When common office problems pile up in the workplace, the biggest challenge can be getting someone to tackle them all. And therein lies the main problem – it should never be the responsibility of just one person.
Best practice for any workplace is to nip these issues in the bud before they are allowed to develop into fully-fledged problems. This is where delegation of tasks is so important for companies. A number of tasks can be carried out by receptionists and personal assistants, however, they can't do it all by themselves. Companies that delegate tasks fairly tend to be well-functioning organisations with a happy workforce.
Office problems that need to be solved can be tackled by delegating as well as outsourcing. Outsourcing can be a big help because it frees up your office employees' time and makes them available to tackle more pressing matters.
Here are twenty of the most common office problems, solved by a mixture of outsourcing and delegation:
1. Missed phone calls
Problem: Phone calls can often be missed if there aren't enough employees to manage the calls. Typically, unless there is a dedicated receptionist or team to handle the calls, many will be left unanswered every day, some of which could be hugely important and potentially lucrative to the company. Phone calls are one of the main links to the outside world and a hugely important tool in carrying out business. Put simply, they should be prioritised at the cost of smaller tasks.
Solution: Engaging with a call handling service will ensure all of your calls are answered in a cost-effective and professional way. Call handling services spend time becoming the voice of your brand and provide a seamless service by efficiently answering all calls. They can start same-day and often provide low-cost packages dependent on the number of your calls.
To find out more about our call handling services, visit our page here.
2. Managing social media
Problem: Keeping your business's social media active and relevant is an around the clock job that never ends. Coming up with new, creative social media posts is not easy and hiring a social media assistant can be expensive - especially when the ROI of social media can widely vary.
Solution: Scheduling and planning your social media posts will streamline your workflow and remove the time-consuming hassle of posting across several platforms. There are many great social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social. For planning, a content calendar will allow you to fully maximise your social media efforts and gain more from you social media campaigns.
Download your free social media content calendar template here.
3. Calendar crossover problems
Problem: Picture the scene, you're the manager of the business and you have a number of important meetings scheduled for next week. However, because you are so busy you have become preoccupied and a number of meetings are now running into each other. This is especially important when remote working is involved – good diary management ensures you can track where everyone is to avoid any confusion!
Nobody in a position of such seniority should have to worry about important meetings overlapping into one another. Your PA, and not you, should be tasked with looking after scheduling meetings from here on in. This way, being double-booked will become a thing of the past.
Solution: Make sure you are making the best first impression to clients and internal stakeholders by partnering with the industry leaders. Read more about how we can help with your email and diary management.
4. Unread and missed emails
Problem: We all receive emails from correspondence that we don't want to open because we are under such strict time constraints every day. Realistically, there are only so many emails that a person can get through during working hours. The average employee spends 28% of their time working week reading and responding to emails.
Solution: Having someone manage your email inbox will keep you on top of all correspondence, especially the important ones. Additionally, you will save valuable time throughout your week. You can outsource your email management to our virtual assistants for a small monthly package. Find out more about how SmartPA can transform your emails.
5. Drafting the right response to emails
Problem: It is good practice to reply to as many emails as possible, even if they seem somewhat trivial and unimportant.
Solution: If following the step above, your outsourced email support will handle your email correspondence by replying where possible and passing on messages that require specific individual responses.
6. Annual leave is out of control
Problem: Granting people their holiday requests but then failing to jot it down, or log the dates on your computer, is a recipe for disaster. Before you know it, you are left even more short-staffed.
Solution: This is where delegation of the role is key. Team/department managers should be in charge of the holiday rota and a number of strict rules should be put in place. For example, no more than two team members should be allowed to be on holiday at the same time.
This is crucial for remote or virtual support – keeping an accurate record of holidays means that your team are communicating well and well-connected, despite not being in the same room!
7. Invoices not being paid
Problem: In order to maintain key business relationships, vendors and freelancers should be paid on time. Late payment is a guaranteed way to bring about unnecessary deterioration in business relationships.
Solution: This is a big problem for small businesses and if you don't have an accounts team, invoices are often left to the last minute. Introduce one of our expert bookkeepers into your business with an affordable monthly package.
8. Data entry problems
Problem: Data entry can be extremely time consuming and can put a lot of pressure on a workforce, but its importance can never be called into doubt. Efficient data management is crucial and it has to be done right.
