bullfrog to date along with the emissions reductions associated with this and some equivalencies to help illustrate what they mean.

Click on image to view full size

Bullfrog

To find out more about our sustainable and green initiatives, visit staplesadvantage.ca.

3 Ways Technology Can Engage Employees

Having the right technology and tools for the job is critical for productivity and minimizing employee churn. Poor technology is one of the top three causes of poor productivity, as indicated in the Workplace Index Survey, while the most satisfied employees are much more likely to have access to the latest tech such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

So how can technology help solve these problems?

Enable flexibility in the workplace
46% of workers said flexibility is the top priority when considering a new job, and technology plays a big role in this. Newer technology products like laptops, smartphones, and tablets, allow employees to get work done almost anywhere.
Telecommuting is on the rise, and more companies are implementing formal processes and policies to facilitate telework. The right devices, the right software, and the right management are all integral to a flexible workplace that doesn’t miss a beat no matter where they are.

Get control of email
While having the right technology allows employees to work from anywhere, at any time, this can lead to leaning on email as the primary communication method rather than a quick phone call or walk to someone’s desk. Half of workers say they receive too much email, which contributes to lower productivity. A solution is implementing standardized instant messenger applications, which can give workers another avenue for “just-in-time” needs and brief questions.
Tech training can also assist employees drowning in email; educating employees on how to use their email tools (like filters and folders) can help streamline and organize their inbox.

Stay current
54% of employers and 70% of employees cited poor performing technology as one of their top productivity drains. In fact, among staff, inadequate tech was the biggest complaint. If employees are struggling with outdated, slow or faulty technology, this not only takes time away from their work, it also creates frustration and contributes to burnout. Suppliers and other industry experts can assist IT leaders with planning ahead, providing direction and recommendations with an eye to what the future holds for office technology.

While there are many areas where employers can help keep their employees engaged, keeping these three areas top of mind can help technology leaders foster a more productive, flexible workplace.

Creating & Promoting Positive Office Culture

Have you ever wondered how important a positive working environment is to your productivity levels? Let us give you a hint: it’s very important.

Over the last few weeks we’ve shared a number of findings from the 2015 Annual Workplace Index Survey, and it’s no surprise to learn that happy and engaged employees are more likely to be productive and loyal to their employers. But beyond providing employees with the proper tools and salary to keep them happy, promoting a positive workplace culture has proved to be equally important.

The Workplace Index results indicate that creating an environment conducive to effective teamwork is one of the most important factors in driving productivity. In addition, creating a positive and effective office culture plays an essential role in both maintaining high productivity, and minimizing staff churn.

So, how is good work culture defined?
Respondents who said they were “very happy” at work listed these top 7 factors as contributors to a positive working culture:

  • Open and collaborative work environment
  • Supportive co-workers
  • Freedom to make your own decisions
  • Strong leadership
  • Management supportive of associates in building their careers
  • Shared vision, goals and values
  • Providing flexibility to employees via flex schedules or telecommuting

End result: the happiest employees are not only more likely to be loyal to their employer, they are also likely to be the most productive.

What are you doing in your office to build and promote a positive culture?

3 Simple Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

Feeling overloaded and stressed when you look at the amount of work on your plate? You’re not alone. The 2015 Workplace Index report revealed that almost half of employees in today’s workforce are feeling burned out. So how do we tackle the mountain of work without feeling overwhelmed? Introducing a few simple time management tips to your team can help minimize stress and improve performance and productivity during office hours.

Where to begin? We’ve put together 3 simple time management tips to get you started:

Tip #1
Host fewer or shorter meetings so employees are left ample time at their desks to get tasks done during business hours. Run a more effective meeting: provide a detailed agenda to ensure you cover the most important key points; set a timer so that your meeting doesn’t run long; allow time for questions; and give a summary with actionable to-do items when the meeting concludes.

Tip #2
Keep a daily planner to track items and prioritize your to-do list, and to keep up to date on meetings and events. Keeping an ongoing list helps to stay organized with your workload and work week activities so you can make the most of your time at the office. Schedule tasks, set deadlines, and avoid procrastination.

Tip #3
Learn to delegate tasks and share the workload. It can be easy and tempting to take on more than you can fit into your schedule. Learn to lean on others for assistance.
Utilizing the Group Order service through your eway.ca account is a great way to share workload. Group ordering is the easiest way to place the whole office’s order and get everyone what they need. The service enables an existing user to invite co-workers to shop online and request products, allowing the administrator to build a single shopping cart with a single checkout process.

What are your best time management strategies that allow you to limit stress and stay focused?

Click here to browse the full selection of time management calendars and planners available through Staples Advantage.

5 Factors that Contribute to Employee Productivity

The importance of the office environment cannot be underestimated – even the basics such as furnishings and keeping the office at the right temperature contribute to employee productivity. So it’s no surprise that both employees and employers identified these as factors that can either help or hinder productivity in the workplace.

832 employers and 1,771 staff participated in the 2015 Workplace Index survey, and findings point to the following 5 key factors that impact productivity:

  1. Facilitating teamwork
  2. Adequate breaks
  3. Flexible schedules
  4. Ergonomic/functional furnishings
  5. Right temperature

Encouragingly, staff and employers both agree that the key to a productive office is an environment that facilitates strong teamwork, encouraging co-workers to work well together and communicate effectively.

Making sure staff get adequate breaks to refresh themselves was also identified as important, and flexible schedules emerged as the third most significant factor. Many workers find that traditional schedules do not always suit them and prefer a more flexible, non-conventional arrangement and working hours.

Having functional furniture that supports proper ergonomics,  as well as a comfortable office temperature also made the list.

Bottom line: find the right balance. If staff and employers can find the right balance, both will greatly benefit.

Productivity