21st Century Office Management
The modern day workplace needs tech-savvy policiesToday's office manager must deal with more than just payroll and scheduling. Just as security, environmental issues and the internet have become major factors in society, they have become crucial in the workplace, too. Telecommuting, flextime, BlackBerrys, iPhones and social networking can become frivolous distractions, to be sure, but they're also powerful tools for 24/7 availability, multitasking and productivity. It's easier and more effective to monitor workers' results than micromanage their time or work habits.
Deal with social networks
MySpace, Facebook and other online social sites pose huge risks. It takes just one leak from a careless employee to spread proprietary information like a virus all over the Internet. Decide what role social networking can play in your business, and whether it provides a break for overworked employees. Develop a policy on what social networking is allowed onsite, and what employees must do to avoid compromising security or reflecting poorly on the employer.
What if a hacker accesses sensitive or proprietary information, or a disgruntled employee posts trade secrets on the internet? Insurance in the form of a cyber security or professional liability policy can protect your company from damages.
Make use of conference calls
Shop around for the best amenities and prices from call-hosting services such as your phone company, internet provider or Skype. Streamline e-mails and other communication with participants as much as possible. Limit calls to 20 minutes; a short conference may ensure better focus and preparation by the participants.
Tips & Tactics
- Emotions matter. The mood in the office affects productivity, but a poor economy, layoffs and uncertainty can sink morale. Keep things as positive as possible.
- Evaluate employees according to their results, not by how much time they seem to be working or are visibly present in the office.
- Create a policy addressing texting, cell phone and e-mail use during meetings and conference calls. Whether to allow this depends mostly on corporate culture.
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