NZ business supplies sector races to build home office infrastructure

Hundreds of thousands of employees are not adequately prepared to work remotely, according to an industry expert.

Hundreds of thousands of employees are not adequately prepared to work remotely, according to an industry expert.

The rapid rise in remote working due to Covid-19 is being driven by large multinationals and has seen NZ employers and their staff scrambling to establish home-based offices to ensure business continuity.

Joe Taylor, CEO of National Express Products (NXP) one of the country’s largest office supplies firms, is beginning delivery of supply packs to thousands of Kiwi employees now forced to work from home.

NXP (previously Staples and Corporate Express) has created packs which include; small printers, monitors, keyboards, handsets, copy paper and stationery as well as cleaning and hygiene products.

“We have more than 200 customers who employ around 1 million Kiwi workers with most of these people having to work remotely in the coming weeks.

“Businesses are preparing the majority of staff for a potentially extended period of home-based work, which may grow further if schools are closed.

“While the technology is in place to allow remote working, there is still a need to equip the home with basic office, cleaning and hygiene supplies,” he said.

Taylor said for the first time in 30 years, its B2B NXPortal will also be opened to the public with next day delivery to home addresses.

The company has been helping the government prepare for a pandemic and has been purchasing and holding pandemic and self-isolation kits in stock for several years.

The company currently ships more than 1 million cartons annually to businesses and government agencies with cleaning product sales increasing by 100 per cent in March.

“Demand for hygiene products is at unprecedented levels in New Zealand which has caused unnecessary stress to people.

“NXP has created a new dedicated task force of 30 staff in Auckland dedicated to securing stocks of hygiene-related products which are in high demand to ensure the continuity of businesses and government in the wake of COVID-19.

“We also want to make these supplies available to businesses and the public in a way that means they don’t need to leave home to access them.”

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