5 Productive Tasks for Office Staff During COVID-19By My Service Depot on Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Office staff unable to report to your headquarters during the pandemic can still make some big contributions to your business.
COVID-19 has affected every industry and country across the globe. While we grapple with our unseen enemy, many of us (especially those operating out of major cities) have been forced to do our regular, administrative office work remotely. That means a lot of dispatchers, bookkeepers, assistants, and other office employees are probably working from home right now. With fewer customers calling for service, you may find yourself at a loss when it comes to giving these employees enough work to do.
Instead of furloughing your staff or paying them to do nothing, get creative. Ask your office staff for help growing the business. Tackle nagging tasks you’ve swept under the rug for a rainy day. Don’t have any ideas? Try these five tasks to keep your team moving and improving your business during the pandemic.
1. Upgrade your phone systems.
How do customers call you for service if your phone system is married to your office building? If you designed your business around a physical office location that you can’t use right now, ask your office staff to revamp the business’ lines of communication. For example, try switching to an internet-based phone system (working with your existing phone provider to keep your current number). This allows your office staff to answer the phone directly from an app or internet browser, removing the need for physical proximity to a landline.
Like the other items on this list, switching to a digital phone system will continue to pay off once things return to normal.
2. Get organized.
The field service business can get pretty hectic, especially in summertime. But, if your office staff can find some time, you can have them organize your business. Got some tedious data entry tasks on the back burner? Now is a great time to digitize whatever you can, whether that’s receipts, contact information, or old work orders. Push all common forms and documents to a cloud storage system, like Google Drive, so your team can access and collaborate on them from anywhere.
Task management systems like Trello or Asana can help get your team organized. Task the office staff with choosing and setting up a task tracker for their daily to-dos.
Finally, have you documented all of your business processes? Probably not.
Use this newfound time for writing standard operating procedures, or SOPs. They don’t have to be fancy, but they should document how your business addresses employee problems, uses business software, and anything else that commonly comes up. SOPs are great for training future techs and office staff, too.
Other great organizing tasks include cleaning up the employee handbook and writing your risk management plan. With more waves of COVID-19 predicted across the US, you won’t regret getting your ducks in a row while you can.
3. Promote your business.
Fewer customers are willing to spend big money right now, and that means your business needs to work harder to promote itself. While your bookkeeper or assistant probably isn’t a professional marketer, you can still task them with simple marketing activities to help promote the business. These might include:
- Writing social media posts for the next month.
- Creating a short explainer video on common household problems or maintenance tips. Promo is a great app for DIY video on a budget.
- Checking your website for typos and broken links.
Depending on your staff’s abilities, you can also ask them to learn how to run paid ads on Google or other social media platforms. Any of these tasks can help you bring in more customers.
4. Invest in professional development.
Before COVID-19, your staff didn’t have the time to attend lots of webinars or pursue CEs. Now, however, you can encourage your office staff to learn new skills. Consider the following:
- Attending industry-specific webinars.
- Watching TED Talks.
- Learning advanced tools/software.
- Pursuing certifications or CEs.
5. Streamline your scheduling.
How did your scheduling work before the pandemic? Instead of relying on manual processes, clipboards, and physical calendars, ask your office staff to switch to a smarter, software-based system like Smart Service.
Smart Service integrates with QuickBooks and other tools you already use to schedule and dispatch work orders to techs digitally (they can use a phone or tablet to run the Smart Service mobile app). This keeps everyone in your company connected and working together without physically crossing paths or sharing paperwork. This will increase efficiency even after things return to normal. (You can request a free Smart Service demo here if you’d like to learn more.)
COVID-19 has already turned the world upside down, but you don’t have to let that stop your field service business. Instead, use this as a moment to push forward. Put yourself in a position to grow your field service business. The sooner you pivot your office staff’s tasks, the better your business will look on the other side of COVID-19.