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Kudos for the Boss

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If you were keeping score, that would be one for the boss, zero for office furniture and the surrounding decor.

Those are the results of a survey conducted by Staples.com last month in anticipation of “Improve Your Office Day,” which was Tuesday, October 4. The survey gave office workers the chance to dish about the top improvements they’d like to see at their jobs.

The one thing that didn’t seem to need improvement was the boss. Casting aside some common stereotypes, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents gave their boss a solid “A” grade; a combined 78 percent rated their boss an “A” or “B.”

The good vibe stops there, however. Topping the list of items employees identify as solid contenders for improvement were office furniture (52 percent) and office decor (51 percent) -- each receiving a “C” or lower. Also garnering a “C” was office technology, cited by 41 percent of those who participated.

Some 44 percent of those surveyed would like to see office politics eliminated, 41 percent are calling for their workplace to allow or encourage telecommuting, 34 percent would like to see more private work areas provided and another 34 percent favor more flexible work hours.

An interesting finding of the study is that 57 percent of office workers have to buy their own snacks and beverages at work. Consequently, one in two respondents reported leaving the office on coffee or snack runs at least once a day, with some making as many as five trips per day.

As you might have guessed, Staples has some quick tips for improving the office -- suggestions that both employees and employers might appreciate. They include:
• Stock the kitchen or break room with coffee and snacks that will energize the staff and keep them running all day.
• Take inventory of your technology, and replace outdated equipment that may be impeding productivity.
• Consider office decor and furniture upgrades that don’t require a complete overhaul. Replacing worn desk chairs and/or redecorating conference rooms can be easy, low-cost ways to make the office more attractive and comfortable.
• Equip employees with technology such as tablet and notebook computers that makes it easy for them to telecommute.
• When expanding or redesigning the office, take employee privacy concerns into consideration. Newer office furniture systems offer ways to preserve privacy while maintaining an open, collaborative environment.

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