Happenings, Insights, Thought Leadership
Delivering products and expertise to create safe and effective work spaces, at home or back in the office
As employees and business leaders, most of us have experienced a drastic change in how we work over the past few months, shifting to remote officing and now easing into a return to the office, whatever that looks like. Supporting these business disruptions are trusted vendors, many of which have enhanced their business models to continue delivering value in the new “normal” business world.
Staples is one such vendor, a Passkey Partner for decades and provider of the familiar office supplies as well as office furniture, break room supplies and professional services. All of these business lines have navigated a fair bit of upheaval since March, as purchasing patterns changed overnight and ongoing needs continue to evolve.
“We saw our regular supply orders virtually stop overnight as offices and businesses closed their physical locations, and then we shifted quickly to delivering PPE to fulfill an unprecedented level of orders,” says Matt Kremer, Staples field marketing manager.
With the supply chain in virtual chaos and many items sourced overseas, Staples’ merchandising team worked non-stop with vendors to access consistent supplies. Staples also stepped up to help companies suddenly faced with a remote workforce, offering free and one-day delivery, with no minimum order, of things like office chairs and electronic equipment to enhance at-home productivity.
Nearly six months later, the work world is changing again, with many companies now planning for a return to the office, albeit to a much altered environment. And again, Staples is taking active steps to support its customers. Far beyond simply supplying break rooms with sanitizing supplies and delivering things like face masks with company logos – which, of course, is important and central to Staples mission – the company is also consulting on office layouts to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Staples experts are identifying sometimes inexpensive ways to change traffic patterns and rearrange office cubicles to protect employees once they’re back in the office.
“Our expert furniture and facilities teams are consulting with clients about how to support physical distancing, whether that’s by reconfiguring space, adding plexiglass dividers to cubicles, or even simply adding a bookcase next to a cubicle to reroute a nearby traffic pattern,” says Matt. “Many customers are also designing ‘Welcome Back’ kits for employee desks, including things like a bottle of hand sanitizer, a water bottle and a face mask.”
Of course, consistent and effective cleaning and sanitizing is paramount in the pandemic environment, and here, too, Staples experts are delivering valuable advice about things like placing sanitizer dispensers, transitioning break rooms to single serve coffee makers, moving to touchless fixtures for paper towels, soap, sinks and toilets, and adding signage and decals to remind employees about important safety procedures. The Staples technology team is also advising on more advanced equipment to support a healthy return to the office, such as a device that measures and logs employee temperature before entry, and can be tied to a badged security system to disallow entry to anyone displaying a fever.
“We know that the business world has changed forever and that our business needs to change alongside it,” says Matt. “On the upside, companies have proven that they can adapt, their employees can work effectively from home and can continue to be productive in the face of a world-wide economic upheaval. And Staples has proven that we, too, can evolve and can support our customers regardless of the challenges they face.”
In addition to providing products and supplies and the expertise of its facilities, furniture and technology teams, Staples also offers a valuable library of relevant resources for businesses large and small. You can access this well-stocked Resource Center here, or for more information about Staples’ products and services, contact Matt directly at Matt.Kremer@Staples.com.
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