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Enabling Efficiency and Productivity in the Workplace Motivated Minds 路 Healthy Bodies 路 Cohesive Teams


Efficiency and productivity are the cornerstone of successful business. Volume 2 of Vantage Point explores how to enable these vital capabilities and bring out the best in your people.





Feel-good workplaces

Inspiring confidence

Packaged for success

Stimulating the senses

How to set a positive tone

Equipping everyone to do a great job

Effectively efficient Mail & Ship solutions

Is your office primed for productivity?





Activating productivity

Is everybody sitting comfortably?

How safe is your workplace?

Stopping illness from spreading

The importance of good ergonomics

Maintaining a physically-friendly environment

Minimising the impact of infections




Purposeful meeting spaces

Making meeting time work

Vested interests

Being prepared for different scenarios

Planning ahead for group discussions

How physical exercise benefits output

Employee wellbeing matters to every department

©2015 Staples Advantage. Printed on wood-free paper. Please recycle this magazine.

motivated minds pages 2–9

healthy bodies pages 10–17

cohesive teams pages 18–24

welcome Creating an efficient and productive working environment

The words “efficiency” and “productivity” often bring to mind hardworking machinery and slick technological processes. While having the right equipment for your purpose is always essential, facilitating the best performance from your people is equally important.Well-functioning brainpower is at the heart of every successful business. Investing in your workforce’s wellbeing pays dividends both in terms of output and staff retention. Recent research commissioned by Fellowes* revealed that employees work harder and are more motivated when their employers demonstrate interest in their wellbeing. And while over half of those surveyed stated they’d be proud to work for a company that takes employee wellbeing very seriously and acts accordingly, 15% went as far as saying they’d consider changing jobs to work for such an organisation. This edition of Vantage Point looks at how efficiency and productivity can be improved through providing working environments that bring out the best in your people. We examine how mental and physical wellbeing benefits business, together with giving some handy pointers for efficient teamwork and products that help everybody do their jobs better.

Kind regards, Christian Horn

Did you know? Employees with caring employers feel more valued, which is majorly beneficial to mental health and a protective factor against work-related stress.

1 in 5 Europeans has taken time off work as a direct result of bad working habits. On average, sufferers were absent from work for 18.4 days a year costing businesses €42 billion. – Dynamic Markets Research 2013 commissioned by Fellowes*

73% of employers acknowledge that an unhealthy workforce is a business risk and agree that a healthy workforce is a more productive one. – Bupa International study on workplace health

Senior Vice President, Head of Staples Advantage Europe

*Fellowes leads the market in ergonomic workstation solutions and are behind the pan-European “Getting the nation Working Well” initiative.

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Motivated minds Achieving optimal productivity starts with having a motivated workforce. Financial rewards aside, motivation comes from many sources, from getting along with one’s colleagues to how the working day is structured. Amid all this, the ambient office environment is majorly influential to how people feel and behave. A workplace that looks good, functions well and is adequately equipped sets a positive tone which subconsciously drives your people. Even smells and sounds have a profound influence on the psyche. A mentally pleasing environment both brings out the best of everyone’s abilities and reduces the likelihood of stress-induced illness and absenteeism. We’ve identified some easy-to-implement ways to get the feel-good-factor working for you.


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Attractive appearances

Feel-good workplaces Aesthetically pleasing workplaces set a positive mood which underpins motivation. Give people an environment they’re happy to come to each day and they’ll respond with higher productivity. A number of studies show that a well-designed office is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to retain workers and make them more productive. A survey by corporate architecture firm Gensler indicated that half of all employees would work an extra hour per day if they had a better workplace. And research carried out in 2013 by Dr Craig Knight of Exeter University (UK) revealed a 32% increase in productivity among employees who were allowed to personalise their workspace. Personal preferences aside, a generally positive tone can be set by attending to décor, layouts and condition of furniture and equipment. Making these basics work in your favour lays the foundation for your workforce to flourish.

Keeping up appearances and fixing faulty functionality is more than a matter of pride. It demonstrates respect for those you work with. Showing your employees you value their efforts is an essential motivator. So encourage them to keep up the good work by doing regular check-ups for worn and damaged items, and make sure these are replaced and mended promptly.

Common colour associations While walls should be dominated by lighter tints which reflect light around the space, stronger colours can be used strategically to promote desired behaviours and feelings. Although individual perceptions can vary according to a person’s culture and life exper-iences, some commonly acknowledged colour influences are:

Red is associated with vitality and ambition and so enhances feelings of strength and energy. Beware that this can spill over into aggression, so use wisely.

Purple tends to stimulate the creative part of the brain.

Blue is calming, cooling and serene. This is useful for mental control and clear, creative thinking.

Yellow stimulates creativity while promoting alertness and clear-headedness, which is beneficial for thinking and decision making.

