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A Healthy You, A Healthy Office - Staples Survey Reveals Office Cleanliness Habits

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Nov 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

It's challenging to stay healthy during the flu season, made even harder when sick coworkers spread millions of germs throughout the office. Using the company's @StaplesTweets Twitter handle, Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) conducted a recent series of surveys that revealed some interesting findings about how people are battling germs and the flu.

Fighting Germs at Work

With an estimated 20,000 germs per square inch on the average office desk according to experts at GOJO, it's important to keep workspaces clean particularly during flu season. Taking simple, easy steps, such as frequent hand washing and cleaning workspace surfaces, can go a long way in keeping healthy. When asked about cleanliness habits, Staples surveys found that:

  • 57 percent of respondents noted they wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitizer when it's available
  • More than half (54 percent) said they keep hand sanitizer at their desks, further helping to avoid the spread of germs
  • 41 percent said they thought that most desk-area surface germs were found on their phone

This year, Staples.com launched its first ever Flu Center, offering customers another resource to make it easy to keep their businesses running smoothly. The Flu Center provides helpful tips, flu facts, a "wellness calculator" and is the one-stop shop for a wide assortment of office cleaning and flu prevention products to help keep offices healthy. To learn more, visit the Staples Flu Center: www.staples.com/ahealthyoffice.

As an expert on the flu virus, Dr. Brian Currie, vice president and medical director for research at the Montefiore Medical Center, offers effective ways to keep offices healthy. "Prevention is imperative. In today's busy world, people don't have time to be sick. It can be hard to allow yourself time to rest and recover so taking preventative measures is the most effective way to defend against the flu," said Dr. Currie. "I encourage workers who are afraid of getting the flu vaccine to take it. It's a safe and effective way to prevent getting the virus. (Note: only four of 10 survey respondents plan to get the flu vaccine.) Additionally, to prevent the spread of flu I strongly recommend that workers wash their hands regularly, use hand sanitizers, have tissues readily available, and practice proper coughing and sneezing etiquette."

Staying Productive and Healthy in Flu Season

A study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that the flu alone results in approximately 70 million missed work days and nearly $10 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year. For small businesses faced with smaller staffs and limited resources, this can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Although 34 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer if their coworker stayed home and used sick days, a majority of respondents (85 percent) said they will come into work when sick. When asked how sick they need to feel before not going to work -

  • 43 percent said that they would come into work unless they physically couldn't get out of bed
  • 33 percent said they would come in with caution
  • 10 percent said they would come in no matter how sick they were

"Every hour when an employee is sick and unable to work greatly affects the productivity of a small business," said Anabela Perozek, vice president of marketing, Staples Business Delivery. "We care about our small business customers and want to help provide them with resources and products to keep their offices healthy and running effectively through the flu season. Small businesses are critical to our economy, and we're committed to helping them succeed."

In addition to Staples.com, Staples is committed to helping businesses of all sizes keep their workspaces clean with a broad assortment of cleaning supplies available through Staples Advantage and in Staples stores nationwide.

About the Survey

Staples survey questions (#WeeklyPoll) were issued in three series over Staples' Twitter handle (@StaplesTweets) from October 4, 2010 to October 31, 2010 and received 1,162 responses. For full survey results, please contact Kori Green at kgreen@webershandwick.com.

About Staples

Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products and services. Our broad selection of office supplies, electronics, technology and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and copying and printing, helps our customers run their offices efficiently. With 2009 sales of $24 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia serving businesses of all sizes and consumers. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today ranks second worldwide in e-commerce sales. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media.

Follow Staples on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/staplestweets and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/staples.

SOURCE: Staples

Staples
Nina Akerley, 508-253-1078
nina.akerley@Staples.com
or
Kori Green, 617-520-7256
kgreen@webershandwick.com