Category Archives: Office Manager Tips

On Hold? Don’t Leave Them Hanging: An Office Manager Tip

Do you answer phones for several people in an office?  Sure, that is often relegated to the receptionist, if your office is large enough, but it’s a skill that we should all possess.

And, to be frank, either people are becoming more rude or we’re no longer teaching phone skills.  Obviously, they are not pre-installed.

Recently, I was put on hold, mind you it’s a normal part of life, but not only was there only silence on the other end, but no one checked up on me for ten minutes.  I almost hung up.

Seriously?  Would you ignore someone if they showed up for an appointment in person? Continue reading

The Office Ninja’s Sword: Proofreading

proofreadingmarks2Yes, proofreading is important even for office ninjas like me. Case in point, in my rush to email an announcement, I neglected to properly proofread the text. Unfortunately, unlike blog posts and web pages, once you send an email with Constant Contact, there’s no going back.

If you noticed the error and didn’t mention it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you didn’t notice the error, then move along-there’s nothing to see here, folks.

I do strive for Excellence. Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. has a long-standing reputation for excellence both in the field and out and it’s important to me to continue to reinforce that through our social media efforts. So you can imagine that I was disappointed to discover I had made the error.

How to recover from a proofreading disaster:

  1. Correct the mistake if you can.
  2. Breathe.
  3. Apologize.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Cry.
  6. Call your mom.
  7. Get advice from your peers.
  8. Realize you are human and, therefore, fallible.
  9. Recognize your weaknesses (repeated mistakes like homophones) and put them on a sticky note next to your computer (in eyeshot) in an attempt to avoid future errors.
  10. Write a blog post about it. Continue reading

Organized for the Holidays – North Pole Style: An Office Manager Tip

Santa. That guy has got to be the most overworked myth in history.  I don’t even think the Tooth Fairy works as hard as he does. After all, at some point in our lives, we stop loosing teeth. Of course, he does have one advantage over her and us:  elves.

We also do not have a factory in the North Pole that works year-round, Reindeer that can deliver billions of packages faster than you can say “FedEx,” or an endless supply of Hot Cocoa.

Some offices hire extra people, seasonally, to help get things done; many of us, however, do not have that luxury. Continue reading

Multi-Tasking or Multi-Time Wasting? An Office Manager Tip

How many applications are open on your desk?  No cheating –  don’t close any.

I have ten open right now.  Why?  It seems like we feel the overwhelming need to be able to effortlessly switch tasks among applications or we’re not efficient. Admittedly, it does take some time to open a program, but why don’t we close them?

The truth is that we, as office managers, know that at any moment, while answering the phone and simultaneously entering payables, someone might walk in  our office wanting a map, and we’ll need that browser ready for action.

And the truth is, that most of the people we support are also multi-tasking; this is especially true in construction where the project manager may be estimating three jobs while managing two ongoing projects. Continue reading

Space Invaders: An Office Manager Tip

I spent two weeks bussing tables at my mom’s work one summer and realized very quickly two things:

  1. All toddlers think Cheerios® are projectiles; and
  2. I needed to learn another trade.

In addition to the required typing class (is that still required or am I really dating myself?), I took two years of “Office Careers” and tutored it the third.  We learned everything from how to manually center text to how many hard returns should be between a date and the address on a letter from alphabetization rules for filing and how to use WordPerfect (now I know I’m dating myself).

The truth is, I have been doing this work since I was fourteen and, in 24 years’ worth of office experience, you pick up a few things including pet peeves.  Chalk it up to an occupational hazard.

I can’t even begin to recount how many documents I’ve had to edit or rewrite over the years where a seemingly simple task became daunting because of one culprit:  The Space Bar.

Seriously.  If you use the space bar to format documents in your word processing software, then I implore you to stop.  If setting tabs seems overwhelming to you, then may I suggest developing your skills at a computer learning center?  To this day, I am happy a former employer purchased blocks of classes for all of the staff to attend a few years back.

Once a few words are replaced the whole document becomes wonkey very quickly.  What was supposed to take five minutes now takes two hours and it seems that little green men from space have invaded your document and are holding it hostage to suck out your brain.  Okay, you can remove your tin hats now.

 For Thought: