Question: "Frankly, our admin team makes a lot of mistakes. We deal with a lot of paperwork and we create typos, overlook incorrect addresses, forget to format things correctly, mislabel files, etc. It’s all well and good to tell people to ‘be more careful,’ but there’s got to be a better way to put people into a mindset that cuts down on simple errors. Who’s got a solution?” — Pru, Executive Finance Assistant
Admin Pro Forum
Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.
Question: "It seems like every meeting we have follows the same pattern: People cover a lot of issues, make a lot of points, and then we walk out thinking, “Um, what actually gets done now?” We really need to buckle down and figure out a way to get everyone to think in terms of setting specific goals that are pursued right away, but it’s tough to control all the meaningless exchanges that make people feel like they’ve contributed but actually take us nowhere. Help!” — George, Front Office Coordinator
Question: "I’ll sometimes have weeks when I feel like I’ve totally lost my spirit and enthusiasm, only to bounce back the following week when things at work go well. It seems like every time I think I just don’t have what it takes to keep going with this job, it was just a phase—but I sure do keep experiencing those phases! What are the signals that I need to move on because the point of real, no-going-back burnout has finally come?” — Tula, Administrative Assistant of Budget
Question: “I’ve always wanted to send out a meeting invitation to our whole office to give some informal hands-on training on our copiers, since I see no reason that everyone should be so helpless when it comes to clearing jams, changing toner, and knowing their way around the screens. But my boss is against it; he sees all of that as the admins’ job, even though we waste a lot of time dealing with these very easy-to-fix problems. Am I the only one who thinks it’s necessary to train everyone on this, not just the admins?” – Sharon, Senior Assistant
Question: "I just moved into an administrative position after being very physically active at my old job, and the first thing a new colleague said to me was, ‘Good luck with the way this gig breaks your body down little by little!’ I do wonder about carpal tunnel syndrome, and weight gain from immobility, and what sitting in a chair for so long will do to me over the years … just what am I in for, anyway?” – Kirk, Data Technician/Receptionist
Question: "Where I work, our Internet usage is monitored, our time is tracked to the minute, we have to log in and out of every application so the managers can see who is doing what and when, and the steps of every project are time-logged to make sure we’re using our time efficiently. This has all begun to feel oppressive—even though HR tells us that it facilitates our performance reviews and makes the raises and promotions process orderly and noncontroversial. Does anyone but me feel caged in by the way so many jobs now keep such a close eye on us?” – Blair, Broker’s Assistant