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Increasing workload

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Question: I’ve been trying to think of ways to increase my workload around the office.  I do the usual assignments, but many times, I find myself without enough work to fill the entire day.  Do you have any suggestions?  -- Anonymous


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I was in the same situation after having been hired into a position where the immediate manager only wanted me there "just in case." After getting to know my coworkers, I spread the word that I needed work to keep me busy while keeping me at my desk. I ended up volunteering to help out an overworked Training department by entering training info for my department. Everyone in my department and Training appreciated the help and I loved the work. It also gave me another skill to put on my accomplishments and resume!

One thing I can suggest, because I was actually in the same position you are in right now, was that I spent a couple of hours devising an Action Plan for my department. I put my educational training into place and used some of the class assignments I remembered from one of my HR Planning classes to help me devise my plan to propose to my boss. The presentation was just a one-on-one meeting, it was his job to actually get my ideas approved by the managament team so that my department could implement the new ideas and methods for the upcoming year(it was a plan I had created in January for the new year). It actually turned out very successfully, as my boss once again was impressed with my creative work and HR ideas to improve our department and the organization as a whole. Once the ideas were approved, and I got the "go ahead", it added to my mundane daily/weekly duties...so in the long run it increased my workload!

You can use this time to reorganize files, update company/department forms and contact directories. In fact, I did such a good job updating our department directory that I was asked to do this for the company. What started as a "time filler" became a responsibiity.

As an employer I can say that nothing makes my day more than when my secretary comes to me and says she has free time and can take additional work off my desk. Be honest with your boss. This is a time when everyone is watching their bottom line and labor budgets are the top expenditure for most businesses.
Outline your professional strengths and offer to lend a hand in those areas.
Also outline your weaknesses in your business that you have an interest in. Ask your boss to guide you to information that will help you understand that part of the business so you help in the future.

As an employer I can say that nothing makes my day more than when my secretary comes to me and says she has free time and can take additional work off my desk. Be honest with your boss. This is a time when everyone is watching their bottom line and labor budgets are the top expenditure for most businesses.
Outline your professional strengths and offer to lend a hand in those areas.
Also outline your weaknesses in your business that you have an interest in. Ask your boss to guide you to information that will help you understand that part of the business so you help in the future.

I was in a similar situation eight years ago. I started taking the Microsoft software tutorials on my computer that I wasn't familiar with: Powerpoint, Excel, etc...Soon enough I did not have the "extra time" and was glad I spent the time wisely.

I used the time to read manuals from the department to find out how the department was structed and to find out more about the organizaton. I purchased books to learn more about computer applications. During the down time I learned Visio. I also upgraded my skills in in all of the other office products. When I transferred to another department, they mentioned in my performance review how great my computer skills were. In fact, people from other departments throughout the organization would use me as a resource. Take this time for personal development. Oh--volunteer for activities throughout the organization. You will become well known and it will increase your chances for promotion.

Training and improving your skills is one good idea. If you already a proficient user, maybe there are forms that others in the office use that you could make available to them electronically. Once upon a time when I had free time... I took some forms and added fields and macros so that even the most computer illiterate person could complete them with ease.

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