Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

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Question: "We're hiring a receptionist for our new business. Originally we were looking for the sunniest, friendliest person we could find, but then someone mentioned that with the number of aggressive vendors and solicitors we might have coming in, plus unexpected visitors, that person will need to have a very firm hand and not be afraid to lay down the law, so to speak. Now I'm not quite sure what sort of personality we should be leaning toward. What works best on the front desk?" - Martin, Office Manager 
Question: "When I think about my best days at work, they always seem to have been about something unusual or fun I experienced with my co-workers instead of the actual job. I wonder how many admins this is true of?" - Jennifer, Public Works Admin
Question: "I've been at the same job for more than 25 years, and now my memory seems to be failing more and more. Lately it's gotten very noticeable by others. I'm still several years from retirement, and I'd like to know what others have tried to either improve their memory or create ways to make the natural loss of it less of a problem." - Gloria, Records Supervisor
Question: "The last few times that our company Fun Club has tried to help a charity through a canned food drive or toy collection, the response rate from our co-workers has been embarrassingly low. What's the best way to get the office interested in making these count?" - Kate, Receptionist
Question: "I think I might be wasting time when I need to learn something specific about Excel, Word, SharePoint or any other software in a hurry. I have a few websites bookmarked, but I'd like to know if there are some really great ones out there that will teach me procedures fast. Can it be that YouTube is the first place people go nowadays for quick computer training?" - Shea, Academic Transcriptionist

Question: "My desk is at the front of the building in a high traffic area, and a few employees like to talk to me as they walk by. Some keep the conversation short and light, but others tend to rattle on and on about relationship issues and inter-office gossip. One employee who covers the front desk while I'm away at lunch is the worst offender of this problem. Is there a polite way to tell this talkative teammate to cut the chitchat and let me have my desk space back so I can start working?" - Rachel, Administrative Support

Question: "We have so many people in my office creating and revising so many documents and swapping them around, I don't know of the best way to ensure someone's not grabbing the wrong one from the network—or from the person they're teaming with. Does anyone have any tips so I don't keep hearing, 'Oh, I think this is the right version'?" - Kristen, Office Manager

Question: "We work in an office where there is the ministry staff and the support staff. The communication is not good between the two. It seems like the support staff, who do the work and must have the knowledge to answer the phone correctly, are the last ones to know what is going on regarding new projects, changes, hitting deadlines, etc. We could use some suggestions on how to fix this." - Lorene, Office Manager

Question: "How have larger companies solved all-hands meetings? We have about 3,000 associates at our primary location, and about 2,000 divided among three ‘remote’ locations. How have you leveraged technology to reduce the number of all-hands meetings but still keep them engaging for all of the sites?" - Angela, Senior Executive Assistant

Question: "Two of my co-workers frequently have personal conversations about five feet away from my desk area. The sound is very annoying and distracting to me. How should I approach this concern with them?" - Pat, Accounts Receivable

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