Consider repainting walls, displaying artwork, adding plants, replacing furniture and selecting brighter versions of desktop items.

Green is refreshing to the eye and evokes tranquility and composure.

Orange is a social activity starter that boosts self-esteem and generates enthusiasm for life. It can also help ease awkward emotions.

If you’re already happy with the colour of your décor, it’s still worth evaluating its condition. Grubby walls, doors, carpets and furniture emanate negativity. It’s important to keep everything clean and refreshed.

Pink induces joy and reduces feelings of irritation, aggression, loneliness, discouragement and burden.

Inspiring looks Drab décor is likely to lead to drab performances. So take a look around for opportunities to set an inspirational scene. Spruce up your space by introducing colours and exhibiting images relating to your successful projects.


Chewed pens, unstable chairs, damaged desks, dog-eared files, unhealthy plants… none of these are good for morale. When you work with the same things everyday it’s easy to lose sight of their gradual deterioration. If the condition of your equipment is falling into a rut, that might be a warning sign for your business performance. Maintaining good productivity means keeping your eye on the ball in all aspects of office life.


Bold bright colours  are generally associated with better focus and task accuracy.

◄ Parker’s Urban premium pen

Enticing tools The functional office basics your people use every day play a major role in the feel-good workplace. Brands such as Leitz, Parker and Papermate have recognised this through development of products which combine quality performance with pleasing looks. The resulting items actually entice people into using them as they make all kinds of administrative tasks more attractive. While Parker’s famous pens impart a well-recognised feeling of class and style, Papermate’s Inkjoy range combines colourful modernity with well-thought-through innovation to deliver pleasurably high performance.

Meanwhile, Leitz has pulled out all the stops when it comes to storage and organisation via two distinct ranges that let personality come to the fore. Their stylishly synchronised WOW and STYLE ranges deliver uncompromised quality and functionality via inspirational designs that align with different individuals’ preferences.

► Leitz wow products come in a palette of vibrant, positive and energetic colours that really stand out from the crowd. Choose from pink, blue, orange, ice blue, purple or green. ▼ Leitz style products present a timeless, sophisticated look with an eye for detail. Arctic white, garnet red, celadon green, titan blue and satin black colours, sometimes with brushed metal features, provide plentiful options for expressive office accessories.

▲ Papermate’s InkJoy range

風 水

The ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, which is a system for harmonising everyone with their surrounding environment, sets out many good pointers which are as relevant to the modern-day office as they were to the original practitioners thousands of years ago. You can hire Feng Shui experts to advise on office layouts, but it’s also something you can easily grasp yourself with just a little study.

Workflow-friendly layouts Positioning of furniture and equipment can be very influential to workplace psychology. Creating feel-good office layouts means considering the view from each workstation, the noise around it and the accessibility to colleagues, equipment and facilities. Getting these right allows employees to feel at ease and enables them to focus. It’s also something which needs to be reassessed regularly. As employee numbers, roles, personalities and working practices change over time, so can the optimal layout for your needs. An office configuration that was perfect five years ago might not have any relevance now.

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Office layout checkpoints  ovement: People shouldn’t M feel hemmed-in at their workstations or when accessing equipment or facilities. The path in and out should be welcoming and unobstructed. Light: Natural light and outdoor views are hugely beneficial to mood. It’s smart to position the people who spend the most time at their desks nearest to the windows, rather than allocating these precious positions to people who are often away in meetings. Noise: A workstation positioned near an area where people naturally congregate in or pass through often suffers from distracting noise. As well as being impractical for concentration, the (potential for) repeated interruption makes people feel frustrated and insecure.

Personal space: People respond better to varying degrees of personal space. It’s important to find out what’s right for each individual and create a balance between isolation and crowding, which also facilitates collaboration with colleagues. View: What people see when they look up from their workstation has a major psychological impact. Being faced with the door to the toilet, fire exit or kitchen instils unhelpful subconscious associations. Staring down stark corridors or at repetitive lines of identical desks is intimidating and depressing. The view needs to be inviting and inspiring, punctuated by pleasant objects such as plants or artwork, while not being obstructed in a way that feels oppressive. 5


Inspiring confidence Feeling confident you can do a job right is important for maintaining motivation. The more an individual can accomplish without turning to others for help, the more empowered they feel. And this leads to a sense of achievement which keeps the motivation cycle flowing.

Quick-fix Creativity A surprising number of everyday office tools can be frustratingly difficult to operate. Negative experiences with these can lead to reluctance to perform certain tasks, which can result in disrupted workflow. The good news is that manufacturers are beginning to develop more user-friendly models which invite productivity. ◄ GBC Quickstep binding machines Equipped with a unique workflow guide which removes binding process frustrations and enables everyone to achieve perfect results every time.

