The "Sound" Of A Smile

As it’s National Administrative Professionals Day, a tweet from the Exeter PA Network got me thinking. The question was raised for any top tips for Administrators, my one resounding memory from admin college back in 1989 was being told when we were having our telephone answering training (yes for real), to smile while on the phone, as it lifts your voice. The caller instantly hears a happy voice the other end, it’s a good tool to calm any potential unhappy caller!

Then I started reminiscing about how times have changed, my role as an office junior was mainly to file, make the tea, stamp the evening post, print endless plans on an ammonia dyeline printer (H&S would have a field day now), answer telephone enquiries and greet visitors to the office.

Nowadays things are turned around so much quicker with email being the main source of contact. Apps like drop box and wifiletransfer ensures no-one is waiting for the post to arrive, to receive a bundle of plans to be looked over, they are there at a click of a button. The amendments or submissions are made instantly, applications can be tracked the minute they are submitted rather than waiting patiently six-eight weeks in the hope an approval will arrive.

As Administrators we now need to be far more techn savvy, we are beyond the days of typing on manual typewriters and the shock of 1990’s word processing movement, we barely even print a letter out in our bid to help the environment and be a paperless office. Everything is based on portals and the uploading and sharing of documents, meetings are now virtual from anywhere in the world, time keeping for meetings doesn’t matter as much as you just message ahead rather than arrange your day to be there on time.

I know everything has to evolve and move with the times and I suppose you could get sentimental over the old days but times have moved on. There is one thing you won’t change and that is a happy smile on the end of the phone, that beats any email, text or virtual conference in my eyes!

Liz Harris – Office Manager at TDA


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