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New Myth-Busting Survey: Facility Managers Step Out from Behind the Scenes
Staples Advantage Survey Reveals That 75% of Employees Acknowledge Facility Managers Have 'Saved The Day'

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Jun 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

New survey results from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., suggest that more than 70 percent of office workers recognize that the role of facility managers in the workplace is changing and becoming increasingly strategic to the business. Misconceptions about facility managers seem to be dissipating with more than 80 percent of respondents accurately identifying the role's management responsibilities and a majority recognizing its strategic importance with professionals often serving as an organization's sustainability champion. In addition, the Staples Advantage survey suggests the U.S. workforce is aware of, and appreciates, the facility managers that not only keep businesses going "as usual," but frequently go above and beyond the call of duty.

The survey, which polled U.S. office workers at businesses of all sizes, uncovered how many facility managers personally contribute to the overall welfare of not only the physical building, but also the occupants. In fact, 75 percent of respondents said a facility manager has "saved the day" for them. Additionally, about 20 percent of respondents revealed that their facility manager performed a random act of kindness.

"Our survey suggests that not only are facility managers viewed as office heroes, they are also thought of as strategic decision makers," said Lisa Hamblet, vice president for the facility solutions and service business of Staples Advantage. "Facility managers are coming out from 'behind the scenes' when it comes to maintaining the health of a building and its tenants. The workforce now understands that the facility manager role is evolving daily."

Recently, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the largest and most widely recognized professional association for facility management, issued a Facility Professionals Salary Research Report. The findings note that facility managers have a combined annual purchasing power of $100 billion and manage 37 billion square feet of property. Additionally, 68 percent of these facility managers said they manage a staff of six or more people.

Facility Managers Recognized for Strategic Management Skills

Today's facility manager must interact with a wide range of stakeholders in order to successfully implement strategic initiatives and manage the day-to-day activities of their job. An understanding of the unique skills required of a facility manager was echoed by survey respondents:

  • Financially savvy - According to more than 80 percent of respondents, knowledge of financial and operational budgets is a must for facility managers.
  • Strategically oriented - Employees recognize the role of the facility manager has changed from tactical to strategic with more than 60 percent commenting on the importance for facility managers to have environmental and health and safety knowledge.
  • Problem solvers - Close to 80 percent noted it was very important for facility managers to have problem solving skills.

The facility manager's job is complex and multifaceted within any organization and Staples Advantage offers some quick tips for facility managers to continue elevating their role. These include:

  • Make the case for sustainability - By implementing a sustainable cleaning program, facility managers can make a big difference. Often serving as the environmental champion for their organization, facility managers must evaluate the overall health of the facility, review products and equipment, assess current vendors and implement training programs to educate maintenance staff on green initiatives and best practices.
  • Promote building safety- More than 80 percent of survey respondents noted they were very appreciative when building walkways were de-iced and shoveled. Facility managers understand the importance of general building maintenance and can advance building safety by ensuring the entire facility meets or exceeds OSHA regulations.
  • Keep communication open - Continue the ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders to discuss new regulations and the importance of continually reviewing products, equipment and vendors.

Thank Your Office Facility Manager

June 23, 2011 marks World FM Day 2011. As part of this worldwide event, Staples Advantage encourages every employee to find some way to thank their office facility manager, not just on this day, but every day for helping to make a safer, healthier and happier work environment.

"With facility managers' roles evolving, World FM Day encourages us to show our appreciation and celebrate facility managers. We spend most of our waking hours in an office environment and thanks to our facility managers, we are healthy, comfortable and safe at work. Now, it's our turn to thank our office facility managers for their year-round service," said Hamblet.

Staples Advantage is one of the nation's leading cleaning, maintenance and breakroom supply providers to small-and medium-sized businesses, Fortune 1000 companies, state and federal government agencies and universities. For more information about Staples Facility Solutions, visit

About the Survey

Staples Advantage conducted an online survey of office workers at nearly 200 businesses of all sizes across the U.S. The survey, conducted in April 2011, asked a series of questions about knowledge of facility managers and overall thoughts on how facility managers impact their workplace environment.

About Staples Advantage

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), serves organizations of 20 or more employees up to the Fortune 1000, including global businesses, local, state and federal government, healthcare organizations and educational institutions. The Staples Advantage one source solution includes comprehensive products and services from office supplies, technology and printing to promotional products, furniture and facility supplies. Dedicated to providing organizations with greater cost savings and improved ordering efficiencies, Staples Advantage provides a customized level of account support and best-in-class customer service. More information is available at

About Staples

Staples is the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 90,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at

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SOURCE: Staples

Staples, Inc.
Nina Akerley, 508-253-1078
Davies Murphy Group, Inc.
Melissa Lane, 781-418-2414