Today is “Improve Your Office Day,” and a recent Staples.com survey found that technology and telecommuting were high on the wish list of improvements among employees. In fact, this survey of 300 employees from companies big and small, from all over the country, found that 41 percent of them would give their company’s technology a ‘C’ or lower. Topping people’s wish lists for office improvements are:
- Eliminating office politics (44 percent);
- Allowing or encouraging telecommuting (41 percent);
- Upgrading computers and other office technology (37 percent);
- Getting nicer or more comfortable office furniture (35 percent); and
- Providing more private work areas and more flexible work hours (tied at 34 percent each).
“There’s an opportunity [for small businesses] to do better,” said Anabela Perozek, vice president of marketing for Staples.com. “Because of the economic downturn, businesses are not replacing things as quickly.”
Perozek recommended that businesses take the time to upgrade or to do a tech inventory twice a year.
“Businesses should be asking how old the computers are, whether these computers have viruses, and if their printers are efficient,” said Perozek. “An upgrade can make an employee’s day easier.”
Speaking of making things easier, many employees would like their companies to allow or to encourage telecommuting. The best way to do this is for the company to set employees up to telecommute it so to provide the technology necessary to do so.
“The technology will depend on the type of work,” Perozek said. “Telesales would definitely need a phone, a headset, a good chair, and a PC. Other office jobs might also need a printer.”
More and more employees are wanting a telecommuting option for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for a better work/life balance, or to avoid the rising cost of gasoline, or to reduce the economic impact of driving but cutting down on the commuting time.
When employees are at the office, snacks such as soda, water, and fruit can do a lot to save the company money and to boost company morale, without costing a lot of money. Each year, the US economy loses 2.4 billion hours, and $57 billion dollars in wages, just in snack runs. The survey found that 57 percent of office workers have to buy their own snacks and beverages at work. Consequently, one in two respondents reported leaving the office on coffee or snack runs at least once a day, with some making as many as five trips per day.
“Unemployment among the talented is low,” Perozek said. “Businesses need to be doing something in order to keep their employees engaged. As businesses consider ways to keep their employees motivated and productive, they can keep in mind various affordable options to improve their offices. Staples brings easy to offices with a full range of products, from breakroom supplies to technology to office furnishings.”