As administrative assistants our job is never done, even when the computers go down and we have to do work offline.  There are so many things to do and when that rare time comes when the computers go down there are plenty of things we can do - it doesn’t mean that we get to go home. 

In fact, this is a great time to get caught up on some of the things that tend to get put off because we have so many other things to do.  Managers appreciate not having to look for things for employees to do during these times because they likely have their own things to take care of.

Here are some of the things that you might consider doing while the computers are down:

Organize and Clean Out Your Desk

Isn’t this one of the things we always mean to do and then something comes up and we end up having to put it off?  Clutter builds up quickly and even though we might have the foresight to schedule time to take care of it, others tasks often take priority.  When the computers go down, this can be the perfect time to take care of getting rid of clutter and making sure your desk is organized and ready to go when the computers start working again.

Do Filing Work

Administrative assistants almost always having filing work and they should always be kept up to date but sometimes it gets put aside because you are so busy.  Since filing can usually be done without a computer this is the perfect time to get all the filing caught up and maybe do some reorganizing.  If you know that the computers are going to be down for a long time you might want to get going on a bigger project like moving files into the archives.

Do Some Inventory

If you are in charge of inventory and supplies for the office, you can do some work in the supply room.  Reorganize, clean, and check to see what has to be ordered.  If you get this taken care of when the computers aren’t working you won’t have to worry about getting it done later in the week.  Check in on other departments if you are responsible for their office supplies, too.

Team Brainstorming

If you are working on a team project with a group of people and they are also without computers this would be a good time for an informal brainstorming session.  Since there is no pressure to get back to work your minds will be able to relax and think creatively.  You might find that you come up with some of your best ideas during times like this.

Put Together a Clean Up Crew

Even though most offices have professional cleaners that come in after hours to do the daily cleaning, it seems like there are always areas that could use a little extra work.  Perhaps it is time to pull the desks away from their spots and clean underneath or if you have live potted plants this might be the perfect time to re-pot them.  Take care of all those little things that you have noticed in the past that you don’t have time to deal with at the moment.

Administrative assistants can find many things to do when the computers go down for a short period or for longer periods.  When you take the opportunity to do these things, your boss will notice and will appreciate your energy.  And you never know - your energy might be contagious and your office might end up having one of the most productive days ever!