Confidence is inspired by having all the relevant knowledge and necessary tools readily to hand. While knowledge and information needs to be compiled and communicated by management, Staples is able to supply a wide range of products which bring ease and efficiency to various tasks, so that everybody can work more confidently and productively.

Rapid Supreme Omnipress Stapler ► Winner of iF Design and Red Dot 2015 Awards for its ability to make stapling more comfortable, while working equally well in the hand as on the desk.

◄ GBC laminating machines Fast heat-up, quick throughput, jam-resistant machines get laminating done in half the time.


Endless Adaptability Trial and error is often the best way to arrive at suitable solutions. Products which give the flexibility to keep adjusting as you go are heroes when it comes to boosting confidence and facilitating efficiency.

◄ Pilot FriXion pens and highlighters A revolutionary range of pens and highlighters that can be rubbed out as easily as a pencil!

▲ Sherpa Motion Display panel systems Elegant award-winning tools for adjustable protective document display that can be flipped through singlehanded and viewed from every angle. BACT-O-CLEAN models feature panels with antimicrobial properties which reduce germ transmission.

▲ 3M Post-it notes A versatile office classic now available in regular and Super-Sticky versions to suit an even wider range of purposes.

◄3  M Post-it index tabs Bring instant order to filing, with the flexibility to peel off and start again whenever you want.

Freedom-giving Security Preventing equipment loss and ensuring data privacy is essential. But these can be a drain on productivity if you have to constantly babysit equipment. Products which allow you to walk away and get on with other things without worrying about theft can make a big difference.

◄ Kensington Clicksafe™ locks Trusted, sturdy, easy-to-use locks allow freedom to walk away from laptops and tablets, secure in the knowledge they can’t be removed by would-be thieves.

◄R  exel autofeed shredder Fast, large-capacity, jam-proof shredders with lockable input trays ensure secure destruction of sensitive documents while being superbly time-efficient. The autofeed functionality and protected input mean you don’t have to supervise shredding. That’s 98% less time waiting by the shredder, when you’re free to get on with everything else.

Stack Shut Done

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Are you packaged for success?

Whether sending out packages is your core business or just something you need to do now and again, it always pays to have suitable packaging materials to hand. After all, you want to each delivery to arrive in perfect condition, not to waste time and money sending replacements for damaged contents. Use of appropriate packaging communicates professionalism. Not just to the recipients who experience it as an extension of your business brand, but also to those who prepare the packages for sending. Having the right materials at the ready instils confidence in your staff and saves them valuable time searching for suitable solutions. Here’s a selection of common protective packaging materials that keep fragile items safe during transit.

Sealed Air BUBBLE WRAP A versatile solution that you can layer as necessary around items of any size. Use wrap with smaller bubbles for small items and larger bubbles for bigger items. Bubble wrap was introduced by Sealed Air in 1960. Over 50 years later it remains one of our the world’s most iconic and widely used packaging products.

STYROFOAM ���PEANUTS” Typically made of polystyrene or Styrofoam, these “peanuts”, “popcorn” or “noodles” are perfect for nestling fragile items such as glass and ceramics. When compressed, they interlock to protect the items from pressure. Can be used numerous times without losing effectiveness.

PADDED ENVELOPES A simple solution for a basic level of protection. These usually contain a single layer of bubble wrap that’s attached to the inside of the envelope.

SHREDDED PAPER Crinkle-cut shredded paper is provides good, low-cost protection for heavy, fragile goods.

PROTECTIVE DOCUMENT WALLETS Ensure your invoices, delivery notes and any other documentation sent with the package arrive safe, dry and undamaged.

LABELS Labels with addresses, barcodes or any other vital information need to be clearly legible, water and damage resistant and securely stuck to your package.

PACKING PAPER The first layer of protection for fragile items. Can be used for wrapping or scrunched up to fill voids within the packaging.

TRY THIS: Mail Lite® protective mailers by Sealed Air deliver superior cushioning thanks to their especially resilient AirCap® Bubble air retention barrier. They’re easy to write on and stick labels to, which makes them ideal for ensuring your delivery arrives as it should.


EDGE/CORNER PROTECTORS Essential for protecting vulnerable edges or corners. Available in foam, cardboard or plastic.

STRONG PACKAGING TAPE Securely binds your package together.

TRY THIS: Dymo labelers. These durable yet lightweight printers are the quick and easy solution for perfect packaging labels which stick and stay on any surface, thanks to proven moistureresistant adhesives.

Did you know?

Stimulating the senses for better productivity Creating working environments that bring out the best in people means paying good attention to ambient aspects which trigger sensory reactions.

46% of European employees find the air in the environment where they work to be smelly and 69% describe their office environment as unhealthy. – Dynamic Markets Research 2013 commissioned by Fellowes





An environment that’s too hot or too cold diminishes concentration.

