What’s the Hardest Thing about Office Support Work?

Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2021 by The Office Zen MasterNo comments

We know that recruitment agencies in London have a tendency to sugarcoat jobs when they’re recruiting. But as a candidate you want a warts-and-all honest appraisal of what a particular job is like. We chatted to some people in office support jobs in London about what they find most tricky about their role and what their solutions to those problems are.

Concentrating when it matters

“In my role I do lots of different small tasks,” explains Louise. “That’s fine as I can pick them up and put them down if someone comes along needing something then and there. However, I also need to compile longer reports, for example, and for this I need stretches of time where I can concentrate without being interrupted. 

“My solution has come about through the Covid working-from-home arrangements! We are back in the office, but if I have a report to write I will come in later or leave earlier, and I do that in the privacy and quiet of my own home. It’s working for me.”

Not getting enough outside time

Coleen says, “For me the hardest thing about office work is getting enough time outside and enough exercise every day. Especially as we head into winter, I find that I can arrive at the office not long after it gets light and not leave until after it is dark. I’ve learned this has a bad effect on my health.

“My solution is to always go for a walk at lunchtime, no matter the weather.”

Boundaries and responsibilities

“I used to really struggle with maintaining good boundaries in my work and this led to an impossible workload,” reports Joel. “I want to help people so I say ‘yes’ without thinking, and you can end up really put upon this way. 

“My boss actually helped me to realise that every time I was saying yes to one person, I was actually saying no to myself or someone else. We worked out what my actual responsibilities are and now my workload is more manageable.”

Thankless and blame cultures

“The hardest thing I’ve found about office support work over the years is employer dependent,” explains Mattie. “Working in office support where the culture is either thankless or where people easily blame others is soul destroying and actually hinders everyone’s productivity.

“My solution has been to be very careful when choosing a new role. I want to work with a collaborative and friendly team. It makes a huge difference to how efficient and productive I am, but also my happiness at work and in life.”

Prioritising

“I work in a high-pressure and busy office, like many do,” says Faye. “Personally, I find it hard to prioritise what’s most important and I can feel overwhelmed by having so many different competing tasks. 

“I’ve worked really hard over the last few years to get better at prioritising. I’ve learned written strategies to help me figure out how I should be spending my time each day. Now I make sure I spend a little time each morning assessing my priorities and I feel much more in control at work.”

Is it the job or is it the employer?

Work throws up challenges and in reality many of us thrive on this; it’s what makes work enjoyable and varied. However, it’s important to distinguish between what is hard as well as rewarding and satisfying, and what is hard and simply difficult and demoralising. If it’s the latter, it may be time to move to a more rewarding workplace. Apply for new office support jobs in London.

 

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