Two-thirds of administrative professionals say workload increasing: Survey

But work-life balance acceptable

Despite a growing workload, job satisfaction among Canadian administrative professionals is high, at 83.5 per cent, according to two surveys released by Purolator.

Four in five HR professionals believe administrative professionals are taking on more responsibilities in their organizations and administrative professionals agree — 63.2 per cent said they have seen an increase in their workload in the past three years.

HR professionals believe the top reasons for the increased responsibilities include:

•Administrative professionals now work for more than one manager (37.4 per cent).

•Administrative professionals' managers are busier, which makes them busier (36.5 per cent).

•There’s been a reduction in administrative staff sizes (25.1 per cent).

While administrative professionals' workloads are increasing, most seem to enjoy a good work-life balance. Almost three quarters (74.7 per cent) of the 502 administrative professionals surveyed do not feel they need to be readily available to assist managers outside of working hours. Forty-two per cent said they are never contacted outside of normal business hours.

HR and administrative professionals polled agree the top three most important skills for an administrative professional are:

•an ability to multi-task (62.6 per cent and 68.1 per cent respectively)

•organizational skills (67.7 per cent and 58 per cent respectively)

•computer skills (57.9 per cent and 50 per cent respectively).

HR professionals said they could not complete the following tasks without an administrative professional:

•organizing events (48.4 per cent)

•managing courier shipments (42.9 per cent)

•organizing files (38.6 per cent)

•catering (34.3 per cent) and

•scheduling meetings (31.9 per cent).

However, almost 23.3 per cent of administrative professionals have been asked to assist with tasks that fall outside normal administrative duties, including:

•booking personal appointments (9.4 per cent)

•running errands (eight per cent)

•buying presents for family, friends and loved ones (4.8 per cent)

•taking care of children (2.8 per cent)

•personal vacation planning (2.4 per cent)

•taking care of pets (1.6 per cent).

Almost one-half (49.2 per cent) of the 254 HR professionals surveyed indicated they plan to hire more administrative professionals within the next 12 months.

"This is an encouraging sign and it may be indicative of how administrative professionals are taking on more responsibilities, with additional duties in the areas of human resources, finance and event planning," said Barbara Grogan, national director and president of the Association of Administrative Assistants.

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