Out of the office? I got your back!
Traveling outside of the office is not a foreign concept in our line of work at AMPED. From board meetings to site visits, you can usually find at least one of our staff members traveling around the country at any point throughout the year. While the majority of these trips are quick, sometimes our “out of office” replies are scheduled for a much longer period of time. During these longer meetings, I’ve come to learn that supporting your colleagues while they are out of the office and vice versa is crucial.
Just this week, half of our AMPED team is in Boston, Mass. organizing an 8,000-attendee conference. With a meeting of this capacity, our team certainly has their hands full. There’s a lot to consider, both with this client’s meeting and our other clients who still deserve our attention. With so much on the line, how does our office make everything run so smoothly?
The first step is to make sure that everyone is knowledgeable about the event that is taking place. There’s a very high chance that those who are most familiar with the event are onsite and may not be available to answer emails or phone calls. So it’s important that those in the office know enough about the meeting to respond to any questions that may come up. It’s typical to have phone calls pour in after the launch of the meeting. Everyone must be prepared to answer questions like, “Can I still register onsite?” or “Where can I find parking?”
One way to educate the entire staff is to hold a staff meeting – something that AMPED President and Owner Lynda Patterson did one week prior to our event in Boston. A high-level overview was provided, as well as detailed instructions on where staff could locate valuable meeting information. This type of planning makes it easier on all of those involved – onsite staff aren’t distracted with minor questions and staff at headquarters aren’t tirelessly searching for answers.
It’s also important that we provide support to our colleagues and their other projects and clients while they are out of the office. At AMPED, we are committed to providing ongoing attention to all our clients. Just because there is a big meeting taking place for one client, doesn’t mean our other clients take a backseat. We accomplish this by shifting some work around in the short-term so that all of our bases are covered. Adhering to deadlines, responding to emails and remaining on top of things are always a priority — meeting or no meeting. Before our colleagues leave, it’s essential that we meet with those who need your assistance while they are away and create a list of assignments that must be completed. Reviewing and prioritizing the assignments will ensure that there is a complete understanding of expectations. It’s also a good idea to check in periodically with your colleague while they are out of office.
Traveling out of the office for business can be exhausting. With flights to catch, meetings to coordinate and endless logistics to consider, there’s always a lot on one’s mind. It’s important that you’re able to focus and to give it everything you have onsite. You don’t need these important moments to be shadowed with worry as you wonder what’s going on back at the office or what your email looks like. Depend on your colleagues – they have your back! At least I know mine do.