August 16, 2017 Polly Hadden-Paton

Are you an Office Oracle?

Woman on a commuter train looking at her phone.

Are you an Office Oracle?

Blink. Blink. Blink.

Wednesday morning, tired eyes, catching the train to work…Are you feeling overwhelmed by lifemin but no time to tackle it? Fear not, as an Office Oracle could come to your rescue.

All small to medium businesses (SME’s) have one, the go-to team member who books business travel, fixes the printer, navigates the post room and aces the conference call system, trust me, I’ve been there. When I first started working in London as a PA, I was the Office Manager to a team of 10, private PA and business PA all at once. I had to learn pretty quickly how to be a chameleon and juggle all the varying requests, ensuring my boss’ day to day life ran as smoothly as possible, without a glitch. Once you have shown your capabilities, you are relied upon heavily by the rest of your team, putting out fires (sometimes literally!) left, right and centre.

In fact, new research from Trainline for Business shows that Office Oracles are so indispensable to their workplaces, that business owners believe they should be paid an extra £9k for their workplace know how, and are worth a massive £525m to UK businesses.

Over the years, I’ve learnt some handy tools and ways to streamline my job, which is why I eventually set up You Need a PA (YNAPA), a flexible pay-as-you-go service to make your life easier, more organised and take the weight off your shoulders. Everything and anything is possible.

We are on location, on the phone, on hand…24/7. Without technology, our job would not be possible. Whether it is to check a train time, book a holiday, organise a house move, make a reservation or deal with a crisis, we couldn’t live without it!

The influence of technology is so boundless and has transformed how we work, it means we can work and do our job remotely from anywhere in the world. Technology tools and apps help streamline our workload saving us hours every week. Trainline’s research reaffirms this, highlighting that a massive 86% of Office Oracles agree that desktop-based tools and apps help them to streamline their daily workload, saving them up to 9 and a half hours per week. I’m constantly looking for new, innovative and exciting apps and products to make us more efficient.

Here are some of the tools I’ve discovered along the way…
–       Keep your life in sync with Wunderlist to help with your action list – it is a task management tool which is simple, accessible, free and you can share the list with clients, friends and colleagues. The list of things we have to do on a daily basis is endless, so we find this a hugely helpful tool to stay on track.

–       Let your voice be heard with WhatsApp Voice Messaging which is an efficient, quick and easy way to instantly communicate with clients and colleagues. We are constantly on the move from client to client and find this option especially useful. It also avoids the misunderstandings and ambiguities that can come with texts and emails.

–       Dropbox is not a new kid on the block, but we love this online storage service – it allows you to store, share and sync all your files and folders in a secure place across multiple computers and devices at home and at work. We find this an exceptionally efficient way to store important client documents and share files between colleagues.

–       Not a super-whizz on graphic design, but need some help designing layouts for your social media posts, sales events, business presentations and more? Then Canva is an effortless way to create professional graphics quickly. We have used this app on a number of occasions from designing invites for a client to adding spark to our own social media posts.

–        Trainline for Business has a free desktop platform for booking and managing business rail travel. The dashboard makes it easy for bookers to compare and book multiple tickets, add and manage employees and set up a centralised payment system for visibility of all business rail travel in one place. Smart reporting tools support ongoing management of spend and average savings of 38% can be made for journeys booked in advance. For those on the go, you can set up a business profile in the Trainline app to split work and leisure travel and allocate a corporate card and work email address, separate to your personal account.

We really enjoyed working with Trainline for Business on this piece!

Contact Polly

Whether it's booking urgent flights or organising your house move, Polly and her team are at hand to help. With many years of experience dealing with daily problems from the little to large, Polly has the answer and, being a pay as you go service, you only pay for problems solved.