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TheStreet Open House

Workers More Productive Today Than Five Years Ago; Still Room For Improvement

While nice weather and too many meetings rank high on the list of things that decrease productivity in the office, more than 70 percent of both office workers and managers believe that workers are more productive today than they were five years ago, according to a recent survey from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc.

Both office workers and managers agree that the following elements are essential to a productive work day:

  • Mobile technology (29 percent office workers / 37 percent managers)
  • Break times (23 percent office workers / 33 percent managers)
  • Telecommuting (19 percent office workers / 35 percent managers)

On the other hand, both groups call out the following top two reasons for decreased productivity in the workplace:

  • Technology limitations (31 percent office workers / 43 percent managers)
  • Non-collaborative work environments (25 percent office workers / 33 percent managers)

Companies looking to increase productivity in their offices and overcome some efficiency hurdles should consider the following solutions:

  • Collaborative workspaces – Businesses should take steps to create workspaces where employees can easily communicate and share ideas for group collaboration. Office furniture options now go far beyond the traditional chair, desk and cubicle. Companies should consider designing an open office environment by including a mix of casual and formal meeting areas to encourage spontaneous conversation and teamwork.
  • Breakrooms – Stepping away from work in nearby breakrooms helps foster productivity by allowing healthy mental breaks, an opportunity to refuel and casual conversations. To help make a breakroom inviting and effective, companies should include comfortable furniture and offer a variety of snacks for workers.
  • Technology – Companies should equip their employees with the technology needed to get work done efficiently – from printers and PCs to products that help enable telecommuting, such as tablets and remote access VPN’s. Implementing a managed print services program can also increase productivity by eliminating the need for workers and in-house IT staff to supply and maintain printers throughout the office.

“We’re seeing a trend in the right direction with 70 percent of workers and managers saying they’re more productive now than five years ago,” said Tom Heisroth, senior vice president for Staples Advantage. “Providing employees with the right tools and resources is essential to improving office-wide productivity. At Staples, we make it easy for businesses to be productive with everything they need including technology, breakroom supplies, furniture and office products.”

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