Sufficient availability of brain-stimulating oxygen is essential to focus and productivity.

Smells are a very powerful subconscious influence. While pleasant aromas make people feel at ease, bad smells are both distracting and impart subconscious negativity.

Natural daylight contains colours whose wavelengths influence hormones which control sleeping patterns. If this is not available, it’s wise to invest in daylightsimulating lighting.

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Healthy 10

People whose bodies are in good health perform more productively in every kind of job.

y bodies While illness is an obvious barrier to peak performance, injuries caused by accidents or bad posture at the workstation are also highly distracting and a major cause of absenteeism. Meanwhile, sedentary behaviour is surprisingly bad for concentration. Taking care of employees’ physical wellbeing is key to maximising productivity in every department. Promoting good health isn’t just about avoiding the negatives, it’s very much about encouraging the positives. Employers have a lot of opportunities to protect and enhance their workers’ physical health by adopting practices which minimise the spread of germs and chances of physical strain, along with initiatives that get people moving more throughout the working day. Whatever line of business you’re in, here’s how providing a body-friendly workplace helps everyone do their jobs better…

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Activating producti It’s common knowledge that regular physical activity is vital for good health. And that healthy employees deliver a greater quantity of better quality work. Encouraging your workforce to remain active throughout the working day is therefore an effective strategy for boosting productivity. Leading an active life isn’t necessarily just about vigorous exercise and competitive sport. While this is good on many levels for those who enjoy it, simply getting up and moving around at frequent intervals is actually more beneficial overall. And that’s something everybody can do. In fact, many of the benefits of strenuous work­ outs are cancelled out by sitting down for prolonged periods, as typically happens with computer-assisted desk-based jobs. So how­ ever active, or not, your employees are outside of the office, encouraging everyone to in­cor­ por­ate regular movement into their daily routine can be pivotal to stepping up output. This can be achieved through everything from taking a longer route to the photocopier to carry­ing out normally sit-down tasks in dif­fer­ ent ways. For example, telephone calls and meetings can be conducted standing up or onthe-go. And with adjustable desks, alter­nating between sitting and standing to do computer work is an easily accommodated option.


Why constant interruptions are good for business The idea of staff spending more time away from their desks may appear counterintuitive to productivity. Yet the opposite is true. The longer a person sits still, the slower their metabolism becomes. This decreases the flow of oxygen-supplying blood to the brain, which results in reduced concentration. Interrupting the physical inactivity at regular intervals serves to reactivate the system. On balance, this actually results in higher overall productivity. In addition to refocussing concentration, regular activity decreases absenteeism rates through improving health and wellbeing. Maintaining a higher metabolic rate encourages the body to burn fat and helps prevent excessive weight gain, together with the host of health issues which come with it. At the same time, keeping the blood pumping ensures a good flow of feel-good hormones around the brain, which help keep depression at bay.

Recommended practices everyone should try


Aim for 10,000 steps a day This equates to about 6.5 km (4 miles). On average people typically do half of that. It’s easy to measure movement using pedometers, other activity monitors and smartphone apps. Internal incentive schemes that reward achievements can generate friendly rivalry which motivates everyone to do a little more.

Get the blood pumping twice an hour

How to create an active workplace Communicate your strategy

Make fitness breaks part of the routine

Attractive and changing décor, together with thoughtful positioning of furniture and equipment sets the scene for encouraging movement.

Incorporating short, organised fitness breaks throughout the day is perfect for getting everybody in on the action. As well as upping activity levels, these are great opportunities for people to get to know colleagues they might not otherwise mix with, which is beneficial for overall corporate spirit and improved interdepartmental insights. You can try anything from walks around the immediate area to short yoga sessions. Giving people the opportunity to sample different activities is great for stimulating the mind too.

An active workplace strategy can include advising employees to: • Take the stairs instead of the lift. Ensure the stairwell is also pleasantly decorated to feel welcoming. • Talk to colleagues in person instead of telephoning them. This can also help to foster closer working relationships. • Go the long way round to the kitchen or toilet. • Hold certain types of meetings in stand-up spaces or while walking.

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Help everyone to stay hydrated Dehydration can lead to a whole host of problems that prevent productivity, including headaches, lack of concentration and even sickness. Ensure your workforce has access to sufficient water and other beverages which aren’t loaded with unhealthy sugars, and is encouraged to consume these throughout the day. Check out the great range of suitable supplies offered by Staples!

Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, getting up and walking around every 30 minutes or so reactivates the body’s metabolic and circulatory functions to very beneficial effect. It’s not just your eyes that need regular screen-breaks! This, together with a brief change of scenery is great for lubricating the mind.

