Apr 21

MANAGEMENT MINUTE: Promote better communication by eliminating physical barriers

promote-better-communicationWith e-mail, telephone, instant messaging and a host of other communication channels available in today’s workplaces, you may find it difficult to figure out which one works best for your department.

But remember that face-to-face communication is still by far most effective.

So, what can you do to encourage your employees to speak to one another face-to-face more often? Try breaking down the physical barriers in your office to allow everyone that important in-person contact every day. Try the following strategies to eliminate the physical barriers that may exist in your workplace:

  • Communicate in cubes. If many employees work in separate offices, try restructuring your workstations into cubicles. Although you may hear some moans and groans from your employees about the cubicles, having everyone working in “open air” together will encourage them to talk to one another in person instead of picking up the phone or sending an e-mail. And explain to your employees that better face-to-face communication is your goal so they understand why you made the change.
  • Have an open-door policy. As a supervisor, you may have an “open-door policy” with your employees, but make sure they have one too. If you want to stick with separate offices instead of cubicles, ask your employees to keep their doors open to promote better communication in your workplace.
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Oct 05

MICROSOFT OFFICE TUTOR: Hide the Office 2007 ribbon and give yourself more screen real estate

Office 2007’s new ribbon interface may look more appealing, but it also takes more space away from your work area than the earlier versions’ menus.

Fortunately, you can temporarily get back that lost space. Just double-click on the active tab on your ribbon, and Office temporarily hides the ribbon. You can get a peek at any of your tabs by clicking on one of them, but the ribbon won’t display permanently again until you double-click on the tab to toggle it back into view.
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Sep 17

SPECIAL FEATURE: Microsoft plans to move its Office suite into the virtual world

We’ve all done it — you get a call that your daughter is sick and you have to pick her up from school. Now you’re making a mad dash to email yourself Excel spreadsheets so you can at home for the rest of the afternoon.

Microsoft Office 2010, set for release next year, hasn’t gone public yet. Only those invited to participate in the invitation-only Technical Preview (like us!) have gotten a sneak peek at the software in its earliest stages. But today, Microsoft announced its plan to partner Office 2010 with web-based Office applications – referred to as Office Web Apps.
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Jun 15

MICROSOFT OFFICE TUTOR: Add frequently used Office commands to your Quick Access Toolbar (2007)

Office 2007’s new interface doesn’t allow for much customization. If you loved your custom toolbars in previous versions, the ribbon interface might give you a rude awakening. After all, you can’t customize toolbars that don’t exist! But we’ll teach you how to take full advantage of Word 2007′s interface by utilizing the Quick Access Toolbar.
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