The Daily Grind features blogs that concentrate on issues affecting offices across the country. The goal is to enlighten, amuse, and interact with our followers.
Please feel free to submit comments, questions, and ideas at any time.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are PowerPoints the way of the dinosaur?

PowerPoint is an extremely user-friendly slide show presentation program from Microsoft that was launched back in 1990 – which makes it 25 years old. The Baby Boomers grew up using it, Generation X tolerated it, Generation Y or Millenniums aren’t sure what to do with it since it’s as old as they are, and Generation Z will probably never use it. Even with updates every few years, can PowerPoint keep up with technology and appeal to the masses or are they the way of the dinosaur?

Higher Education
You might ask yourself, what’s wrong with PowerPoint? That same question was asked in an article from Business Insider. According to “Universities should ban PowerPoint – It makes students stupid and professors boring,” you can take a guess. The article addresses the issue of equating students’ preference for PowerPoints versus overhead transparencies with increased learning or grades. The article goes on to list why PowerPoint presentations “are toxic to education.” One reason is complex thinking. It’s believed that trying to present complex thoughts on a slide discourages deep analysis and understanding. Another objection is reasonable expectations. When slides are used, students expect detailed notes on assignments and tests.

In an article titled “Boring PowerPoints New Leading Cause of Death Among Healthcare Practitioners,” the topic of discussion is a study done by Dr. Steven Doldrums and Dr. Mara Tedium that was published in the Journal of Small Font & Uninteresting Topics. If you aren’t laughing yet, wait, it gets better! “Tedium states that standard PowerPoint presentation (SPPs) have a kill rate of 33% while “the most boring of boring” PowerPoints (TMBBPPs) have a kill rate of 100%”. According to the study, as the number of PowerPoint slides increased, so did the death rate. You can expect warnings of the risk for death on all future presentations thanks to the Food & Drug Administration. Doldrums asked, “Is this the death of PowerPoints? I hope so. PowerPoints and healthcare practitioners cannot coexist.”

Don’t worry, there’s good news…non-hazardous to your health alternatives do exist! Some alternatives include but are not limited to, PowToon, Prezi, Keynote, Prezintit, and SlideRocket, according to PowToon’s Awesome Blog, “10 Best PowerPoint Alternatives.” The blog is set up nicely because it gives a quick one-liner about the program, as well as the pros and cons. Depending on your needs, there is likely a PowerPoint alternative to suit you.

In Remi’s line of work, equipment maintenance management programs, management uses PowerPoints for employee, board, and investor recap meetings that often contain confidential information. Our sales reps use PowerPoints for initial presentations and the marketing staff have used them for webinars. 

So, what is the best alternative out there for sales and marketing professionals? Is there a different alternative that’s better suited for higher ed and healthcare professionals? We’d like to hear from you…leave your thoughts on using PowerPoints presentations or some alternative in the comments section!  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Every Day Should Be Office Manager Appreciation Day

Did you know that Office Manager’s Day is the second Wednesday in June? This year, that’s June 10, 2015. It’s definitely not as popular as Administrative Assistant Day, but the Office Manager is often the “beating heart” of the office. If they don’t have the solution to a problem, then you are probably out of luck.

A day in the life of an Office Manager is never boring, as they are typically responsible for a variety of functions that ensure the office runs as smoothly as possible on a day-to-day basis. Depending on the size of the office, a manager’s responsibilities may range from bookkeeping, payroll, human resources, travel coordinator, event planner, executive assistant, and more. The list of possibilities is endless.

As a company experiences growth, employees can expect growing pains along the way. More employees means the potential for more functions that fall under the Office Manager’s oversized umbrella of responsibilities. Some are more pleasant than others, but Office Managers take the good with the bad.

As you strive to be an excellent employee, also try to make the Office Manager’s job a little easier. Below are some suggestions:  
  • Follow signs posted throughout the office. For example, please be quiet because sales is on the phone, keep doors closed or lights on, or do not put food down the drain because there’s no disposal.
  • It’s not necessary to hoard office supplies at your desk. One of the Office Manager’s jobs is to make sure there are enough basics (pens, staples, paper clips, etc.) for everyone.
  • Communication is key. Let the Office Manager know when you’ve used the last of something to avoid emergency trips to the store.
  • Follow protocol when requesting time off so it’s properly recorded and your paycheck doesn’t get docked.
  • When traveling for work, be responsible with the company’s credit card and treat it as if it’s your own money being spent.
  • Keep track of spending so reimbursements can be made in a timely fashion.
  • Clean up after yourself in the kitchen/break room. For example, wash your dirty dishes, clean up spills, and cover your food when heating in the microwave to avoid splatters. Reference the kitchen etiquette blog for more information.
  • Keep your office keys or key fob in a convenient location so you don’t lose them or forget them when you leave.
  • Don’t print documents or emails, unless absolutely necessary, to help conserve paper and printer ink. Consider it your way of helping the environment.
  • If you have a desk furniture request, contact the Office Manager first.
  • Most importantly, read all the emails from the Office Manager. The message is important enough to be sent to the whole company…ignorance is not bliss.

As you can imagine, being the Office Manager requires a great deal of patience and some serious problem-solving skills. Perhaps now you have a better understanding of what they might deal with on a daily basis. Hopefully the next time you use the last roll of paper towels or need to request some time off, you’ll remember this blog.

Check out another blog, Office Etiquette for Every Employee, for some helpful tips to remember while working in close quarters.

Do you have any suggestions to add to the list that might help make an Office Manager’s job easier? Are you an Office Manager? Share your thoughts on how employees can help you help them. Do you plan on celebrating Office Manager’s Day? Tell us how.