Get outside Change of scenery is widely believed to help balance emotions. Walking outside achieves both that and exposes the skin to sunlight which induces production of health-promoting vitamin D. People who work indoors all day can easily miss out on getting enough vitamin D.

Stand, but not for too long Standing up is great for getting your systems working. Not just because it requires muscle activity for balance, but also because other movement becomes more likely once you’re already on your feet. However, standing for too long isn’t advised it can put pressure on various body parts and, as the body gets tired, adoption of bad posture becomes more likely. Most experts recommend a 50:50 sit-stand ratio. Adjustable desks make it possible to mix up standing and sitting through the day. Standing on specially designed rubber mats is gentler on the joints.



Is everybody sitting comfortably ? All humans are made differently. So why assume one-size fits all when it comes to workstations? Bad posture is responsible for a great deal of absenteeism, with more work days lost across Europe each year due to musculoskeletal causes than any other condition. Additionally, people who aren’t positioned comfortably are more prone to fidgeting and losing concentration. On average, 47 working minutes per person per day is spent fidgeting, which is equivalent to almost 4 hours a week of unproductive time.

Don’t forget ! Staples has a great choice of wellconstructed chairs and desks to form the basis of a comfortable working environment.

Ergonomics for all

The Fellowes 4-Zone Approach™ enables everybody to easily adopt good posture and working practices. It pinpoints the 4 key areas of the human body prone to problems whilst working at a computer, laptop or tablet, and advises on the most effective solutions to eliminate discomfort and help prevent injuries.

Fortunately, the availability of ergonomic workplace solutions means much of this can easily be prevented. A fact that many organisations are now waking up to, with 58% of companies currently spending more on ergonomic products than they did three years ago.

The programme also provides direction on the best desk layouts and healthiest postures for various work environments.

These statistics emerged from recent independent research commissioned by Fellowes, the workstation ergonomics specialists who offer head-to-toe posturepositive solutions. Their product range, which includes many FIRA-accredited* items, has been specifically developed to provide a holistic approach to workstation wellbeing by alleviating pressure and discomfort on the neck, back, wrists, legs and feet, all of which helps promote a healthier way of working.

Prevention is better than cure

Fellowes has also identified that with the advent of advanced communication platforms, flexible working is the norm and anywhere can be a workspace. This shift in work style has led to the introduction of new ergonomic solutions to suit personal desks, hot desks, home offices, multilocations and working on the move. *FIRA International is an independent ergonomic consultancy. Products with this logo are accredited to EU Health and Safety Legislation: BS EN ISO9241/1995/Part 5; EC Directive 90/270 EEC and amends 2002.


4 Easy Steps to Healthy Workstation Posture

The majority of people who are aware of ergonomics only know about it because they’ve already suffered the consequences of incorrect posture. Forward-thinking employers don’t just remedy problems, they prevent them happening in the first place. It therefore pays to have all line managers educated about the benefits of ergonomic working and trained to undertake workstation risk assessments. This will equip them with the necessary knowledge to offer qualified advice and suggest the best solutions for working productively in comfort. Free 5-minute workstation risk assessments can be arranged quickly and easily online by visiting Staples Advantage at:

Did you know? Employers are legally obliged to ensure the health and safety of employees working with computer screens and to conduct workstation risk assessments. – EC Directive 90/270/EEC


AVOID WRIST PRESSURE On average, employees spend 8 hours a day sitting down working on a computer, laptop or tablet.*

Fellowes Pro Series Ultimate back support, Fellowes Microban adjustable foot support

Fellowes Health -V™ Crystals and Health -V™ Fabrik wrist supports

Almost 50% of employees no longer have their own, personal desk at the company’s premises, so have to constantly switch workstations.* 17% of employees do not have any type of personal workspace that they can call their own and adopt a nomadic style of working which may take place on a sofa/ comfy chair (27%), in bed (19%), at a kitchen table (17%), in a hotel (16%), trains (14%), cafes (11%), cars (10%), airports (9%), planes (7%) and even on the floor (7%).*


Fellowes Monitor Riser Plus – Graphite, Fellowes Pro Series Laptop Workstation

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* Dynamic Markets Research 2013 commissioned by Fellowes

Fellowes Machine Organiser, Fellowes Office Suites CPU Stand



How safe is your workplace? Looking after your workers’ physical health extends well beyond the specific tools assigned to them and practices they’re advised to follow. As they move about the workplace and use its facilities, a myriad of injury-causing hazards could potentially lie in wait. Think about it. As time goes by, fixtures and fitting get worn, objects get moved, layouts, staff numbers and even the scope of your business can change. Because many of these scenarios happen gradually, their impact on health & safety often creeps up unnoticed. Even your most desk-bound employees’ performance will suffer if they endure the pain, discomfort and distraction of physical injury, whether or not it’s directly related to their

typing fingers. Meanwhile, any legal claims for negligence will be damaging to finances, reputation and morale. It’s therefore essential to carry out periodical reviews to check your entire office environment is fit for its present use and free from endangerments. You can check your local regulations at

Look out for: Trip and slip hazards Trailing wires, loose fittings, damaged surfaces, wet floors

Unreliable stability Loose handrails

Obstructions Badly positioned furniture, ‘temporarily’ placed deliveries or objects

Exposed electronics Wiring, sockets, switches, lift controls

ecks h t c c i relevan d o ly with p Peri m o c l ing stil s?

