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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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Most timesaving “secrets” are the best practices you’ve been hearing about since the advent of paper clips. The trick is, you have to try them out to discover whether they match your work style. And then you have to stick with them to gain the benefits. Here are three timesaving secrets recommended by administrative professionals:

As workloads expand under the pressure of diminished staff, administrative professionals grapple with how to best absorb all the new work coming their way. One executive admin recently asked, “How should I tell managers we can’t do it all?” Other admin pros weighed in:

Whether you snack when you’re stressed out or spend too much time surfing the web, you can change that bad habit in four steps:

Parents are known for delivering classic career advice such as “Do what you love” and “Dress on the same level as your boss.” But what advice has served you best in your career? A few of our readers recently shared the career wisdom they carry with them:

Whether it’s a speedy way to create a bar chart or a trick for switching from one window to the next, keyboard shortcuts can help even the experienced admin knock out work faster. Here are a few of our readers’ faves:

With some people, the problem isn't a matter of ability, it's a matter of attitude. This can manifest itself in everything from quiet disobedience to outright insubordination. How should you respond?

What’s your reputation at work? Chances are, everyone in your office has a “rep.” The Chirpy One. The Sloppy Dresser. The Bad Breath Guy. Fairly or unfairly, we tend to label people in our minds—and those labels change the way we treat our co-workers.
Great minds don’t always think alike, a new OfficeTeam study suggests. Work styles vary based on personality traits, communication preferences and organizational methods.
Round out the summer with one (or more) of these book selections ideal for admins: Toxic Workplace! Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power; Making Peace With Your Office Life; Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire; What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business; Back to School for Grownups.

What are you afraid of? Speaking your ideas? Having a difficult conversation? Those cruel dressing-room mirrors during swimsuit season? Well, don’t let the fear of crowds or mirrors stop you. Pushing through the fear is a necessary rite of passage.

Tidy up your text by counting the number of words you use per sentence, and compute the average. If it’s between 15 and 20 words per sentence, you pass ... Never offer praise and ask for a favor in the same conversation. It makes the praise seem like a setup ... Looking for ways to fill your time at work? Always frame your request positively.
Manners are an important part of the work world. And knowing cultural and regional differences is just as important as we move toward a more global economy. Here's what recently polled admins and executives had to say about business etiquette.

Recently, executive assistant Angie Knode won the Adminologist of the Year award presented by Office Dynamics. And it wasn’t by accident. “One of the goals of our executive assistants’ team is to increase the recognition for our administrative staff,” says Knode’s co-worker Peggy Vasquez. “These are often the unsung heroes ..."

A frustrated admin recently vented on our online forum: “I’m at my wit’s end!" None of the managers was “participating” in her attempts to keep the office organized. Our advice: Start over by telling managers how a tracking system ben­efits them.

Studies show that workplace stress has increased over the past several years and that productivity can drop if employers don’t address the problem. Here are just some of the issues likely stressing your staff—along with suggestions on how HR can help.

Question: “I am administrative assistant in a municipality’s executive office. For two years, I also handled the secretarial and receptionist duties. So I was thrilled when we recently hired an office manager (a retiree), a secretary (a young, spunky lady) and a receptionist. However, the way they work drives me nuts. The secretary does not take criticism well; the office manager doesn’t manage and is not tech savvy; and the receptionist asks dumb questions (“Can we give out our boss’ SSN?). I'm tired of babysitting them and our boss won’t help. I have my own job to do; how do I get them to do theirs?” —Dusty
Whether your office has sophisticated scheduling software, day planners for everyone or no formal calendar management at all, a few visual reminders can keep everyone running on time...
The latest green trend isn’t about being politically correct. It’s about saving money and gaining efficiencies. The key word has shifted from “eco” to “sustainable.” Administrative professionals can be linchpins for a company that wants to be more efficient and sustainable.
A reader writes: “We have tasks assigned to us via e-mail, the phone, in-person, in passing, etc. I carry my notebook and keep it on my desk to jot down assignments and then transfer some tasks to Outlook, but I’m wondering if there is a better, more efficient way to keep track of everything. What are your secrets to staying organized and on top of all your assignments?”
“My boss is inundated with business cards,” writes an admin reader. “Some are in Rolodexes, others are loose. But he doesn’t want to weed through and toss old ones. Any ideas on how to organize them?”
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