The benefits of a well-stocked breakroom are often more significant than some businesses realize. Now more than ever, workers seek comfort during the workday as they make their way back to the office.
Having the right supplies on hand enhances employee morale, encourages worker socialization and collaboration, and provides employees quick access to the items they need, reducing the need to leave the office.
Here, Staples Professional Facilities Support Specialist Rob McEwan offers tips on how to effectively reduce costs and do your best to keep employees safe while you stock up.
CONSOLIDATE YOUR SPEND
Ordering breakroom supplies from a variety of different vendors is time consuming, expensive, and can lead to more frequent stock-outs. Getting most of your breakroom supplies from a single vendor streamlines the ordering and restocking processes and offers opportunities for reduced pricing.
SAFETY IS KEY
Everything from paper towel dispensers to cutlery dispensers ensure that employees aren’t making unnecessary contact in traditionally high-traffic areas. “We’re seeing huge demand for air purification systems to ensure that air is kept as clean as possible,” McEwan says. He’s also seeing a lot of demand for hospital-grade disinfectants that lend peace of mind to the workforces he serves.
As we work to reduce contact between employees, single-serve items like individually packaged snacks and coffee pods help employees to avoid touching the same items. That being said, the environment is still a top concern for many employers. “Sustainable Earth has been one of our most popular lines over the past 18 months,” McEwan says. Staples’ line of compostable plates, bowls, and cutlery reduces the need for office crockery while keeping the environment top of mind for employers and employees alike.
BUT FIRST, COFFEE
The number one priority of any breakroom has to be coffee. “Gone are the days where there’s a drip coffee maker [in the breakroom],” says McEwan. Instead, businesses are pivoting to single-serve coffee pods by companies like Keurig. The most popular pods are McCafé and Tim Hortons, appealing to employees’ familiarity with the brands. McEwan says there’s always a place for a good old-fashioned breakfast blend, though. Don’t forget cups, stir sticks, sugar, and individually-wrapped creamers when you put in your order to give your employees the best coffee-drinking experience.
BUY IN BULK
Buying in bulk makes sense for some products, but not all. High-use items such as cleaning supplies, dish detergent, disinfectants, and paper products don’t expire — buy them in bulk and combine the shipments into as few as possible. For items with an expiration date, like coffee creamers and snacks, smaller, more frequent orders are the best way to keep stocked.
FREE AND FREQUENT DELIVERY
When an office manager is responsible for buying the breakroom products, leaving the office and transporting goods back again becomes time-consuming. Working with a supplier that offers free delivery can ensure that breakroom supplies are constantly replenished with less wasted time for employees.
MEASURE USE TO STAY WELL-STOCKED
A common mistake when it comes to stocking the breakroom is not planning ahead. Make a plan to keep track of inventory and how often items are reordered. Working with a supplier that does this for you will help reduce costs, avoid last-minute, higher-dollar buys.
In today’s economy, employee satisfaction and safety are essential and implementing these simple tips will keep your team in tip-top shape.
Speak to one of our Staples Professional Specialists today to help you and your building get the supplies you need.