Solution: This is an area where you can spare your staff and outsource the role to a remote assistant. Work smarter, not harder with our data entry and CRM management team.
9. Office furniture getting damaged
Problem: All furniture in the office should be in good condition. In order for employees to be productive, they must first be comfortable.
Solution: Select a dedicated person to field feedback from staff and order new chairs, and any other necessary pieces of furniture, as soon as existing ones are damaged beyond repair.
10. Running out of office stationery
Problem: Offices need to be stocked up with relevant supplies of stationery so that employees can draft notes and perhaps even go through sales figures on a whiteboard.
Solution: Build a relationship with a supplier who becomes accustomed to your company's needs and can track when your stationery is running low. Here, a good procurement company that can post out stationary is a great way to ensure brand consistency and is a gesture of good faith to a dedicated workforce.
11. Organising incoming and outgoing post
Problem: While management of post is not essential for all businesses, it can be crucial for businesses in certain industries like finance for example. In fact, it remains an important everyday feature of the office and it needs specialist attention.
Solution: This can be a large workload for a single member of staff. A great solution for this is to manage the workload amongst the team, giving each person their own day to manage, scan and document the post.
12. Organising training days
Problem: It is healthy for employees to consistently upskill. The benefit of this is felt by the person and their employer.
Solution: A PA can examine schedules, confirm individual availability and report back with a date for a training day that suits all relevant parties. These are a great way to ensure that a remote workforce maintains a sense of teamwork and stays connected. You may not sit in an office together, but you’re still a team.
13. Greeting visitors to your premises
Problem: If an important visitor drops by to discuss business, they should be warmly greeted and offered a cup of tea. It would be extremely bad etiquette to expect visitors to find their own way to a specific part of the building.
Solution: A friendly receptionist is ideal for this role.
14. Organising travel arrangements
Problem: Sometimes, staff members may have to leave the country on a business assignment. There are so many airlines in operation and hotel chains around the world that choice is rarely an issue but getting the best deal and keeping costs down definitely is.
Solution: Instruct your SmartPA to price up the best travel deals online before the relevant head of department makes the booking.
15. Devising a new office plan
Problem: Are employees getting stale with the office layout? Sometimes a change of scenery is just the spur to motivate staff members.
Solution: Rearrange the office by moving employees around and encouraging them to foster new relationships. This can breathe fresh life into the entire company and improve employee productivity. This task should be a combined effort between management.
16. Organise a company day out
Problem: Never underestimate the impact of dwindling morale among staff. If people are unhappy in work, it will hit the company hard.
Solution: All companies should be doing everything they can to keep staff morale high. Task an enthusiastic employee with compiling a list of the best team-bonding days out. These days are proven to boost relationships among workers and, crucially, aid in positive productivity.
17. Compiling sick days and their cost to the company
Problem: Ensure that all department heads keep track of sick days and log doctor's notes where applicable. All companies should be on top of employee absenteeism in case it gets out of hand or a worrying pattern emerges.
Solution: Good communication here is crucial – if supporting virtually, your absence in the office won’t be noticed. Make sure to keep your line manager or immediate team members in the loop as to your condition and how long you expect to be out of action.
18. Organising workmen to fix the air conditioning
Problem: If employees are too cold or too warm in the office, their work will be adversely affected.
Solution: In order for employees to work at their highest capabilities, they must be provided with an office space that has an optimum temperature. Task a PA with sourcing a tradesman to fix the problem.
19. Ensuring the first aid box is visible and stocked
Problem: Every office should have a person tasked with ensuring that the first aid kit is always stocked with supplies and clearly visible when needed.
Solution: Even something as simple as a paper cut needs to be treated with a plaster. There is no excuse for companies not to have a first aid kit.
20. Fire officer
Problem: Every company, big and small, should have a fire officer to ensure that employees know where to assemble if the fire alarm goes off.
Solution: This role should be delegated to a conscientious member of staff who will ensure that the alarm remains fully functioning and that office fire extinguishers are fit for purpose.
So there you have it! We hope that your problems that need to be solved are a distant memory. Are you ready to start working smarter? Speak to our team today to find out how we have helped transform thousands of businesses.