Admin Pro Forum — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 5
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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 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

Question: "How often does your admin team meet? Who are the team leaders, how are they selected, and how long do they serve?" - Carolyn, Executive Assistant

Question: "I have been hearing a lot about OneNote in Microsoft Office. I am curious if anyone has ever used it, and to what degree they did. If they did use it, did they find it helpful or beneficial?" - Maggie, Administrative Assistant
Question: "One of my co-workers is a very good employee, and usually very friendly, but wow, when anyone makes a mistake or doesn't quite perform to his liking, he is totally brutal and unfair in his criticism—always out of their earshot. How do I tell him gently that everyone who makes errors isn't an 'idiot'? And why is it that people always overlook their own mistakes yet blast everyone else for theirs?" - Gemma, Facilities Reservations
Question: "I have trouble compartmentalizing things when they go wrong. For example, if I mess something up at work, or have a problem with a co-worker, my day is just completely ruined. I slog through it for hours, then just go right to bed. I snap back into shape the next morning, but I'm looking for advice on how not to get stuck in the negative moments on the job." - Tracie, Benefits Assistant
Question: "I just got a new job assisting a regional manager who's more introverted than anyone I've ever worked with! She makes almost every request via email and shares almost nothing. I'm no extrovert myself, so I really have no idea how to go about getting to know her so we can work together better. Does anyone have any tips?" - Sam, Sales Assistant

Question: "Is anyone out there not recognized on Administrative Professionals Day (I’m not)? How do you handle it?" - Sally, Administrative Assistant

Question: "Last week's question on calling in sick reminded me that I've gotten so busy at work this year, taking a day off just doesn't seem worth it to me—all I think about is the pile of papers that will be waiting for me the next day, to say nothing of the emails. Asking people to cover for me involves some careful arranging. Is it sad that even when I'd like to take a mental health day, I wind up preferring to go into the office to avoid the consequences?"  – Liz-Ann, Executive Assistant
Question: “I've noticed that when the people in my office call in sick, they always seem to be playing it up a little with an over-the-top weak voice, as if they feel the need to 'sell' their illness somehow. And to be honest, I've caught myself doing it too, because I think maybe my boss or co-workers just won't believe me. I bet lots of people are like me, but I'd like some reassurance!"   – Jill, Office Manager
Question: "I know that I make my fair share of grammar mistakes, but it just makes me crazy when people get 'their' and 'they're' confused in a document (although it's not nearly as bad as seeing 'for all intensive purposes'). Do other people get irrationally irritated by certain little grammar goofs as much as I do?" - Marilu, Tax Processor
Question: "I was given a project last week to transcribe a very long speech, and I've never done this before. Without any special tools at my disposal, does anyone know the best way to tackle this? It seems like it'll take forever!" - Suzanne, Curator's Assistant

Question: "I'd like to hear some team-building event ideas from other administrative professionals." - Sandra

Question: "At my job, 25% of our day is spent on administrative tasks, and 75% is spent making outbound sales calls to customers who are almost never happy to hear from us. Because of this, the staff is always stressed out and unhappy, and people quit all the time because of it, which makes it even harder on the rest of us. Since management isn't much help with trying to boost morale, what can we do amongst ourselves to make this job more tolerable?" - Jennifer, Customer Service Representative
Question: "I think it would be interesting to attend one of the larger conferences for admins and office managers, but I'm sure it would involve some travel, missed time from work and the company footing the bill. Can anyone tell me if it's been worth it to them to dive in and make appearances at events like these?" - Thea, Legal Librarian
Question: "I tend to move on from a job every two or three years because I get bored with seeing the same building, the same people, making the same commute day in and day out ... I tend to do well and my bosses always come up with new challenges for me, but it's hard for me not to daydream about what else might be out there that's simply different. I worry that as I get older, this attitude might begin to really cost me a good career. If I feel at my core that my working life should be a constant journey of discovery, how do I keep from wanting to be anywhere but where I am?" - Millie, Event Coordinator
Question: "When I was asked to put together the company newsletter, I was sad to find out it was just a sheet of paper showing upcoming holidays, a list of sales goals, and reminders from HR about this and that. In my previous job, we would write offbeat articles, interview people about their hobbies, even have a haiku contest! Everyone looked forward to it. Shouldn't the point of a company newsletter be to tell employees something they don't already know, and create a sense of camaraderie?" - Dale, HR Documentation Assistant
Question: "I don't mind doing a lot of the repetitive and humdrum things that need to be done as an admin, but once in a while things come along—like cleaning the windows of my boss's office or running out to buy ice cream for a meeting that went on longer than it should have—that make me feel like they're really just personal favors I'm obligated to do. Does anyone else get frustrated with the truly petty tasks?" - Barb, Customer Service and Fulfillment
Question: "I need to start breaking down my time to show my boss exactly how much I spend doing the 30-40 different tasks I perform in a week. Is there a software tool that people prefer to make this easy, or is doing it by hand really the simplest way to go?" - Marion, Laboratory Professional
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