October 12, 2011

bored at the office?

Servicing employees can be a full time job and most of the time there’s a lot to work on (especially when we’re recruiting for multiple vacancies and the occasional crisis comes along). But there are days (like today) when everyone is happy, we’re not recruiting and we have yet to start with our next special HR project. There is no hovering deadline or serious crisis, my phone doesn’t ring for most of the day and I only have 2 random emails in my inbox. Not the most exciting way to spend time at work!
Lucky for me, this doesn’t happen too often. And I’ve come to realize that it’s just part of being in employee service. It’s a good thing if everyone is OK, and so I can use this time for something else. So instead if feeling frustrated, I try to focus on the following:

  • Filing – Yes, I know, this can be gruelling! But when most days are rushed and jam packed, filing is something that’s easily neglected. And even though it’s no fun, it helps to either organise or “audit” our files to be sure we’re keeping track of everything important. Sometimes it leads me to a crucial oversight or a gap in our paperwork, which means... more work – Yeah!
  • Reading – This can be challenging because it really wears out my eyes to focus on my monitor all day, so I subscribe to a couple of HR magazines and I have a labour law guide or new book to flip through every now and then. Even though some of the info is repetitive, it keeps me aware of what’s happening in our industry and it expands my basic understanding of HR. This means that I can make more valuable contributions or suggestions at work.
  • Connecting – We tend to get a little disconnected by using hi-tech communication to replace real face-to-face interaction. Taking a stroll through the office and having a chat with one or two employees helps me break this barrier. Making some friends or just getting to know your colleagues is a sure way to improve your job satisfaction and engagement.
  • Career planning – Whether it be within my current organisation or a future employer, it’s important for me to set some goals for what I would like to achieve in my career. I can also think of new initiatives, or ideas to improve our current systems. This shows that I’m pro-active and that I want to add value. Also, I don’t EVER want to become too complacent in my current role, so monitoring my skills gaps is a good indicator for which workshops or seminars I might want to attend.  
  • Networking – Referring back to my grad school textbooks might be outdated, but catching up with peers and old classmates really broadens my knowledge of what others are doing in my field. Meeting new people at seminars or workshops can also add to the people I learn from, and you never know when someone might want to consider you for a position because you've gotten to know each other before a position was even advertised.

I found this post on what to do when you’re unstimulated at work – enjoy!

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