Tech Trends Impacting Administrative Assistants

Lauren Krause
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Technology is changing the way the business world works, and administrative assistants are feeling the impact. As technology automates some traditional administrative tasks, job competition is growing in the field. Technology makes tasks less time consuming, and business professionals are increasingly taking over communication and organization tasks formerly given to administrative assistants.

Future administrative assistants need the flexibility to incorporate new tech tools into their routines. Consider regular professional development with an emphasis on technology to keep yourself competitive in the field. Fewer administrative assistant openings are expected for low- and mid-level executives. The largest industry growth is expected in departmental support and assisting upper-level executives. Those positions require strong organizational and planning skills incorporating the latest office technology.

Keeping up with rapid and frequent changes in office technology is one of the top challenges for current administrative assistants according to a 2009 survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Technology continues to affect the profession, and administrative assistants are expected to stay current on tech trends to properly carry out tasks. Managers give administrative professionals growing responsibilities in the areas of social media, cloud computing and data management, and the proper technology tools are necessary to keep up with growing demands.

Social media is one of the top tech trends affecting the industry. Businesses use social applications for easy collaboration on and off site. Larger corporations have their own social media networks, and many administrative tasks and communications go through these networks. Social networks make it easy to share information, but you need tact and an understanding of your company's privacy policy to avoid making embarrassing or costly mistakes online. Social media is also used for conferencing and one-on-one communication. Images, sound, text and presentations are easy to share with any number of people at remote locations.

Cloud computing is another tech trend affecting administrative positions. Cloud computing involves storing information online and sharing technology tools, such as printers and programs, over the Internet. Cloud computing allows smaller companies access to expensive tools and larger data storage at a reasonable cost. As an administrative professional, you need to know how your company's system works and be prepared for regular changes.

Another trend is the virtual office. Mobile applications allow more workers to work from any location. Administrative assistants need to be ready to interact with people all over the globe. Although it is not usually part of the job description, administrative assistants often receive questions about changes in technology. Staying on top of new applications gives you an edge and increases your value to your team.

New technology tools make it easier to collect, organize and analyze data than ever before. More data makes it easier to make decisions, and the job of data organization often falls to the administrative assistant. Do not be afraid to explore all available tools when working with data to create forms and charts for company presentations.

Offsetting the rapid growth in technology for administrative assistants is a trend toward user-friendly devices and software. Although job seekers need to stay up to date, future trends include easy-to-use technology that is simple to assimilate into your routine. Stay on top of tech trends to increase your employment potential.


(Photo courtesy of marin /


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