New Office Depot Survey Finds Eighty-Seven Percent of Resolution Makers in the...

New Office Depot Survey Finds Eighty-Seven Percent of Resolution Makers in the Workplace Discard Goals; Company Offers Tips to Help Employees Stay Motivated and Organized in 2005



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Delray Beach, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–February 17, 2005–Half (50 percent) of employed U.S. adults have made a New Year’s Resolution, according to Office Depot’s “Back to Business” survey fielded by Harris Interactive. However, 65 percent of employed adults who have made resolutions said that in years past, they’ve given up those resolutions in the first quarter. Only 13 percent kept their New Year’s resolutions until the end of the year.

Managers often find it difficult to keep employees motivated, especially during the winter months. Seasonal depression affects workers, the days are shorter, and in many parts of the country the temperature often hovers below freezing. To help managers keep both themselves and their employees goal-oriented, Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), teamed up with productivity expert Alex Hiam for professional guidance.

“Following a few easy steps can help reduce the chance that New Year’s resolutions will be tossed aside,” Hiam said. “Getting organized in the first quarter makes a successful year much more likely, regardless of a company’s specific business goals.”

“Office Depot is committed to taking care of its customers through a variety of channels,” said Tony Ueber, Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Office Depot. “We want to help businesses start off the New Year by putting the proper organizational tools in place. Paired with the right tips, a few key products can help managers and small business owners ensure a fruitful and productive year.”

According to Hiam, there are several key tips managers and employees should keep in mind to optimize organization, productivity and motivation in 2005.

Tips on Getting Organized in 2005

— Tip #1: Take control of your daily activities. Begin your day by identifying the day’s single most important activity. Highlight it, and make sure to work on it early and often. At-A-Glance desk calendars ($20 and up) are a must restock at the beginning of the year. For those who prefer to go digital, consider prioritizing tasks with a PDA such as the PalmOne(TM) Tungsten E Handheld ($200).

— Tip #2: Focus on your expertise and delegate other tasks. Asking for help is an important organizational skill that can be uncomfortable for many managers and employees. There’s no need to struggle with a task that doesn’t come naturally when a co-worker or vendor has the expertise. According to Office Depot’s Back to Business survey, only 18 percent of employed adults identified their management style as a “delegator” – someone who gives out work and leaves their people to do it and succeed on their own. Delegating the right tasks can create a more organized and effective workplace.

— Tip #3: Match systems to success factors. Determine the three most important things you need to do to meet your business objectives, and rethink your systems to make sure they support your success factors.

According to the survey, when employed adults were asked if they could have any celebrity as a business consultant for free(1), 33 percent chose “The founders of Google” – to get everyone wired and technologically savvy. If technology is the system you need to update, try an all-in-one print/fax/scan product, available at Office Depot ($99).

Tips on Staying Motivated in 2005

— Tip #1: Ask what you can do to help an employee succeed. Do they need more information, training, tools or supplies? More than half of employed adults surveyed (52 percent) said the number one thing they would need for their ideal desk would be a more comfortable or ergonomic workstation or chair, and 35 percent of employed adults said they often have a sore neck or back from work. An ergonomic chair such as the Furniture At Work(R) Russell Executive Mesh Chair, Black ($199), could meet the need.

— Tip #2: Strive to be a motivational boss. Almost half (45 percent) of employed adults described their management style as “The Coach: Bill Parcells – Works hard with and for their people to make sure they succeed.” However, studies of managers reveal that most employees see their boss as a remote, unconcerned delegator.(2)

Take the time to talk with employees, ask them how they are doing and make sure they have what they need to do a good job.

About Alex Hiam

Alex Hiam is the best-selling author of Motivational Management (2003), Making Horses Drink: How to Lead and Succeed in Business (2002) and The 24 Hour MBA: Five Power Workshops for Business Success (2000). He is the founder and president of Insights for Training, a consulting company that helps small and large businesses with training programs and workshops on success skills for the workplace. He regularly leads sessions on topics ranging from building workplace morale, transforming negative talk and time management at the workplace. Alex received a M.B.A from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. from Harvard.

About Office Depot

With annual sales of more than $13 billion, Office Depot sells more office products to more customers in more countries than any other company. Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, Office Depot conducts business in 23 countries and employs 46,000 people worldwide. The Company operates under the Office Depot(R), Viking Office Products(R), Viking Direct(R), Guilbert(R), and Tech Depot(R) brand names.

Office Depot is a leader in every distribution channel – from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. With 3.1 billion in online sales in FY’04, the Company is the world’s number three Internet retailer. In North America, Office Depot has 969 retail stores in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers and more than 60 local sales offices. Internationally, the Company conducts wholly-owned operations in 14 countries via 78 retail stores and 25 distribution centers, and operates 153 retail stores under joint venture and license arrangements in another seven countries.

The company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

Additional press information can be found at:http://mediarelations.officedepot.com/.

About Harris Interactive(R)

Harris Interactive Inc., http://www.harrisinteractive.com, the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.

Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe, http://www.hieurope.com, Paris-based Novatris, http://www.novatris.com, Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide, http://www.wirthlinworldwide.com, a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V

Methodology

Harris Interactive(R) fielded the study from January 18-20, 2005 via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus, interviewing a nationwide sample of 1,557 employed U.S. adults aged 18 and over. Data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. Select data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult online population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and amount of time spent online. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Sampling error for the employed adults who have made resolutions in years past (722) is plus or minus 6 percentage points. This online sample is not a probability sample.

(1) From a given list of five responses.

(2) The Strategic Leadership Workshop, Alex Hiam, HRD Press, 2003.

–30–JD/mi*

CONTACT:

Office Depot, Delray Beach

Jackie Kaplan, 561-438-6959

or

Burson-Marsteller

Farah Mehta, 212-614-4970

New Office Depot Survey Finds Eighty-Seven Percent of Resolution Makers in the Workplace Discard Goals; Company Offers Tips to Help Employees Stay Motivated and Organized in 2005