FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Jul 19, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Want happier, loyal and more productive employees? Send them home.
According to a recent survey from Staples
Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc.,
telecommuters say they feel and work better when working from home. In
fact, 86 percent of telecommuters say they are more productive in their
Telecommuters say they are:
- Happier and healthier - When asked to draw comparisons,
telecommuters say their stress levels have dropped 25 percent on
average since working from home. Seventy-three percent even say they
eat healthier when working from home.
- More loyal - Without the trek to the office - on average, a
75-mile round-trip for respondents - 76 percent of telecommuters are
more willing to put in extra time on work and say they are more loyal
to their company since telecommuting.
- Better balanced - More than 80 percent say they now maintain a
better work-life balance.
Considering these benefits, it's no wonder the number of telecommuters
is on the rise - expected to reach 63 million in the United States by
2016, according to a March 2009 report, "U.S. Telecommuting Forecast,
2009 to 2016," from Forrester Research, Inc.
The survey pointed to opportunities for companies to better assist their
workers. For instance, most telecommuters said their companies don't
provide furniture (87 percent), office equipment (60 percent) or
supplies (57 percent). Improving in these areas can help create an
environment that simulates corporate office conditions and maximizes
Furniture and Equipment Set-Up
Important considerations for telecommuters include:
- Finding the perfect chair - The top item on the wish list for a
home office is a more comfortable chair, as 44 percent give their
current one a "C" grade or lower. Qualities to look for include upper
and lower back support, adjustable armrests and seats that support
even weight distribution.
- Maximizing space - Nearly 50 percent of telecommuters say their
home office clutter hinders productivity. Desk and drawer organizers
are cost-effective ways to tame clutter, and multi-function devices,
such as all-in-one printers, can help save space.
- Improving ergonomics - When constructing their home office,
only 1 percent of respondents received support with ergonomic set-up.
Companies can help employees be more productive and healthy by
providing ergonomic equipment that maximizes comfort, along with
set-up assistance and tips for use.
"It's important to make the work-from-home experience a safe, productive
and positive one for employees, with quality furniture and a layout
that's conducive to maximum efficiency," said John Michael, vice
president and general manager of Business
Interiors by Staples, the furniture and interior design division of
Staples Advantage. "We make it easy for companies to support
telecommuting programs in a cost-effective way, by simplifying furniture
procurement and home office set-up."
Business Interiors by Staples is one of the largest commercial furniture
dealers in North America and offers comprehensive telecommuting
solutions for enterprises, including:
Space planning consultations to simplify and improve home office design
Extensive product selection to fit any budget
Customized furniture packages for turnkey implementation
Easy online ordering for remote workers
Delivery, installation and clean-up services
In addition to Internet connectivity and access to company networks, key
considerations for telecommuters include:
- Communication tools - Telecommuters say they rely on email (96
percent), instant messaging (68 percent), videoconferencing (44
percent) and unified communications technologies (25 percent) to stay
- Security - A proactive security strategy can help telecommuters
prevent data loss, breaches and viruses, which can be spread to
company networks. More than two-thirds of telecommuters say they
didn't receive IT security training in preparation for home office
work. Fortunately, many are applying good judgment and security best
practices - 95 percent say they install operating system updates right
away and 84 percent don't store personal data on their machines.
- Data backup - Nearly 1 in 3 telecommuters say they never back
up their data - leaving themselves and their companies vulnerable to
data loss. It's important to educate telecommuters on how and when to
back up their data. Data backups should be automated and tested to
"Data can be the lifeblood of an organization, so it's important to
provide telecommuters with IT training and security best practices,"
said Ed Ludwigson, vice president and general manager for Staples
Technology Solutions, the technology products and services division
of Staples Advantage. "Because advances in technology continue to help
dissolve geographical barriers, companies should also provide their
telecommuters with tools that make it easy and efficient to collaborate
and stay connected."
With the right set-up and support from employers, telecommuting programs
can be rewarding and productive options for employees. In fact,
telecommuters claim they'd even be willing to sacrifice a few of their
favorite things to continue working from home. Respondents would give up
their favorite TV show (54 percent), forgo an extra hour of sleep (48
percent), swear off a favorite food (40 percent) or take a pay cut (40
percent) rather than stop telecommuting.
For more information about Staples Advantage and solutions to support
telecommuting programs, please visit www.staplesadvantage.com.
About the Survey
Staples Advantage conducted an online survey, with responses from more
than 140 telecommuters at companies of various sizes and across
industries. The survey, conducted in May 2011, asked respondents, who
work at least one day per week from home, about their home office
set-up, furniture and technology, as well as their overall experiences
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 http://www.staplesadvantage.com.
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 www.staples.com/media.
Follow Staples on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/staplestweets
and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/staples.
Nina Akerley, 508-253-1078
Davies Murphy Group, Inc.
Sara Card, 781-418-2431