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Sanitation Blockages, cleanliness, hygiene, water temperature (not too hot out of taps)

Kitchen/canteen area Dirty storage areas, preparation surfaces and eating utensils

Stopping illness from spreading Infectious illnesses are undoubtedly detrimental to productivity. While manhours lost to absenteeism are easily calculated, the hidden cost of those who determinedly soldier on working while under-theweather is actually an even bigger problem. In addition to under-performing for longer due to insufficient recuperation-aiding rest, individuals who continue to come to the office while unwell are highly likely to share their infection with colleagues. This initiates a lengthy cycle of illness as it spreads through the workforce, exponentially depleting the power of your human resources over an extended period of time.

At home, at leisure, out shopping and during the daily commute, we all come in to direct and indirect contact with so many people each day that contracting illnesses, or becoming carriers of them, is an inevitable fact. So simply telling everyone who suspects they may have caught something to stay away isn’t a workable solution. But there are simple steps you can take to significantly minimise the spread of illness-causing germs within your office, preventing your own building from becoming a hotbed of propagation and thereby maintaining a larger percentage of healthy people. Kimberly-Clark’s Healthy Workplace Project explains how the germ-transmission chain can easily be broken through a 3-fold wash, wipe and sanitise protocol. By eliminating the presence of germs from hands and all the shared surfaces they touch, you create a cleaner environment which is far less likely to produce more victims.

Keep these products to hand around your office to enable a Wash, Wipe, Sanitise strategy: (Left to right:) Kleenex Hygienic Hand Rub, Kleenex Hand and Surfice Sanitising Wipes, Kleenex Facial Tissue Cube.

Find out more at




Proper handwashing is still the best way to reduce the spread of germs. Thorough drying with paper towels can reduce germs by 77%.

Wiping “Hot-Spot” surfaces daily can kill germs where they’re waiting for you. Common hotspots include desks, doorknobs, keyboards and phones.

Using hand sanitiser can reduce sick days by 21%.

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Cohesive teams

It’s the coming together of individuals which really puts the power in your productivity. When you add up everybody’s total time and effort invested in any joint activity, it’s clear to see how much higher the stakes are for facilitating smooth cooperation. And with so much riding upon cohesive teamwork, it’s in every manager’s interest to get involved in facilitating success. From providing conducive, comfortable environments and appropriate equipment to making efficient use of time, there are lots of considerations which can make a big difference. Getting everybody into the same productive mindset takes intelligent orchestration. We’ve put together some food for thought to help everybody play a part in optimising team productivity.


Va n tag e P o i n t  •  Vo l u m e T WO



Meeting space equipment guide In conjunction with Nobo, the office visual communications specialists, we’ve compiled a simple guide to common meeting space scenarios and some products which bring efficiency to the table.

 1  7

Purposeful meeting spaces Whether you’re conducting a 3-person discussion, a 10-person planning session or a 300-delegate conference, choosing a suitably sized and appropriately equipped space is essential to efficiency and productivity.


 5  4

Dedicated Meeting Rooms Regularly used for anything from internal catch-ups, discussions, brainstorming, planning and training sessions to meetings with external business associates, clients, suppliers and potential new employees, investors and partners, dedicated meeting rooms play an integral role in your company’s day-to-day routine. How you decorate, furnish and equip these says a lot about your company’s attitude and can directly impact how productively the time in them is spent.



Setting the scene Getting people into the right frame of mind is the first step to productive meetings. The room you choose influences expectations, emotions and behaviour, so it’s important to consider what type of space is most conducive to your goals. While large conference rooms impart an air of formality and importance which helps people settle for absorbing presentations, smaller more intimate spaces are more inviting for collaboration, and informal gathering areas provide a less pressurised setting.

Equipped for efficiency When multiple people’s valuable time is at stake, you don’t want to waste it by not being ready for action. This goes for everything from having sufficient seating to ensuring presentations can be comfortably seen and heard by everybody in the room. Along with facilities for visually sharing discussion points, notes and conclusions as you go.



Multi-functional Collaboration Areas Rooms and areas which accommodate frequently changing types of meetings need to be set-up for flexibility. This calls for equipment and furniture which can easily be moved and adapted to purpose, while the space itself maintains a consistent corporate look.

