Wednesday the 22nd is Administrative Professionals’ Day. They do a lot of work, for both big and small businesses. And a lot of work we business owners don’t really want to do, frankly!
Our administrative professionals appreciate being recognized on their special day, of course. But we think an even better way to appreciate them is to keep them safe while they’re at work! This applies both to the office, and to their home office when necessary.
Is their workspace ergonomic?
Office professionals who spend a lot of time at the computer have to ensure that their setup is ergonomically correct. Otherwise, they’re more susceptible to soft tissue injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome… which notoriously takes a long time to heal.
If your admin professional is at reception, they may be getting up and down quite a bit during the day. Is the chair solid enough not to go skating all over the floor, or is there a mat down to prevent this? Are spills mopped up quickly to reduce slips, trips and falls?
Action: conduct a safety audit, including the ergonomics of the setup. If they’re working from home, we have some tips on ergonomic setup here to complete their own ergonomic fixes.
Are they expected to sit all day?
We all know too much sitting is bad! People who work in the office tend to be comfortable with taking a seat whenever possible, even though it’s not great for health.
Some of it may be communication. Make sure they understand that you don’t expect them to stay glued to their chair all day! They can stand up while they’re on a call, or walk around their space a little bit. Those who work as receptionists should be able to move freely.
It could be helpful to install a sit/stand desk as an option. It’s harder to stand up periodically when all the equipment they need (phone, keyboard, mouse) is arranged at sitting level.
Action: encourage movement, both verbally and by assisting with a sit/stand setup at work or at home.
Are there a lot of trip hazards around their workspace?
In smaller offices, some of the admins work in more challenging circumstances, wherever the desk fits in. Cords should be managed so they’re out of the way, either taped down or bundled at the back of the desk.
Mop buckets, footstools, or other items should be put away, and out of common areas such as hallways or offices. Use your closet, whether at home or at work!
Action: conduct a trip hazard audit. At home, your admin can use this free and comprehensive resource for how to avoid slips, trips, and falls.
Does the lighting promote or prevent eye strain?
If the entire office is lit by harsh fluorescents, there’s not a whole lot you can do about that. But take lighting and task lighting into account when you’re building out a space. A properly ergonomic setup can help too, by keeping the monitor at the appropriate eye level for work.
Excess glare is often a problem for those working with computer monitors. If a nearby window is the problem, blinds, shades, or curtains should reduce the glare.
We’re all getting older, and sometimes an easy solution for eyestrain is simply to increase the font size on whatever we’re working on!
Another tactic that helps to reduce eyestrain? Look away! Let your admin know they should be taking breaks from the computer periodically, looking away from the screen to allow their eyes a break. Looking at different distances helps too.
Action: communicate the importance of reducing eyestrain, and recommend appropriate lighting. At home, your admin can follow these steps.
Are they allowed to learn?
Well… this one may not be physical safety-related…. But it is important for the safety of their brains! Of anyone’s brain, really.
Continual learning allows your admin to stay on top of the latest trends and information in the field. They can find new technologies or processes that will improve the admin experience for you and your clients. It also helps them keep their minds sharp.
Action: let them know you’re happy to help them take related courses so they stay on top of everything.
How are you planning to appreciate your admin on the 22nd? Let us know in the comments!