Admins

For admins, the work never ends. Administrative professionals fill key office management functions every day – tasks that go unnoticed (until they’re not done).

Admins are the unsung heroes of the workplace – the glue that holds an office together. Every week should be Administrative Professionals Week!

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Usually Google gets all the attention for its latest, online tools. But recently, Microsoft grabbed the headlines for adding zippy new features to Internet Explorer. Here are four IE (version 8) features to save you time:

An administrative assistant recently posted this dilemma on our Admin Pro Forum: “I know my office co-worker chats on Facebook most of the day ... and now I have proof. Do I say something to the co-worker, or do I bring it up to the boss? I am usually not a tattletale, but there are times when I am overwhelmed with work and I know she’s chatting on Facebook and not getting her work done.” Forum readers weighed in with advice:

Fortunately, most admins have strong partnerships with their managers or see ways to build that bond. But some admins are still struggling through their relationships with lousy bosses. Is the solution to quit? Not with unemployment rates above 10%. Here’s another option: Negotiate with your boss, the way the FBI negotiates during a hostage situation.

According to a study by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam, managers rank promotions and cash bonuses as the most effective ways of recognizing employee accomplishments. But administrative pros put two other appreciation tactics at the top of their list:

Projected starting salaries for administrative professionals could see a decrease by an average of 2.2% in 2010. The good news: If you’re good at adapting to unexpected situations and able to quickly learn new skills, you’re the sort of person who will still thrive.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently announced that MT Supermarket, an Austin grocery store, has paid $186,624 in back wages to 34 workers. The payment comes after an investigation of the Asian grocery store found violations of the FLSA.

It’s not surprising that employees and employers can view the same circumstances differently. Consider, for example, the following case, in which an employee thought she had been replaced and promptly left. She was entitled to unemployment compensation based on her reasonable belief that she had been fired even though her employer never told her so.

Question:  “Our office manager constantly takes aim at minorities and older employees. After we sent an anonymous letter to the human resources manager about this woman’s prejudiced behavior, he posted a notice saying only signed complaints will be investigated. If we sign our names, we know the manager will retaliate.  She has a history of firing people who protest her heavy-handed tactics, and her boss wholeheartedly supports her. If human resources won’t consider our complaint, what can we do?” — No Way Out

Lavish office parties are as distant a memory as mimeograph machines for most workers. This year, as companies cinch their belts a little tighter than usual, how are you handling the holiday office party? Administrative professionals weighed in with their suggestions on our Admin Pro Forum:

Halloween may be over, but “ghost work”—the work left behind after colleagues are laid off—still haunts the employees who remain. According to a recent survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, admins are hit particularly hard by the spectre. Here are three tips to help you gain control of "ghost work":