Top 3 Resourceful Moments
Sourcing a rocket launcher in time for it to be used for a supersonic car event being held the next day.
Drafting a company FAQ sheet for inclusion on a client’s website and published literature.
Breaking down the red tape in haste for a client at the Russian Embassy in London to ensure his supply chain documents arrived prior to his goods leaving port!
Meet the Team – SmartPA Lancashire
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?
Previously, I spent 10 years working as a PA in Financial Services for Aviva, RBS and Virgin Money. My first “proper” job was as a Technical Underwriter for RSA in Glasgow – that was a very long time ago!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE JOB?
As a SmartPA I really enjoy seeing the difference using our services make to my clients. I get a huge amount of positive feedback which is really rewarding.
WHAT ARE YOU KNOWN BEST FOR IN THE OFFICE?
Probably for bombarding HO with tweets for Twitter – I am a bit of a social butterfly and really enjoy networking.
BEST AND WORST THINGS IN LIFE?
Best: The great work/life balance being a SmartPA partner gives me.
Worst: Running out of my favourite coffee – I am a bit of a caffeine addict!
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A FILM OF YOUR LIFE?
Hmmm, that’s a tricky one – Drew Barrymore perhaps?
History of the Office
It’s not something most people think about when they are going to work in the morning, but this month we have done a bit of research into the history of the office…
Until the late 18th century, most administrative work was carried out by clerks, who worked in either coffee shops, or for those who worked for smaller businesses, in the home of the shop or business owner, which was usually their home as well.
One of the first purpose-built office spaces was built in 1729 to house the enormous East India Trading Company. According to a young man who worked there, workers were made to sign in and out every 15 minutes to prove that they were in the office, and were often at the “office” until late at night.
However, it can be argued that we are seeing something of a return to pre-18th-century working arrangements – only instead of a smoke-filled 1700s style coffee house, picture Starbucks, and instead of the business owner’s home, picture your own home office or study, complete with enough technology to ensure you are contactable 24 hours a day.
- One of the most common lies people tell themselves is “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it”. If your memory is less than perfect, record your thoughts on your smartphone, whether you are in a meeting or working remotely. Send the audio to your SmartPA and not only will you have a transcript, they can update your diary with any reminders.
- Do one thing at a time. It doesn’t have to be for long, but if you are working on one task, devote all your concentration to it. Then switch to doing something different to keep your attention from waning.
- Get your “quick wins” out of the way first. Small, simple tasks that take 20 minutes max. Things like phonecalls, follow ups, updating your diary. Or outsource them.
The Rising Cost of Train Fares
Train fares outstrip inflation rising by 4.1%.
Records indicate that commuters face another year of increased costs and rail fare rises which outstrip the growth in wages after official figures showed inflation as remaining extremely high in July.
Retail price index inflation fell to 3.1 per cent, giving train passengers a 4.1 per cent rise in regulated fares next January – the sixth time in seven years that ticket prices will have risen faster than pay.
The Office for National Statistics said “Train companies raise average regulated fares such as season tickets by one percentage point on top of July’s RPI inflation figure – with the price hike kicking in at the start of the following year”.
One of the founders of SmartPA, Andrew Wright, says that the rise is “another blow to the working commuter and another reason why homeworking is becoming such an emerging market, with benefits to both employee and employer''.
What do you think? Will rising commuting costs make you more likely to consider home-working solutions?
SmartPA Open In Gibraltar
SmartPA is delighted to announce we have opened a SmartPA office in Gibraltar! Our partner, Maxine de la Rosa, is fluent in Spanish and English and ready and waiting to assist the Gibraltarian business community with their admin needs. She hopes to expand into the south of Spain in the near future.