Our Office Oracles: The unsung heroes of SMEs

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As we come into the new year, it’s time we all make an office resolution and show some appreciation for our Office Oracles. But what exactly is an Office Oracle? Every office has one (or perhaps more). It’s those office heros – the bastions of organisation, the person with that almost clairvoyant ability to predict when the stationary cupboard needs restocking or the multitasker who can coordinate everyone’s hectic schedules and business travel requirements.

These office heroes seriously are the people that keep SME businesses afloat. But could we be underappreciating their value?

Trainline for Business has highlighted just how much work these unsung heroes undertake and just how much they are worth – £525 million annually to be exact (with those working within the technology sector being worth the most). On average they spend three hours and 35 minutes a day assisting their co-workers and they complete 16 key tasks per day.

The most time-consuming tasks include, amongst others:

  • Creating graphs and animations in presentations (1h 49 mins)
  • Assisting with formulas and graphs in spreadsheets (1h 42 mins)
  • Sending parcels via courier or office postal system (1h 24 mins)
  • Transferring calls (56 mins)
  • Organising networking events (55 mins)
  • Helping colleagues manage their diaries and inboxes (48 mins)
  • Setting up conference call software (47 mins)
  • Booking business travel for colleagues (46 mins)
  • Filling out purchase orders (45 mins)
  • Changing toner or replacing ink cartridges in the printer (44 mins)

Despite their already impressive efforts, 75% of Office Oracles claim they would work even harder if they received a bit more praise, acknowledgement or even a simple ‘thanks’ for their efforts from co-workers or senior colleagues. Could this appreciation also be shown by giving them more effective tools in order to make their job easier?

Booking business travel is one of the most time-consuming tasks for Office Oracles, with last minute changes being cited as the biggest pain point (for 25% of those polled), followed by the complexity of booking for multiple people (22%). Having an efficient travel booking platform (19%), smart interface to manage travel plans for multiple employees (17%) and a simplified way to track spend (16%) are just some of the ways to make booking business travel easier and more efficient according to Office Oracles.

Ananth Ramanathan, Head of Business Accounts at Trainline, comments: “Office Oracles go above and beyond to help their SMEs run efficiently, and our research highlights the need for businesses to both champion them and give access to the tools they need to be more effective.”

Trainline for Business has a free desktop platform for SMEs to book and manage business travel. Combining a dashboard that makes it easy for bookers to compare and book multiple tickets, a centralised payment system and an app for all employees to utilise, Trainline for Business has streamlined the booking process for business rail travel.

Ramanathan adds: “Smart solutions help complete tasks like booking business rail travel more efficiently, driving huge time and cost savings for SMEs. In July, our SME clients saved, on average, £215 by advance booking their travel using our tool, potentially an annual saving of £2,580 per year – money that could be used to recognise employees.”

Trainline for Business can help SMEs benefit from average savings of 33% for journeys booked in advance – taking pressure off your Office Oracles, and helping you save money and time on travel in the long run.

Want to show your appreciation for the Office Oracle in your life? Then visit Trainline for Business and see how they can save your SME business time and money.