What to do when office is slow


I am looking for AWESOME ideas on what I can do while the office is slow. I have already;

• went thru csi library; organized & updated it

• went thru storage room; cleaned, organized and updated

• went thru product library; organized cleaned & updated,

• started electronically cataloguing recent projects by s.f., occupancy type & construction type

• Cleaned up and organized my machine and work area

My next ideas

•considered studying for last 3 exams (with permission of course)

• considered doing renderings of major projects for our web page

• considered searching for rfq & rfp's

• considered polishing my resume in case.........

thanks for comments and ideas.

Aug 17, 16 9:27 am

Cut and fold binder strips. Menial task, but when you need them and don't have them, it sucks. 

Look for RFP's. 

Update your résumé. 

Aug 17, 16 9:57 am

took the day off so I can post like crazy..... How are you slow?  We have been drowning in work for awhile now

Aug 17, 16 10:07 am

I assume that the first thing you did is ask your employer what you can do to help, and that they didn't have any better ideas and have left you at loose ends?  Check in with them anyway now and then - don't just proceed with weeks of self-directed busy work without asking now and then if there's something else they'd like you to be doing.   

Searching for rfqs and rfps is the only thing on your list that's potentially helpful to the immediate situation - so start there.  Then do anything else you can to drum up work. 

Polishing your resume and studying for exams are good to do - but bad to do visibly, because even if you have the firm's blessing to spend time on studying, it makes you appear that much more underutilized and uninvolved with projects, which will make you the most obvious first cut if things come to that.

Aug 17, 16 10:14 am
x intern
Look for a job.
Aug 17, 16 10:20 am

@ senjohnblutarsky, we order those already cut and folded

@ shuellmi, I took of 2 days, slept 1 day and did errands around the house the others, also please send work our way

@ Bloopox, every few days I ask, but I dnt want to become a pest, I loosely on my own looked for rfp's / rfq's, I thgt about getting more aggresive with it. I even thought about renting a booth in the mall and stand there with the ibc and local zoning book call it "Ask an Architect" which most of my advice will end with " we can take a closer look at this if you stop by our office, here is the location". Also i was thinking I would be more of an asset with the licensee so studying may be encouraged since it has the greatest return for my employer over other self-directed busy work.

@ x intern, i thgt about that, but I have been at this company over 3yrs and since we have a significant range of projects (when we are busy) and,I am involved in just about all phase's, on many of them, I dont want to leave unless i'm let go or redy to go off on my own.

in the 3yrs I have been here we have always been busy we have even turn away work before. we've been slow for about a month now, im a little concern and looking for ideas on how to stay helpful, profitable, billable

Aug 17, 16 12:20 pm

add ask what marketing materials to help put together (brochures, portfolios, slideshows - project/type/specialization specific)

update project presentations (new renderings, diagrams, etc)

Aug 17, 16 2:04 pm

"pack yer tools, git a box and walk out the door, cos they don't need you no more"

Aug 17, 16 6:01 pm

set up lunch and learns and slip your resume into the rep's folder.  call rep later that day and ask who's busy.  

Aug 17, 16 6:32 pm

compile a detail library... door jambs, etc. 

Aug 18, 16 9:27 am
Wood Guy

If the firm is slow, it probably means either a marketing problem or a scheduling problem. You probably have a sense of which is the bigger issue. Brainstorm some ideas to solve the problem, research your solution, and present to your manager. It may be going out on a limb, but if done tactfully it may make you a much more valuable employee.

Aug 18, 16 1:04 pm
Come work for Gruen Arciktex Ink.
Aug 18, 16 7:14 pm

Go search for a Pokémon or 2 in the park across the street

Aug 19, 16 9:21 am

Keep your eyes wide open and your resume polished. It helps to be prepared.

Aug 19, 16 2:20 pm

A slow office in this economy is a huuuge red flag.  Move on, secure a position with more traction before the next crash. 

Aug 19, 16 2:44 pm

keep calm and

Aug 22, 16 11:32 am

The USA economy is not uniformly good right now.  Low oil prices have halted a lot of projects for the energy industry and also many state and local governments are not in very good shape financially.

Aug 22, 16 1:15 pm

The Dead Cat Bounce is not evenly distributed.

Aug 22, 16 1:33 pm

how many months of sustained growth do you need before a dead cat bounce becomes a recovery?  i suppose eventually it will go down again.  it's like the doomsdayers who say the world is going to end.  just keep believing, and i'm sure some day you'll be right.

Aug 22, 16 1:56 pm

@ s=r*(theta)

What caused your office to get slow?  Did the flow of projects coming in generally dry up, or did you have something you were planning to do or already working on get put on hold or called off?

How are other firms in your area doing?

Aug 22, 16 5:43 pm

^ we have at least 9 projects that have all gone on hold abt a month ago now, and 1 supposedly coming ($40 million), along with it being summer which is typically a slower time of year anyways.

I really dont want to jump ship, i think its a bad taste if you run away at the first sign of trouble

but Im trying to stay focused, productive, and most importantly steady income :D

Aug 23, 16 10:39 am

i don't think it's bad taste to run away from trouble, unless you caused the trouble and are responsible for cleaning it up

Aug 23, 16 1:41 pm

You should talk to your boss and see what he/she is doing to drum up more work. Maybe you can look into a marketing consultant to evaluate the firm & website. If the boss is not willing to change or adapt; you're not doing anyone good by sticking around. You're wasting your time/talent and draining your boss's wallet.

The 10-15 years of our profession, between post school and before having kids is so important for your career as it's the time when you really be engaged and put a lot of energy into your work. You can't afford to waste it. 

Aug 23, 16 1:57 pm

9 things going on hold in a month suggests a problem in the economy, versus something particular to your firm.  Are other firms in your area doing better or just as slow?

Whatever happens, you need to finish the ARE now.   Being registered will help a lot if you have to change jobs. 

As far as approaching the boss goes, I've experienced two dynamics,

one is a) where they are very open about the situation and there is an effort to thin the ranks through natural or voluntary attrition, if layoffs become inevitable, they sometimes will try to help place you at some other firm, help you with portfolio images etc; When things improve sometimes they will make an effort to hire back people that had to leave.

the other is b) where the lack of projects is ignored or denied and people will terminated en masse on a Friday afternoon and escorted out of the building.  The really crappy firms then put out a story through the grapevine that their workload is great and the layoffs were people that were problem employees.

Aug 23, 16 2:41 pm

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