Flu Season Is Here. Is your office ready?

Did you know: The average desktop has 428x more germs than the average toilet seat 2
(source)

Germs are everywhere, and as the seasons change and the damp, colder months arrive, germs seem to make the rounds faster and thrive in even the smallest of spaces.
The cost of cold and flu season to your office could be greater than you think. In 2013, CBC reported that sick days cost the Canadian economy $16.6B dollars as the average worker took 9.3 sick days. So protecting your employees from nasty germs could be of great value to your workplace. Not only will your employees be healthier and happier, but your bottom line will be too.

One of the best ways to tackle cold and flu season at the office is to improve the overall environment of your workplace. Stocking up on germ fighting products before the flu season starts in order to arm your workplace with the proper tools can help you fight the germs before they spread.

Don’t Miss These 6 Office Germ Hotspots (source):

  1. Breakroom sink handles
  2. Microwave door handles
  3. Keyboards
  4. Refrigerator door handles
  5. Water fountain buttons
  6. Vending machine buttons

 

The Benefits of Colouring

The rise in popularity of adult colouring books over the last few years has been hard to ignore. They entered the scene and exploded with great applause from everyone using them and gained approval from the likes of therapists, mental health advocates (1), and research professionals from many different industries (2). Health benefits ranging from reduced stress and anxiety to an increase in calmness, creativity and nostalgia from a simpler time have all been reasons people are picking up the pencil crayons and markers and setting time aside for this therapeutic activity.

Have you been colouring?
Visit staplesbusinessadvantage.ca/colouryourlife for a chance to win your own Ultimate Fine Art Gift Pack during the Colour Your Life Contest! Learn more about Prismacolor tools that are perfect for colouring on eway.ca.

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Sources
1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-nikki-martinez-psyd-lcpc/7-reasons-adult-coloring-books-are-great-for-your-mental-emotional-and-intellectual-health_b_8626136.html
2 http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/06/health/adult-coloring-books-popularity-mental-health/

How Modern Office Spaces Are Improving Our Overall Health

“For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking”
Martha Grogan, Cardiologist, Mayo Clinic

Traditional office environments are often a “one-size-fits-all” approach. You may know the type of space we are referring to very well: a room lined with cubicles, each containing a desk and a chair, waiting for occupants to arrive and spend the day seated in one place in order to get as much done as possible. Flash forward a few decades, and a few research studies later, and the traditional office environment is making way for a more modern space, one which allows for workspace flow that promotes movement during the day.

As many studies have unveiled, the act of sitting at a desk all day can have a significant impact on health and wellness. Moving from a stationary workstation to one that promotes movement, like active seating and sit-stand desk set-ups, are said to have a variety of positive benefits that can improve overall health, including a reduced risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and lower long-term morality risk (source).

As we make the shift from traditional workspaces to active workspaces, companies like Ergotron have developed products to make a healthy workday happen. Ergotron is redefining the 21st century workspace with an emphasis on health, productivity and affordability.

Ergotron WorkFit workstations bring new flexibility to traditionally static environments, increasing your options for equipment placement, improving workflow, and enhancing social interaction.

That’s good for a company’s bottom line.

Retrofit your current workspace now! The WorkFit-T comes fully assembly, so no installation is needed. Whether you are upgrading an existing space or designing for a new build, WorkFit units are easy to install and use. They offer tool-free adjustment to suit individual users, and are tested to help ensure years of trouble-free up-down movement.

“Obesity is increasing not only in numbers but in severity;
More than 1 in 4 Canadian adults are obese;
Obesity costs economy up to $7-billion a year..”
Source

Sitting less and standing more is healthy and in-demand. Not only can it help increase your bottom line, it can help maximize office real estate space and assist with talent acquisition and employee retention.

Product Spotlight:
Ergotron WorkFit-T, Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation

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See the difference sit-stand stations and other ergonomic products can make for your employees and the boost it will bring to your bottom line. Find the full assortment of products on eway.ca.

