We all have certain points at the office when we just don’t have much to do. I know some of you will be laughing your asses off right now, and thinking yeah right! But, there are businesses that have quiet periods and Assistants who find they don’t have much to do (That time in between Christmas and New Year is a classic example) so what do you do? Well, there are loads of tasks that you might not have thought about during the year that will add lots of value. Not got much to do? Here are a few ideas!
Not got much to do? Here are a few ideas!
- Read through all of the articles and emails you have received regarding the industry, skills and general tips about the job. Everything you have filed away can be read when you don’t have much to do workwise because you are still educating and training yourself and this is important. Don’t just read the advice also put the tips into action and start using them straight away.
- Get up and have a wander around the office. Make yourself a hot drink and talk to your colleagues. Take some time to get to know them a bit better. Remember yo do spend all day with them, so it is beneficial to know the people you work with and understand what they do all day, it might help you in the long run.
- Tidy up your office. I wrote a blog about using the 5S system to organise this task effectively.
- Ask your colleagues if they need any help with their workload. Do make sure they understand this is a short-term offer and you will not be able to help them once your workload builds up again. Helping out will ensure you get lots of good feedback from your team.
- The filing is always a task that gets put off so if you have paperwork all over the place, or your Executive does then this is the time to get those files and put things in order. You can also do this with electronic paperwork and emails.
- Ask other assistants if they need any help. You may not be in the same department, but the work will be similar so do ask. We have to look out for each other, and the offer may be reciprocated when you are busy.
- Take some time to update your CV or look over your current job spec. Can you add anything or change it to reflect your current workload? How often do you get the time to invest in the documents that detail your career? So use this time to bring everything up to date including your LinkedIn profile.
- Spend some time on all of your social media platforms. Now is the time to do the things you’ve been putting off so sign up to Twitter, join a few more LinkedIn groups, have a look through your Facebook pages. Why not? Social media networking is part of the business now, so you aren’t doing anything wrong.
- Dedicate some time to learning about your role and how you can improve as an Assistant. We have loads of fantastic online courses you can get stuck into when you are not so busy with work.
- Tidy up your Executive’s contact list. Again, this is always out of date, and if your Executive still keeps business cards, this is the time to switch them over to digital.
- If the work lull is company wide (for example August tends to be quiet in the Insurance world), ask your manager if you can job shadow with another department. This is a great way to improve your business acumen and overall knowledge of the company. If you know your office will be having a quiet period try to arrange a few training sessions that you can attend. Your manager will be more inclined to sign this off when they know you are not completely busy.
- Spend some time looking through your appraisal and review your objectives from this year. Tick off everything that you have already achieved and then speak to your manager and ask them to approve additional goals – make these objectives the tasks that you want to do. Is there any dream task you’ve wanted to take on but have never had the time? Well now is the chance to at least start planning how you can make that happen.
- Are there any manuals, policies or procedures that could do with a little update? These documents are very rarely updated that you would be certainly adding value updating the details and sending out to everyone again.
- Last but not least, go home early! Take the opportunity when you can to spend some extra time with your friends and family.