Guest post by Eleanor Whitney, Managing Editor of All Hands
As an administrative or office operations professional, keeping your team productive, efficient, and on-task is your main focus. Unfortunately, this responsibility can leave you feeling stretched, thin, and isolated when it comes to finding the help you need to do your job. Even though your job is to support, you don’t need to feel that you too can’t ask for help. At Managed by Q, we work with thousands of offices to better support their day-to-day operations and the people in charge of them. We put together these tips to help you help yourself.
Outsource Tasks to a Tool or Service
When you are feeling overwhelmed, pay attention to the tasks that are taking up your valuable time, energy, and attention. Are you spending hours ordering lunch for a meeting, juggling meeting schedules, or being bombarded with requests from your team? Find a software solution that can streamline and automate these tasks.
Companies like Snacknation, Fresh Direct, and Peapod make it easy to place recurring orders for office snacks, while catering companies, such as Seamless, ZeroCater, Stadium, and FoodtoEat, simplify the process of planning customized team meals. Calendly makes it easy to schedule meetings and Robin enables you to manage and schedule conference rooms and spaces in the office. Hivy, Managed by Q’s task management software, enables you to collect, track, prioritize, and communicate employee requests through a simple-to-use online dashboard.
Advocate for Yourself
If you feel overworked and underappreciated, take some time to think about how you can better highlight your accomplishments, and make the case that you need more recognition, a raise, or extra help. While you are aware of what you do all day, many people in your office may not be. Keep a record of your accomplishments, and get comfortable sharing them. When making the case for yourself, frame your ask around the positive, tangible impact you have on your team and organization.
Instead of going it alone for certain tasks, recruit volunteer or paid help to better balance your responsibilities and ease some of your burden. If you’re planning an event like a holiday party or company retreat with dozens of moving parts, ask a group of your coworkers to get involved as volunteers. You can also use it as an opportunity to highlight your team members’ talents and skills. For example, invite foodies to research restaurants or catering options, musicians to brainstorm entertainment ideas, and designers to create invitations. To ensure delegating doesn’t create more work for you, set clear expectations and communicate deadlines clearly.
For tasks that eat into your productivity – like restocking the pantry or supplies closet, tidying up after coworkers, or setting up and cleaning up from events – consider hiring part-time help through a staffing agency or Managed by Q. Having an additional set of hands in the office, even for a few hours a week, will free you up to focus on higher level tasks, which not only can help relieve your stress but is a more effective use of your employer’s budget.
For more advice about how to succeed on a small team, grow your administrative career, and advocate for yourself, subscribe to All Hands, Managed by Q’s publication about life in the office.