 

How to Create an Inspiring Workplace in 5 Easy Steps

The open office concept’s rise in popularity has come into question over the last few years, as many question the impact an open office design has on employee productivity. But on the flip side, a closed office layout decreases the opportunities for collaboration and spontaneous brainstorming.  So what layout option works best? Which one will inspire employees to do their best work? The 2016 Workplace Index surveyed a mix of managers and workers to find out.

The Workplace Index findings pointed to a split decision when it came down to the preference of the office floorplan layout and design. When asked what the preference would be, 34% said an open floor plan, 32% selected a closed floor plan, and 34% chose a hybrid option – an office floor plan consisting of fully enclosed office spaces or cubicles as well as open spaces.

Perhaps of equal importance to floorplan flow, those surveyed pointed to a number of features of an office that provide inspiration and add to productivity. Whether stationed in a cubicle or corner office, the following features were among the top rated in terms of what workers and managers are looking for:

  1. Natural light – 43% of survey respondents listed natural light as a feature in the office that they would like to have access to. Natural light is known to boost productivity and creativity among office workers.
  2. Private space – those who participated in the survey noted that they would like to have access to private space to get work done. In fact, 34% listed this as a preferred feature.
  3. Standing desks – the battle of sitting all day continues; 31% noted that a standing desk would be something they would like to have access to.
  4. Lounge areas – while private space allows workers to get their most pressing work done, lounge areas that promote collaboration were also requested by 30% of respondents.
  5. Flexible furniture for multiple uses – in addition to standard office furniture (cubicles, desks, chairs), respondents were looking for furniture that can adapt to their tasks.

Want to explore how you can introduce some of these elements into your workplace? Speak to the experts. The furniture team at Staples Business AdvantageTM can help. For more information, visit: StaplesBusinessAdvantage.ca/Furniture.

6 Tips to Master Your Time Management

In today’s busy office, what we all feel like we could use more of is time. Many workplaces are dealing with tighter budgets, a scaled down workforce, increased workload, and greater expectations to perform. We can learn all the tricks there are to perform our tasks more efficiently and streamline systems to get more done, but at the end of the day the most important aspect to fitting everything in to your work week is time management. If we can master the planning of our schedules, we just might be a little better off.

6 Tips to Better Manage Your Workday:

  • Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to schedule your workflow for the following day. Writing down important tasks for the next business day will also help alleviate stress once you leave the office for the evening.
  • Don’t book yourself back to back – allow room in your day for interruptions from colleagues, sending and answering emails and even unexpected phone calls.
  • Allow for flexibility – slot space in your calendar for breaks, lunch out of the office, and last minute projects. Giving yourself the extra time in your calendar for extra projects can help manage the stress that comes along with these unexpected requests.
  • Be realistic with the time it takes to get something done. Short scheduling or thinking you can rush through a task won’t help you in the long run.
  • Get the most important tasks done at the beginning of the day. That way if you do run over or out of time, you can reschedule some of the less important tasks for the following day.
  • Make the commitment to yourself to stick to the schedule you set out. Skipping one or two tasks for the day will only make the to-do list for the following days grow longer.

Product Spotlight – shop these favourite products to help you master time management:

DAY-TIMER Solstice Starter Set
daytimer

fILOFAX Weekly Planners, Fuchsia
filo

AT-A-GLANCE Marrakesh Collection, Weekly/Monthly Plannerataglance

What are you best time management tips? Share them with us in the comments below, or tweet us @StaplesBusAdv!

Canadian Workers Continue to Face Office Stress and Burnout

Do you leave the office at the end of the day feeling satisfied and productive? Or stressed and burnt out? If you’re like most Canadians, you’re feeling a little from both sides of the coin. According to our second annual Workplace Index survey, Canadian workers are reporting that the office is the most productive place to get work done, but is also contributing to stress and burnout.

Almost 70% of Canadian office workers and managers report working more than 40 hours a week, and the majority consider the office the most productive place to get work done. In an effort to improve stress and overall morale, employers need to take action to ensure the workplace remains an inspiring and motivating environment.

Forty-three per cent of Canadians say they’re working longer hours simply to catch up on work they couldn’t tackle during an eight-hour day, with 22% working 11 hours or more per day. That workload is taking a toll.

