Do you want to survive in the office of today and start preparing for the workplace of tomorrow?  If the answer is yes, then you need to make sure that you are keeping your skills and knowledge up to date.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to make use of the technological resources available to you.  If you are a baby boomer or a gen x’er this might mean a change in the way you think and work.  Technology is not just for the ‘kids’, but a useful resource that can help you be more productive, balance your work and home life and above all work smarter than smart.

5 tips to help you get started:

  1. Continuous learning: make Google your best friend and YouTube your personal online learning tutor.  When you see or hear of something you have never heard of before – google it.  If it is something you are interested in and want more information – search for a short (or long) lesson on YouTube.  If you just want to refresh knowledge on certain topics, listen to TEDxTalk (YouTube).

Learning does not have to break the budget – there are many universities that do short courses online for free e.g. www.coursera.com.  By doing these free online courses you can do learning on topics that might not be approved by your company for you to do.

  1. Social networks: understand the differences between the social media platforms e.g. LinkedIn (workplace) and Facebook (coffee shop).  Know the advantages of being online and joining network groups – another easy way to share information and learn from others.  Be part of a global ‘crowd’.
  1. Technology: read the technology page of the newspapers (preferably online) to see what is new and how it could help you.  Look at the ‘gadgets’ you currently have and use them for more than just sending pictures, SMS and WhatsApp.   By using the functionalities on your smartphone or tablet you could relieve some stress by being able to make appointments or read your e-mail even if you are not in the office.
  1. Android apps: become a worker on the move!   By using the appropriate Apps for your smartphone or tablet, you can check your diary, answer that urgent email and keep on top of your to-do-list anywhere, any time.   Look for apps that can help you be productive and save both time and energy. To-do-lists, calendars, e-mail, travel itineraries just to name a few.
  1. Communication: communication is a top skill for the workplace.  Communication across all mediums –  written, verbal and virtual.  Make getting to know your colleagues and ‘seeking to understand before being understood’ one of your priorities.  Build rapport – use the correct body language and the right words to close the deal or build a relationship.  Most important of all, learn to communicate effectively with diverse cultures. Technology has opened up a global workplace and opened up a world of new opportunities and relationships.

Dawn Williams is an international trainer/facilitator for the administrative profession.  If you are interested in learning more about surviving in the office, feel free to register on “The Office Survival Guide” workshop.  You can learn more about Dawn and the workshop by visiting the website at www.reachnewlevels.com.

The Office Survival Guide

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