As an HVAC office administrator, you know your role is integral to the success of your company's operations. Oftentimes it falls on you to put out fire after fire and to keep the office running smoothly. The issues you run into always seem to be unexpected and always seem to happen right when you were in the middle of doing something else. Well, you're in luck. We've compiled a list of eight strategies that we think can help make your work life a little bit easier.
1. Prioritize Your Calls
Is this call best taken now or later? You can't realistically drop everything on the agenda every time someone needs to have a long conversation with you. If a call will take 45 minutes in the middle of other time sensitive tasks, ask to schedule a later time to talk. Calls from vendors or companies trying to sell something to your company are important, but not always as time sensitive as customer calls. Tell them when you can make yourself available, then make the meeting official with a calendar invite.
2. Schedule Time To Purge Your Email
A business that keeps up steady email communications with multiple clients cannot realistically expect to delete messages as they go. If you have that mindset, your inbox inevitably becomes an unorganized mess over time. Taking an hour a week to go through and purge your email will keep your mind clear, and could help you out if you stumble upon an old email you haven't yet followed up on.
3. Don't Assume One Time Is Enough
If you've been an office administrator for any length of time, you’ll likely understand this one. If you’ve just gotten off the phone and have a list of important notes to pass along to the higher ups in the company, sometimes you might be tempted to drop a note off on your boss' desk, taking an "out of sight, out of mind" approach. Unfortunately, it is far too easy for these notes to get buried and lost. Even if the note is read, there is little guarantee that it will be remembered and followed through on. In both the teaching and marketing world, there is a rule that information needs to be transmitted three times before it really sinks in. Get in the habit of sending recap emails and setting calendar reminders for yourself to follow up on the message in a few days. Go above and beyond, and you might discover that your coworkers start to appreciate your organization and helpfulness.
4. Don't Panic, Putting Out Fires is Part of the Job
There is no doubt that as office administrator, a big part of your job will be to put out unexpected fires as they pop up. Learning to calmly handle unexpected emergencies will only make you more capable of handling crises in the future. Knowing who you can go to when you need a quick helping hand and figuring out how to most effectively grab your boss' attention when something needs addressed immediately can help you keep a level head and navigate issues effectively. Keep a list of important phone numbers handy for when you need them. The more scenarios and problems you take on and address, the easier your job gets down the road.
5. Pay Attention To the Office Environment
You have a significant impact on your work environment. If your intuition tells you that office morale has sunk, a simple gesture can make a big difference. Plan to have bagels and coffee ready for the office first thing the next morning. Prep the conference room a half hour before an important meeting and have a pot of coffee ready to go a few minutes before the meeting starts. Like it or not, a good office admin occasionally has to play psychologist. Sometimes small gestures can make a big difference in your office culture.
6. Take the Initiative, When Appropriate
Have you noticed a procedure that isn’t as efficient as it could be? Every time an issue arises, do you get roped into fixing it? Why not take charge and solve the root of the problem? Come to your boss with a few actionable items that can help mend broken or inefficient procedures. You'll probably be met with gratitude.
7. Make Your Phone Calls Between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM
Studies show that this time window doubles as the best one in which to reach people at their desk or office. Getting calls out of the way helps begin the day productively. You will love the feeling you get when you get caught up on your calls before lunch starts!
8. Keep Hard Copies of Important Documents
In today's fast-paced work landscape, it is far more common to store vital documentation on a hard drive or in a field service management software than it is to keep it in a filing cabinet. However, we still recommend keeping hard copies of important documents with a few well-labeled file folders. Make a quick copy or jot down a footnote with ease. Technical issues come up far too often, and you’ll be glad you have easy access to that backup paper form if the shared network goes down.
Recognize that small changes in strategy and outlook can have a significant impact on a work environment. When you pay attention to the way you spend your time and take steps to be more effective in the workplace, you may find that many of the difficulties associated with your job as office administrator can be streamlined or solved.