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The Admin's Checklist for an Amazing Office in 2018

As an Admin Assistant, PA, EA or Office Manager you've got an inside look into what really feeds success and failure within your organisation. And while your communication style may or may not place you in an outspoken position to implement office wide rules you have the right level of influence and perspective to set the tone for a healthy and happy office in 2018.

1. Create a living environment, literally

“There’s a fashion for minimalist, monochrome styling,” says researcher Craig Knight of the University of Exeter, “which gives [managers] a sense of control. But in reality it crushes the human spirit and we can now measure that.” A tidy office need not be soul crushing one and research supports the benefits of adding life to an otherwise Spartan office. Literally, life! Plants in an office have been proven to increase productivity by a whopping 15%. So take some visual tips from The Boutique Office Company and add a little life to your work space.

2. Know how your office eats

Two weeks into 2018 and it’s guaranteed you’ve already hosted an office meeting. Are you starting from zero each time you order catering? Begin with a simple spreadsheet to track dietary preferences for your team and frequent office guests. These
dietary preferences aren’t always just preferences, they’re personal, medical and religious practices that deserve respect.

3. Have a business travel plan

According to a report by the Global Business Travel Association, expected business travel spending is to grow by 6.1% in 2018, up from the expected 5.1% in 2017. Decide early on if travel plans include the shared economy or traditional business partners; Airbnb vs hotels, Uber vs taxis. As RFPs go out for corporate accounts understand how mergers of 2017 may impact business in 2018 (ie: Marriott and Starwood merger, Lufthansa’s eye on airline consolidation)

4. Get your gear

There’s nothing like ringing in the new year with a fresh set of fine-point, multi-coloured Sharpies. This tip was inspired by a tweet from @PortfolioPA that got us dreaming about office supplies. It’s important to have the right tools to set you towards office life happiness in 2018 and pens, post-its and paperclips are right behind the proper technology.   

5. Understand company goals for 2018

A poorly communicated pivot can derail office morale. Confirm early on that you’re in the know when it comes to big picture initiatives in 2018. Talk to your HR manager about specific hiring plans. Is Marketing planning a big communications shift? Talk to your boss to understand his or her personal goals and see how they align with your own. This info, even unofficially, will help you set the right expectations and tone for a happy office life.

6. Follow the “5 Hour Rule”

The “5 Hour Rule” is a system of constant learning used by Benjamin Franklin, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates. Set aside one hour every weekday to learn a new skill. Whether this means doing, reading or talking this time away from work will provide the stimulation you need to be the best possible version of yourself, both professionally and personally.  

7. Open a library

Start a thread on Slack or ask around for professional books your colleagues have been wanting to read but haven’t made time for. Create a simple honesty-based checkout system that allows employees to borrow books at their discretion. Kick things off with some classics: Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, The Zappos Experience by Joseph Michelli.

8. Check in with partners and suppliers

Are there relationships to be renegotiated in 2018? Did your favorite office food caterer add a new line of gluten free cakes? (hint, hint: OfficeServe is launching new GF desserts soon) Do a health check with suppliers, if only via live chat or a quick call. Knowing how you can best serve the needs of your office means knowing how to best manage supplier relationships. It’s also a great time to give them feedback.

9. Shape up your long term calendar

When is Sam’s birthday? Is Sophie back from her sabbatical? Be sure you’ve got a grasp on the big and little things of office life so you can effectively be the air-traffic controller of your domain. Consider the best time of year for your own holiday and be prepared for any seasonal impacts on office life.   

10. Start a team breakfast

Our modern offices revolve around so much screen time that eye to eye contact can be limited, especially between colleagues who don’t normally share projects. Start a weekly or monthly team breakfast where colleagues can come together over fresh fruit, pastries and yogurt. There’s a lot of bonding waiting to happen over a shot of Innocent Juice.

Need someone to cater the whole thing and bring locally produced, freshly prepared food in 100% recyclable packaging to your office door? Talk to us on Live Chat, give us a call or simply place your order online. OfficeServe is at your service and ready to make office life amazing in 2018.

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