2  8

Projection Screens

Whiteboards and

Nobo projection screens provide a brilliant matt white surface that reflects sharp, detailed images for clear viewing around a wide area. Available in various sizes, all are easily retracted into their protective housing to store neatly away.

flipchart easels

1  Professional 4:3 Nobo Wall or


Ceiling Mounted Screens, easily retract into their housing when not in use.  4

2  Large format Nobo

Electric Screens satisfy large audiences in large spaces. 3  Super-handy, lightweight, fold-

Conference Rooms Larger gatherings of people amplifies the need for sleek efficiency and professional performance. Making the best use of everybody’s time and effort means impressing the audience through suitably designed equipment which comfortably delivers presentations for seminars, sales meetings and educational events.

out Nobo Portable Screens which can be set up anywhere in less than 5 seconds, either on the floor or on a table.

Projector Trolley 4  A convenient and practical

solution for positioning, storing and moving projectors between rooms, Nobo’s fully adjustable Multimedia Projection Trolley is designed to hold both projector and laptop.

Screen pointers 5   Kensington Wireless Presenter

Simplifies the task of delivering perfect presentations, with a high-visibility red laser pointer, perfect for highlighting your main messages.


6  Present, point, annotate and



Presentations-to-go Off-site meetings often mean presenting in a space you’re not familiar with. But being away from your own company’s familiar meeting room doesn’t need to mean being unprepared. Thanks to the great availability of light, compact products designed for portability, you can present anywhere as efficiently and professionally as in your own office.

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impress with the Kensington Presentair™ Bluetooth presenter, laser and stylus.

These invaluable meeting room tools are ideal for focussing attention on discussion points, jotting down brainstorming thoughts, illustrating ideas and bringing clarity to conclusions. They come in various sizes and surface materials, including magnetic ones which enable display of paper documents alongside ad-hoc written notes. 7   Nobo Classic enamel whiteboards

Wall-mounted boards with enamel surface – a super-tough, scratch and chip-resistant material that’s ideal for frequent use. 8   Nobo Mobile pivoting whiteboards

Versatile, freestanding solution which can be wheeled between rooms. The double-sided boards can be flipped over, thereby providing more writing space without taking up more space in the room. 9   Nobo Prestige™ whiteboards

A superior take on the classic whiteboard, combining stylish design and superior performance with the added convenience of the Prestige Connex™ system. Enables you to organise, expand, maintain and customise your system to suit your changing needs. 10   Nobo Diamond

Magnetic Glass Boards Provide a contemporary alternative to conventional dry erase boards. 11   Nobo Shark

Magnetic Flipchart Easel A compact, foldaway, all-in-one solution that combines a flipchart easel, magnetic drywipe whiteboard and extending arm for additional flipchart pages. 12   Nobo Barracuda

Desktop Flipchart Easel Compact-sized on-the-go solution with flipchart and magnetic whiteboard that’s ideal for 1-on-1 meetings or small group presentations.



Making meeting time work Time spent in meetings accounts for a significant proportion of many peoples’ working weeks. Making the most productive use of that time is therefore hugely important. Yet many studies have shown meetings to be largely inefficient, wasting valuable employee hours which could be put to better use. The good news is that improving meeting efficiency, reducing length and increasing productivity can all be achieved through good planning. Here are a few tips to guide you through the various stages.


Establish the purpose Setting out what the meeting needs to achieve is the foundation for bringing all the right elements together. Do you need to… □  Solve problems? □  Make decisions? □  Create plans? □  Share information? □  Report feedback?


Confirm the need Consider whether physically gathering people together is actually necessary. While there are many valid and beneficial reasons for doing so, some goals can be satisfied via email or other communication which doesn’t disrupt the workflow. Holding a meeting because “that’s what we always do” shouldn’t be your motivation.


Plan the agenda An agenda is essential for keeping the meeting focussed on its desired outcome. Having a clear vision of what each item needs to achieve is the key to productive conclusions. Be efficient with everybody’s valuable shared time by only including activities which actually necessitate the participants’ presence. And secure their engagement by ordering discussion points in a way that gets them actively involved as early as possible.


Consider the length Be realistic about how much time you’ll need to reach productive conclusions for all the points on your agenda. Be aware that peoples’ attention wavers after 20 minutes, so if your meeting is longer there should be a change of topic, presenter, activity or presentation format at least every 20 minutes. Never continue for more than 1.5 hours without a break of 10-15 minutes. Remember that attentiveness can be affected by need for a ‘comfort break’. Don’t forget, Staples has a great choice of food and breakroom supplies to help everybody stay refreshed!



