Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » Do More with Less: The 'New Nor ...
Do More with Less: The 'New Normal' at Work

Do More with Less: The 'New Normal' at Work

How to Handle a Heavier Workload and Still Get Ahead

By Robert DiGiacomo

For anyone fortunate enough to have a job in this economic downturn, the empty cubicles around you likely mean more responsibilities -- and a greater daily workload -- to cover for positions that have been cut or won't be filled anytime soon.

If you're being asked to do the work of two -- or more -- workers, here are five ways to cope with the extra items on your list, without losing your cool or your sense of well-being.

1. Ask the Right Questions

Even if your work plate is full already, you really shouldn't say no when the boss approaches you with additional duties, advises executive coach Peggy Klaus. Instead, engage your supervisor in a dialogue about the specifics of the situation, by asking questions about how long the new assignment will last and what will be expected.

"When we're in this fear mode, we have a very difficult time asking for those parameters, and they're really important," says Klaus, author of The Hard Truth About Soft Skills. "It doesn't mean that you don't want to do [the work], or won't do it. But you need to have some structure around it."

2. Prioritize and Organize

Once you understand the scope of your expanded job description, ask your manager to help prioritize what must get done on a daily basis -- and which projects can be deferred -- and organize yourself accordingly, according to Paul Facella, CEO and president of Inside Management, a consulting firm.

"Clearly, in this situation, you have to prioritize -- you can't afford to waste time," says Facella, author of Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald's.

3. Be Your Own Publicist

Be sure to speak up, as you identify ways to streamline your department's practices or improve the overall efficiency of company operations.

"It's certainly not the time to be quiet and shy about anything you're contributing that you believe will be more cost-saving and efficient," Facella says. "Nobody wants a braggart, but the point is you keep [management] in the loop."

4. Learning from the Experience

Volunteering to take a course to boost certain skills or gain a specialized certification can both ease your ability to complete unfamiliar chores and demonstrate your commitment to your company's stability. The new skills set also will help if you're part of the next round of job cuts.

"This economic environment clearly is going to be here for a few years," Facella says. "The more prepared you are, the better off you are."

5. Take a Break

As you find yourself logging much longer hours, you need to take more -- not fewer -- breaks. Every 90 minutes or so, you should at least get up from your desk and stretch. Or better yet, take a 10-minute walk, shoot some hoops or grab coffee with a friend.

"We tend to think we have to be chained to our desks for 11 hours a day," Klaus says. "It's a self-care issue. We have to get up and take a break." 

Articles in This Report:

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/29/2015
US HDQ-Herndon, VA, VA, 20171
Posted: 05/29/2015
US HDQ-Herndon, VA, VA, 20171
Netsource, Inc.
Posted: 05/29/2015
San Francisco, CA, 94111
Autel - MaxAero
Posted: 05/29/2015
Farmingdale, NY, 11735
Posted: 05/29/2015
Minnetonka, MN, 55343

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-309