How labelling can help to ensure the smooth and productive running of an office

This is a guest blog from Brother UK.

How labelling can help to ensure the smooth and productive running of an office

A phrase thrown around offices across the UK is ‘productivity boost’, but what are the tangible steps that business can take that will have a positive impact on productivity?

One of the key areas of productivity is time being spent well. Business technology solutions provider Brother UK spoke with 1,594 officer workers and staggeringly, discovered that each year approximately 78 million hours are lost across UK businesses due to stolen items. That’s 1.5 million hours per week.

More than a third (37%) of those questioned spent at least an hour trying to locate a missing item. One hour, out of a standard 9am-5pm working day, is a significant loss. The negative impact this has on productivity should not be under-estimated, as in addition to the hours wasted, there’s the wider impact on office morale and associated employee attitudes towards work.

The fear of having items stolen can play on workers’ minds, with 40% of respondents locking drawers to try and prevent their items going missing. This fear and lack of trust won’t help create good team morale or a positive, productive working environment.

Worst of all, 26% of office disputes are caused by stolen (unlabelled) items, resulting in unnecessary confrontation that can also have a negative effect on the office ambience. Surprisingly, stolen items actually cause more office disputes than perceived undeserved promotions (25%) and messy filing systems (15%). So how do businesses prevent this from becoming an issue?

One of the most effective solutions to the problem, is also the simplest: labelling. With at least 29% of office workers considering labelling as important to the running of their office, it is time to recognise how something as quick and easy as a label can help prevent items being stolen and avoid the resulting wasted time.

Sometimes consequences can be even more than just time lost, as 31% of office workers have lost work due to an accidental shutdown of a computer or laptop due to unlabelled plugs being incorrectly disconnected.

Almost two thirds (61%) of the surveyed 1,594 officer workers have at least four plugs under their desk, with 71% admitting they don’t know which one belongs to which piece of equipment. Imagine work being lost towards the end of a working day – a likely scenario when people are getting close to deadlines and also a time when people are switching-off and unplugging equipment as they get ready to leave the office. Losing work at this point could mean missed deadlines and people having to work late, impacting negatively on morale.

Furthermore, missed deadlines could damage working relationships with third parties such as customers, potentially affecting profitability. All of this seems a bit extreme, when the solution can be so simple: labels on plugs. But, do businesses really want to get someone to manually write labels for each plug socket or individual item, or is there a much simpler way? There is, and it’s label printers.

Labellers are quick and easy to master. The thought of having to label items from scratch can prove daunting, and that is why Brother designs its products to be simple to use, with helpful guides. The Brother PT18mm & QL label printers come with office theme application images and descriptions, to make the process more efficient. As the number 1 in labelling in the UK, Brother finds it essential to explain why such a simple thing can have such a substantial positive effect on office productivity.

In partnership with Brother, we are offering a £20 cashback on the PTD450/600 desktop labeller. For more information on these models, you can visit the Brother website here. To get your labeller and cashback just get in touch with the Universal team on 0845 345 0061!

Research conducted in October 2017 by YouGov on behalf of Brother UK.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4722 adults, of which 1,594 are office workers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 12th October 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)

*According to the ONS, the GB 18+ population is 51,767,543.

Based on the YouGov results and calculations by Citypress, 54.55% are workers.  Of these, 61.90% are office workers.  This equates to 17,480,062 British office workers.

  • 28% said they spend at least 15 minutes looking for missing items each week. This would be at least 1 hour per month, and around 12 hours per year.  This equates to 6,516,567 office workers and 78,198,804 hours (6,516,657 x 12 months).
  • 06% said they lost work in the last year due to their computer being accidently shut down. Of these 38.14% said they have 10 hours or more of work. This equates to 2,070,738 office workers.


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