Consider:

  • 68% of Canadians say their workplace has contributed to stress
  • More than one-quarter of Canadians (27%) cite the volume of their work as the number one stressor in their workplace
  • One in five Canadian respondents (19%) has taken a workplace stress-related leave of absence

“The Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index provides an important look at the state of the workplace and what Canadians want and need from their employers,” said Michael Zahra, President, Staples Business Advantage Canada. “Based on the results, it is evident that Canadian employees are working long hours just to keep up with their volume of work. It is the responsibility of employers to therefore provide an inclusive, welcoming environment that boosts employee productivity, increases happiness and positively impacts the bottom line.”

The Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index is a comprehensive study involving office workers and business decision makers in Canada to help companies meet their recruitment, retention and engagement goals.

Over the next few months, we’ll explore the Workplace Index survey and share key findings and insights through a series of posts. To get full access now, you can download the complete report here.

 

 

 

 

Recycling Pays

For businesses, recycling pays. Investing in a recycling program helps protect the environment, your people and your budget.

About 80% of what we throw away is recyclable.
And there’s more to recycling than paper and aluminum cans. Making simple changes to your business culture and recycling procedures can have a long-term positive impact on the environment – and your budget.

Easy solutions.
Install energy-efficient lamps that cost less to operate, shop tech waste and batteries to a nearby recycling centre, and put up signage at your facility that lets employees know where to put their trash. By taking these steps, you can help reduce energy consumption and lower trash-removal costs.

Improving company culture.
Employees prefer to work for companies with strong corporate responsibility programs, which include environmental consciousness. Turnover costs are reduced because these employees tend to stay with their companies longer and are happier with senior management when compared to their peers at companies with weaker cultures of corporate responsibility.

Recycling spotlight.
There are many different options when it comes to recycling. With so many different ways to help save the planet, companies need to create an eco-conscious culture.

By implementing these ideas, you can have a more planet-friendly workplace:

  • Recycling kits for batteries, electronics, lightbulbs and light tubes
  • Printer toner cartridge recycling
  • Waste receptacles
  • Recycling containers

Did you know?
In 2009 Canada produced 777kilograms of garbage per citizen*.
*Source: CBC News Article: Canadian produce more garbage than anyone else.

Looking for environmentally friendly and eco-concious alternatives? Shop green solutions and make alternative choices happen on eway.ca.

RecyclingPays

3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Workspace

The arrival of Spring tends to get most of us thinking about organization and spring cleaning. The thought of an organized inbox or cleaning off your desk (so you can actually see the bottom of it!) usually inspires us to attack the job head on and all at once – which can lead to an even further mess if you’re not careful and strategic about your approach. So how can you get the job done quickly and efficiently? Choose just one area to focus on at a time, and then move on once it’s done.

Whether you tackle the project five minutes at a time or you have an hour to spare, focusing on these suggested areas will leave you with a true feeling of refresh and organization.

Clean Your Desk – there are a million reasons to clean off your desk. But in addition to cleaning the space of piles of paper and old coffee cups, having a clean desk can get rid of all the lingering germs from the long winter months, sneeze-inducing dust, and the leftover crumbs from eating lunch at your desk. Create a space that inspires you to do you best work. Read more on the importance of a clean desk: 10 Million Reasons to Clean Your Desk.

Clean Your Computer – we’ve all been there: you boot up your computer each morning and stare at your desktop screen that’s cluttered with icons and saved projects that you keep meaning to file away. On top of that, your inbox is creeping up to well over 500 emails that are not filed or sorted. The best way to tackle this: do it now. Spring is a great time to organize your digital space, including unsorted emails and folders. Looking for desktop organization tips? Start here: 4 Steps To Reduce Digital Clutter.

Clear Your Mind – we all have a million things on the go, from meetings and deadlines, to projects, phone calls, and emails. We tend to get caught up jumping from task to task trying to tackle as much as we can. Stop the rush. Keeping a calm mind can help boost your productivity and enhance your overall health and wellness.

Stock up on the right cleaning products to get the job done right. Shop now: eway.ca.

Happy Cleaning!