Select the participants Getting the full set of the right people together is the key to productivity, because all relevant input can be shared and decisions can be reached. So consider who actually needs to attend the meeting to achieve the desired goals. Evaluate the purpose of each participants’ inclusion and inform them (in advance) about how they are expected to contribute/ what they can expect to gain. Ask if they think anybody else should be invited. At the same, avoid inviting unnecessary people whose time will be wasted and whose presence may cause the meeting to go on longer or off topic.


Determine location and format Ensure a conducive setting which is comfortable, with good lighting, sufficient ventilation/oxygen, at the right temperature, where everyone can hear and see what they need to and attract the chair’s attention if necessary. Consider that sitting down isn’t the only way. Stand-up meetings, which impart a sense of energy and dynamism, are becoming increasingly popular for short briefings. Walking meetings (for up to 3 people) can free up minds and create a greater sense of collaboration.


Request preparation Ensure all participants are briefed in advance with background information so they come into the meeting ready to work. You don’t want to spend the first 20 minutes or so (your meeting’s most valuable time) on preparation people could have done elsewhere.


Practice discipline Start the meeting on time and keep to agenda and time schedule. A meeting which overruns will quickly lose the attention of attendees with other commitments or who simply want to get home at the end of the day. If the discussion starts to deviate from the agenda, bring it back on track, but commit to assigning another time to talking about any important topics raised. If minutes will be necessary to record the discussion, ensure somebody is assigned to the task.


Enforce technology-free etiquette State in advance that the use of any technology not directly associated with the meeting is forbidden. Everybody is there to focus on the matter in hand. It is disrespectful of other people’s time to be distracted by outside communications.


Plan the next move Seal the deal on productivity by ending meetings on a positive note and a plan for implementing the conclusions. All attendees should be clear as to what actions they’re required to take, and the deadlines for doing so. Distribute minutes within 24 hours.

Telepresence and videoconferencing can also be considered to avoid unnecessary travel by attendees who’d need to make long journeys.

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Vested interests HEALTH & SAFETY





I reduce workplace risk

I attract and retain the best staff

I deliver performance

I reduce the cost of sick leave

I look after the team and achieve targets

Keeping employees fit, motivated and productive is of direct relevance to everyone throughout an organisation. From directors focussed on business performance and finance departments striving to reduce costs right through to line managers who need motivated teams to achieve targets.

Staff wellbeing is commonly assumed to be the responsibility of the Human Resources or Health & Safety departments. But in practice, the majority of employees turn to their immediate line manager for matters relating to their working environment. It’s therefore vitally important for all line managers and heads of departments to have a good understanding of best practices for employee wellbeing. Sharing the information and guidance given in this edition of Vantage Point among your full management team will help enable your organisation to provide efficient and productive working conditions.

Did you know? Only 35% of those who sufferer discomfort and pain at work typically inform their boss, while 62% suffer in silence. Dynamic Markets Research 2013, commissioned by Fellowes


In summary This second edition of Vantage Point explores how to enable efficiency and productivity through providing your workforce with optimal conditions, tools and know-how. Just as machinery needs correct maintenance to maintain peak performance, your people need attention to their wellbeing if they’re to do the same. Good people are hard to find. So you want to get the best out of them for as long as possible. Retaining well-performing staff by investing in the aspects discussed in this edition is more efficient on time, money and resources than recruiting new personnel. Give your workforce what they need to succeed and your productivity will benefit.

Recapping our touch points, achieving optimal efficiency and productivity requires attention to several different aspects:


providing the right stimuli for making people want to do a great job.


preserving and promoting good physical health which fuels well-functioning brains.


being properly prepared for group situations to make best use of shared time.

How well does your office do when it comes to enabling efficiency and productivity ? Discover products and solutions which help your staff perform optimally at or talk to any one of our European associates.

You can get in touch with us a number of ways: Online

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Telephone +31 (0)20 651 1111 to talk to our Global Accounts Team

Write us Staples, Inc. Global Accounts Team Hoogoorddreef 62 1101 BE  Amsterdam The Netherlands

People and planet working in harmony. Sustainable Earth by Staples™ Sustainable Earth™ is our exclusive line of eco-preferable products that give you the performance you need while being efficient with our planet’s resources. Offering a wide range of environmentally-minded solutions to satisfy your business requirements, with the same great quality you have come to expect from Staples.

From the product components and packaging materials we use, to the third-party suppliers we choose, everyone and everything that plays a part in Sustainable Earth™ is held to the brand’s high environmental standards.

Sustainable Earth™ enables you to supply and clean your office, breakroom and other areas, safe in the knowledge you’re being as kind as possible to Mother Nature. Our use of renewable resources, recycled materials and certified eco-preferable manufacturing processes delivers maximum productivity with minimum environmental impact.

For more information visit

Because we know that a healthier planet is in everyone’s long-term interests.

Vantage Point Magazine Volume 2