How to Maximize Breakroom Benefits

In a recent Staples® Survey, 58% of respondents said  a well-stocked breakroom would encourage breaks and make for more productive employees. Giving some thought to your breakroom can benefit everyone and get you the most bang for your breakroom buck.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your breakroom, no matter how big or small.

Think Budget
While breakrooms might not seem like a major budget item, establishing a clear budget helps plan a space that meets your needs. Focus first on the big expenses such as the appliances, dishware and utensils employees may want or need.
Hint: Coffeemakers, microwaves and refrigerators are among the top must-haves.

Design the Right Space.
Designing and furnishing the breakroom to meet employee expectations is worth your while. The first step is deciding what your breakroom will be used for – quick breaks, full meals, internal meetings, employee socializing or a quiet spot for some much-needed downtime.

  • A space with no seating is seen as a quick place to grab snacks and supplies
  • Adding comfortable seating or tables and chairs creates a place to eat and socialize
  • Whiteboards and monitors encourage collaboration on work-related issues in the space.

Survey for Snack Choices.
Providing healthy snacks and beverages of your employees’ choosing keeps them feeling recharged, happy and appreciated. In a 2014 Staples® survey, respondents said they overwhelmingly prefer healthy snack options such as nuts and granola bars (57%) to traditional chips, cookies or candy (10%). So ask away, the answers may surprise you.

Don’t Forget To Clean Up.
A clean breakroom is a popular breakroom. You’ll want to include at least basic cleaning supplies in your budget so employees can manage spills and clean up after meals. Add surface cleaners, paper towels, disinfectants and air fresheners to your list.
Hint: Keep everything in its own space – label all your food, cleaning supplies and other inventory.

Safety First.
The breakroom is often the hub of any office, making it a good place to keep first aid and fire safety supplies. Just like with food, it is important to do period checks to make sure all of your supplies are up to date.

By taking a more comprehensive approach to your breakroom, you can not only better meet your employees’ needs, but also maximize the return on your breakroom investment.

To find out more about how Staples Business Advantage ® can help you maximize your breakroom ROI, please visit StaplesBusinessAdvantage.ca/breakroom.

Today’s Workforce: Are Freelancers Happier?

In both Canada and the US, the freelance economy seems to be expanding, both in terms of the number of people choosing to freelance and the sectors in which freelancers are finding work. So in our 2016 Workplace Index Study, which surveyed 1,110 employees in Canada and measures workplace trends and work culture, we took a look into freelance employment to get a better understanding of why people choose to freelance, and if it makes them happier than those who are employed full time.

The survey revealed that people generally freelance so that they can control their own hours and improve their work/life balance. And while they do get to enjoy these benefits, only 29% of freelancers surveyed said they would not consider trading their freelance employment for a full time role. That means, over 70% of freelancers might consider moving to a full time position should the opportunity become available. The number one reason they might consider moving to a full time role? Consistent income.

While having an inconsistent income might not be a major perk of freelancing, freelancers revealed that there are many other positive benefits in their employment situation. Among the many benefits listed, the top six include making their own hours, better work/life balance, the ability to make more money, a better ability to navigate a difficult job market with fewer full-time opportunities available, the ability to be their own boss, and the opportunity to choose the projects they want to work on.

freelance chart-rev.jpeg

Another perk? The ability to have a voice at work and influence change. When we asked survey respondents how employers could improve the overall happiness of employees in the workplace, feeling heard was one of the top four answers. When it comes to making a difference at work, freelancers feel they have more control and a better ability to make changes happen. 72% said they feel like they have a voice and power to influence change in their work environment, compared to only 57% of full time employees.

But along with inconsistent income, longer hours also have a greater presence among freelancers. 33% of full time freelancers report working more than 40 hours a week on a regular basis, compared to only 21% of people who have full time employment.

Share your thoughts and comments  below – does one employment situation have more benefits than the other?

Looking for more results and insights from the Workplace Index Survey? Download the full report here.

Staples Business Advantage is bullfrogpowered

Through our partnership with Bullfrog Power, Bullfrog injects clean, renewable electricity onto the grid to match the amount of energy our facilities use on an annual basis.

Our partnership with Bullfrog demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact and aligns with our ISO 14001 Corporate Registration.

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.

Staples Advantage_Emissions data graphic_April 2017 EN redesign (2)