Yes we have some great tips and tricks to make you indispensable as a Secretary or Office Professional. Your boss just will not be able to do without you.
Always ensure your boss' diary is up to date. My best tip is to have an electronic diary. You could set up your Microsoft Outlook Express (or similar version) so that both you and your boss share the same calendar. This is so quick to access especially useful while on the phone. You may need to keep a hard copy diary as well for those who personally call into your office and wish to make an appointment.
If your boss travels quite frequently, you could set yourself up with an internet based diary. You can set appointments during his/her absence and he/she can log on and see what is waiting for him/her on his return.
Its a case of business as usual when you set up an internet Based e-mail account for the boss traveling interstate or overseas
This is excellent if your boss is a big user of e-mail. If he/she is interstate or overseas, you can forward e-mail to him/her using his/her internet based e-mail address but there's a better alternative if it suits.
Before your boss leaves on the business trip, set up a web based e-mail so that it will collect e-mail from your boss' pop e-mail address (local ISP e-mail address). This is so handy.
You will not have to worry about telling people a new web-based e-mail address either - your boss will still get every e-mail that would normally go to the primary e-mail address just as if your boss was in the office.
There are plenty of these web based e-mails around. You could try hotmail or yahoo just to name a couple.
That all important cup of tea
If you can see your boss is stressing, try calming him/her with a cup of tea (herbal is a good choice). It is the little things that count and it works every time.
Sometimes he/she just may need some time free from interruptions to pick up the pieces. You could offer to put off telephone calls and personal interruptions for say an hour or two. Tell everyone your boss is in conference and will return their call later that afternoon.
Another tip that's worth mentioning is that if your boss is out of the office and someone calls in to set up an appointment and on checking the diary you see its quite full, let them know the earliest they could see your boss. If it is quite a while away, say, a week or so, ask if it could be dealt with over the phone. If so, let them know you could arrange for the boss to give them a call as early as tomorrow. Quite often some appointments are unnecessary as it may only take a minute or two to discuss the issue and is better off dealt with this way. Get yourself organized with the AMF Software Daily Planner - you will not even have to leave your MS Word program either - just click a button, it is so convenient.
When clients arrive early for an appointment
If clients arrive early for their appointment, offer them a cup of tea or coffee. Always have some reading material available to occupy them too.
Dealing with correspondence when your boss is absent from the Office
If your boss has to go out of town on business for more than a day, you will probably be the one to open the inward correspondence. (see guidelines for opening correspondence)
If there are invitations, you will need to check the RSVP date. If it can wait, well and good, but if the RSVP is before your boss returns and maybe the function will be held in a day or so of his return, you will need to log a call to your boss to see how you should deal with it.
Now for the correspondence and incoming messages that can wait for your boss' return, you will need to have some folders set up with the following headings (they are only suggestions):
This folder contains all the URGENT matters whether it is messages, correspondence, reports. Everything that requires immediate attention. You also need to place them in priority order.
Tomorrow (being the day after your boss returns). In this folder you need to place appointments, correspondence, and whatever your boss needs to know about for the first day back in the office.
Inward Correspondence - this is routine correspondence.
Messages - this is routine messages - can be returned as soon as time permits.
Reports - routine reports
Now you will place these folders in priority order so your boss knows what to read first, especially if he/she calls into the office after hours when you're not there.
Chores/Tasks or Messages you're not to forget
There's a couple of suggestions to deal with these. You can put a message on your Brought Forward File with a date to come back to you. Your Records Clerk will on that day clear his/her Brought Forward file and present it to you for action.
Another way is to get yourself WORDWARE PIM - a Personal Information Manager (PIM) so you can have your own address book and telephone directory at your fingertips. It's a one-click quick and easy access to your contacts. You'll love it!
You may also like to remind yourself of a meeting or a deadline or something of this nature, by using your e-mail calendar and bookmarking a date with a reminder message. Then on the appropriate date, a message will appear to remind you.