 

A Healthy Facility Is Good For Employees

The newest threat in workplace health is presenteeism, the act of attending work while sick. Sneezing, coughing and hand contact lead to the spread of germs (flu viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to three days), especially on railings, elevator buttons, doorknobs and in communal areas like breakrooms and restrooms.

With these steps, you’ll be closer to avoiding missed deadlines, lost sales opportunities, and customer dissatisfaction.

Identify germ hot spots and implement appropriate cleaning solutions.
Encourage proper hand hygiene by installing wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers outside restrooms and in common areas. Use disinfectant wipes and sprays on common high-traffic touch points.

Stop the spread of germs at the source.
Post signage that reminds people to wash hands properly and to “cover their cough” the right way (e.g., sneezing or coughing into their elbow, which is more efficient at stopping germs than using their hands).

Provide supplies and training.
Provide hand sanitizers and tissues in common areas, sanitizing wipes on every desk, and touch-free restroom features. Give your custodial staff the right cleaning tools and encourage proper cleaning techniques.

Log off.
Establish a telecommuting program or encourage the use of an existing program

Did you know?
Nearly 90% of office workers come to work even when they know they are sick*.
*According to the fourth annual Flu Season Survey from Staples conducted August 2013

Protect your employees against the germs of the season, browse a full selection of cleaning and personal care products on eway.ca.

Learn to Love Your Office!

Over the last few years there has been a huge increase in telecommuting, freelance and contract workers, and company policies changing to allow people to work their entire workweek from home. In fact, the number of people searching terms online that include “work from home”, “remote”, “part-time” and “telecommute” has increased 42.1% in just the last two years, according to this Business Insider report. But to some, working from home may seem like a dream, as the reality is most offices still require employees to be present and in the office every day.

If you’re one of the millions of people that “lives” at the office from 9-5, Monday to Friday, then perhaps the challenge now is to learn to love your office. Adding a few personal touches can make your cubicle feel more inspirational and motivating. So if the beige office or empty cubicle walls are leaving you with little desire to spend even an hour in your office, it might be time to spruce up your space!

We’re not talking a major office overhaul, a few small changes can brighten up your space. Use these 6 tips to transition your cubicle or office to an inviting and inspirational space that you can get excited about:

Add some colour!

Office products come in so many colours to help spark creativity. Stock your desk with bursts of colour to help brighten up your day. From Post-Its to Sharpies, pens and tape, the every day workspace tool comes in so many fun and exciting colours.

MMM7350FLRCMMM7350APLC  MMM680PPBGVA  SAN30078  MMMC214GRNDESF.jpg

Add your personal flare
There are lots of ways to add some DIY projects to your cubicle to make it feel a little more like your personal space. Adding family photos, pictures of your travels, or a fun calendar are a good start. Other fun DIY touches like wallpapered cubicle walls, a funky chair and other easy design elements can transform the space. Check out our Pinterest Board: Love Your Office for some inspiring ideas.

Change up your lighting
Vision Global Media VMCVLED1603_LimeLED_

If the glare of fluorescent lights above your cubicle aren’t inspiring you to your best work, try adding a desktop lamp or task light to brighten up your space. Changing the lighting can help improve your concentration and workflow.


Add some fresh air

FBI27218Can’t open a window? Add some plant life to your desk. Even a small plant will help purify the air and boost productivity. If you have very limited natural light and a plant may not survive, try adding faux-flowers or plants to your office and pair it with a humidifier or air purifier to help rejuvenate the stale office air.

Tidy Up
Make the most of the space you have. The pure act of cleaning the area around you will help make the space feel clean and new. Stop procrastinating and file away the stacks of paper sitting on your desk. The new space could be used for your new plant or photos!

Change up your scenery
SAF4750CI SAF4755GSCollaborative spaces encourage employees to utilize breakout rooms to brainstorm new ideas in a fresh and open atmosphere away from the typical four walls of a cubical desk. Add moveable furniture to the office to allow employees to pull up a chair or stool. This helps promote impromptu meetings and thought sharing sessions while working with the current workstations or seating areas already established in your office.

Find lots more inspiration for your workspace in our February Flyer.

Do you have a fun or personalized workspace? We’d love to see it. Tweet us a picture @StaplesAdvCan!