Office supplies, while typically unexciting, are the fuel that keeps business running. Where would a company be without the file folders, ink jet cartridges, pens and printer paper that people need to perform their daily tasks and be productive in the workplace? However, purchasing office products is close to the bottom of the list when you ask people what they enjoy doing in the workplace.
Let’s face it, most office supply orders are simply reorders of items you’ve purchased before. Many times the person placing the order is not the person who is going to use the product, and there is very little emotion involved when ordering that classification folder for the fifth time. So how can you take this mundane Understanding Rapport, but necessary task of purchasing office products and turn it into an opportunity to help others and give back to society?
Let’s first talk about a new movement and business model in business called Conscious Capitalism. Espoused by such great business leaders as John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, Conscious Capitalism is the business model of common sense and the golden rule. To summarize the philosophy, it believes businesses should treat every entity a company deals with in business like you would like to be treated.
That means you should treat all vendors with honesty and respect, you should treat employees like the critical resource that they are, and pay them fairly and communicate with honesty. Of course treating customers with respect, honesty and like you’d like to be treated is another key ingredient. And, treating the environment with respect and supporting environmentally sustainable practices is also a key part.
It also means a business should take an active role in the community, and do their part to help others with some of the fruits of their labors. Whether it be through charitable giving, volunteering, holding “fun runs” or other fundraisers like bake sales, companies can and should contribute significantly to the community where they operate, and where their employees and families live.
So how does this tie into office supplies? There are new companies in the industry that practice conscious capitalism as their core business philosophy. Some of them go as far as donating as much as half their profits to great charities nationwide. Shopping with those companies adds meaning to the mundane and unemotional task of buying office products when you know that the company you are doing business with is giving back, and being kind to the environment.
At a time when the media regularly has stories on the Occupy Wall Street protestors, many people empathize with what the people are saying, but it’s not clear what actions one can take to show the huge corporations, big business and Wall Street CEO’s just how disgusted we are with their greed and lack of integrity. I’ll tell you an easy way to start making a difference.
Seek out and support businesses that practice conscious capitalism and give back. Think twice before spending money with those huge corporate conglomerates, or banking with one of those banks whose hands were out during the financial meltdown. Even make ordering office supplies a way to support others and give back by finding a company who sales office supplies online and gives back to the community. We all can make a difference if we pay attention to where we spend our money, and what kind of companies we support.