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Duties of an Administrative Assistant and the Challenges He Faces

Duties of an Administrative Assistant
The duties of an administrative assistant are more than just answering phones and ordering lunch for the boss. They form the integral part of the company. To manage office works and to ensure that everything is working without any interruption is their prior duty.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Feb 2, 2018
The responsibilities of an administrative assistant have now widened to more complex duties, like making presentations and running the office smoothly. The job description of the administrative assistant includes the clerical, receptionist, and project management duties and responsibilities. Basically, he has to multi-task. His main duty is to provide administrative as well as clerical support to help the office operations run smoothly as well as efficiently.
The administrative assistant's reporting head is the senior administrative manager. The administrative assistant duties involve paying attention to detail, to be well-organized, and have great communication skills. The responsibilities of an administrative assistant include performing and coordinating the administrative activities of the office, retrieving and integrating the data, and dissemination of the information to the employees and clients.
The duties and responsibilities of an administrative assistant also ask for performance of various duties like planning and scheduling meetings, appointments, organizing and maintaining paperwork along with the soft copies of the same, conducting research and circulating information using telephone, e-mail, letters, and websites. It also include taking care of the travel arrangements and the guest accommodations.
The administrative assistant is also required to handle and use fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, videoconferencing, telephone system, computer, office software, etc., efficiently. He/she should also be well versed with word files, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, reports, documents, publishing software, and digital graphics.
The administrative assistant should have good communication and negotiation skills, when speaking to and handling clients, vendors and other employees. They should be able to manage the stocks and other data stores.
Many companies have handed down the duties and responsibilities of training and orientation of new staff on the administrative assistant. They are required to manage the video calls, supervise other staff members, review memos, submissions, reports, etc. They are also asked to prepare agendas, arrange meetings of the committees and executive boards.
The main duties of administrative assistant include typing correspondence, reports and other documents. They need to maintain office files, open and distribute the office mail, take minutes during meetings and coordinate the repairs of office equipment.
Administrative assistants are required to maintain the confidential records and files, records of decisions taken, arrange for payment of honoraria, research and help in preparing the motions, policies, and office procedures. They are also asked to greet and assist the visitors, answer phones, and direct them to the concerned department.
The duties and responsibilities of an administrative assistant, also includes organizing the office, ordering office supplies, managing customers, and running the office smoothly. If any glitches do occur in the daily running of the office, he should be able to troubleshoot the problem.
Skills and Abilities Of an Administrative Officer
Abilities of an administrative Officer:

Bookkeeping procedures
Office administration
Financial aspects
Employee details and files
Word processing programs as well as use spreadsheets
The candidate needs to possess skills that include:

Written communication skills
Interpersonal skills
Decision-making ability
Problem solving ability
Verbal and listening communication skills
Time management skills
Local language as well as other common language speaking, writing and reading skills
Organizational skills
The candidate needs to possess excellent work ethics, should be honest, trustworthy, humble, and flexible. The person should have cultural sensitivity and be respectful towards all employees and clients of the organization.
Challenges of an Administrative Officer
The administrative assistant face different challenges during his/her line of work. These include long working hours, use of computers as well as lifting or shifting of certain office supplies or materials at times. He may face continuous interruptions as employees may have to speak to him/her on a regular basis
The assistant needs to be mentally alert as well as physically fit. He not only needs to speak to the employees, clients but also meet deadlines, track orders and supplies, as well as maintain high accuracy levels related to all major and minutest details of work.
In some cases, the administrative assistant needs to have knowledge regarding certain legal aspects, terminology as well as procedures. Those working in a medical set up may require certain knowledge related to medical procedures, equipment, terminology as well as reports.
You may find the work to be immense and complicated, but it is surely one of the rewarding job opportunities. The whole office depends upon you and you will be the one who will know every nook and corner of the office. It becomes your baby, and you have to nurture it and make sure that it runs smoothly. You need to have a background in secretarial skills, high school diploma with basic office and computer skills. There are many corporate companies who are recruiting candidates with bachelor's degrees for the post of an administrative assistant. If you are the ambitious kind, who does not shy away from responsibilities and challenges, this is the right career path for you.
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