How The Role of the AA has Changed Over the Past 5 Years

Julie Shenkman
Posted by

Administrative assistants, often known as AAs, are taking on increasing amounts of responsibility in the workplace. The role of an admin assistant has grown to include responsibilities such as project management, website maintenance and managing the company's social media accounts.

The core role of administrative assistants is to help their coworkers with administrative tasks. However, whereas once this role was restricted to opening and sorting mail and answering the telephone, new communication technologies have expanded the role of the admin assistant to include keeping the boss's email inbox organized and monitoring social media accounts.

Some administrative assistants are even required to maintain the company website, a task that would once have fallen to a specialist webmaster. The introduction of website development software such as WordPress has made the job of updating a website much easier for people without technical skills, such as HTML coding, which has allowed the task of everyday website maintenance to fall to administrative assistants.

Today's administrative assistants need to be far more technologically literate than their predecessors. They not only need to be able to post new content online, respond to tweets or manage emails, but they also need to have a clear understanding of how online marketing works. Administrative assistants who are in charge of updating content on their company's website need to understand the basic principles of search engine optimization, which can help to boost traffic to the site.

Increasingly, administrative assistants are also required to interact with cloud computing technologies, which many businesses are using to store files or help employees working outside of the main office to contribute to projects. Administrative assistants need to understand what the cloud is and how to use cloud computing software to upload and retrieve files. They also need to be able to communicate with remote teams and make sure they are up to date with everything they need to know.

Some parts of an administrative assistant's role have remained the same over the decades. Organizing meetings and managing employees' schedules are still important parts of the role, although admins now have technology to help them keep track of everything that is going on within the organization.

According to a survey of administrative assistants reported in the New York Times in 2012, more than half of all admins support three or more people. Along with the increased technological responsibilities, this increase in workload shows that admins are working harder than ever to keep offices running effectively.

Anyone who is considering a career as an AA needs to brush up on their technological skills to make sure they can fulfill all the requirements of the role. Administrative assistants also need to have extremely good organizational skills to keep everything in the office running smoothly.


Photo courtesy of stockimages at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch