How to Leverage Your Administrative Staff While Remote
What does your Office Manager do when there’s no office to manage? What can your admin do if there’s no travel to be booked? Turns out: plenty.
Keep On Keepin’ On
Yes, things have changed... but many of the duties that your administrative staff or Executive Assistants are performing have not. We know your calendar has been more impacted recently as you’re adjusting to the new normal; your admin is still managing your schedule, booking meetings, gatekeeping your calendar and prioritizing conflicting requests – and making sure you have breaks penciled in! You won't need travel booked for a while, but you do still need your expenses reconciled and your correspondence managed. What about Board presentations, client-facing documents, all slide decks? Your EA is continuing these tasks remotely.
Remember That Project You Were Thinking About Last October?
What better time than the present, right? Maybe your Office Manager doesn’t have a physical office to manage right now, but who better to put in charge of that database re-org you were contemplating last year? Utilize their big-picture-yet-detail-focused skillset during this time and let them take the lead with all those projects they’d been too in-the-weeds to start previously. Check in to see what’s on their wish list! For example, overhaul your vendor database; vendors are offering all sorts of deals right now – let your Office Manager take them up on those.
Your company is going through a lot right now, and you know it. But do you know how your employees feel? Like actually feel. As you’re sorting through the business ramifications, how much time do you have to touch base with your team members? Maybe you’re doing a weekly all-hands meeting – but ask your EA to keep a pulse on the day-to-day. Your EA is most likely already the go-to person for your team; encourage them to keep that up. People want to be heard, especially in times of uncertainty, and your EA can act as your ear to the ground and make sure you’re hearing them.
Company Culture Champion
We see these titles on job descriptions all the time: “Keeper of Culture,” “Vibe Manager,” “Chief Evangelist” – aka the person who makes sure team happy hours are scheduled and background music is chill. This doesn’t go away just because employees are remote – your team culture needs to stay alive and well, especially now when spirits are down. Make sure your Office Manager, Office Coordinator or Admin spearheads this while remote. Continue happy hours via Zoom, create and share team playlists for home listening, coordinate a virtual team workout, start a recipes channel in Slack, schedule that virtual coffee date. These are all fun and essential ways for employees to get face time with their work fam, and your administrative staff can lead the charge.
At the end of the day, your support staff is there to do just that: support you and your team. That support is even more crucial while working remotely and working amidst unforeseen circumstances. Also, remember to thank your support staff during this time, because they need support, too. ;)
Written by Leslie Crain
April 7, 2020