What to give on Administrative Professionals Day? If you’re wondering, you’re winning already. With widespread work-from-home measures in place, April 22’s Administrative Assistant Day (a.k.a. Admin Day, Assistants Day, and (still, sigh) Secretary Day) could easily become lost in the business-world-meets-COVID-19 “new normal.”
And this year, administrative and executive assistants deserve a shout out more than ever.
So first, mark Wednesday, April 22 on your calendar right now (don’t make an admin remind you). And second, consider how administrative professionals are keeping your business running right now.
Work from home? Or work from he**?
Taking a laptop home to work is one thing. Managing an office or supporting an executive from home is quite another. Administrative professionals often depend on systems, processes, and equipment that’s only available at a brick-and-mortar location. That’s why some companies (or admins themselves) still choose to have someone in the building.
After all, many businesses rely on having a person who can open the mail and deposit the checks. Even admins who have found workarounds for basic tasks still find working from home to be challenging. Their jobs just got harder without access to physical files or even whiteboards with important notes or contacts. They may not have sufficient home equipment like scanners, printers, or reliable internet bandwidth.
Even the very nature of interoffice communication has changed. Admins who pride themselves on intuitively reading situations don’t have many cues to take proactive steps. Executives may be more frustrated because daily support routines have changed.
Add to that the list of WFH challenges most people are discovering: homeschooling, distractions, home, and caregiving needs. Suddenly working from home is not easy.
Wearing many hats (it’s not a fashion statement)
Most administrative professionals carry a broad portfolio of responsibilities already. The work-from-home world likely adds even more.
When they need information they might otherwise have at the office, executives turn to admins more frequently. And so do many other employees whom an administrative assistant might not normally support.
What’s more, since many companies are having to furlough or lay off workers, administrative professionals often pick up the slack—on HR tasks, customer care, vendor relations, and myriad office miscellanea.
Some admin pros have even taken up the cause of maintaining the office culture. In efforts to bring co-workers together, they’re creating team-building activities, monitoring company Slack channels, and sending motivational messages.
Wearing this many hats (and doing it gracefully) is a trait worth noticing.
Being thankful and thoughtful
No one is going to turn down the idea of gifts for Administrative Assistant Day. But nearly every professional will say that a genuine “thank you” from a team member means the most.
To be acknowledged in any form—a card, a gift, a lunch (delivered to their home for now)—goes such a long way. Especially for these individuals who are making WFH business possible for everybody else.
Take the time to thank anyone (and everyone) who makes your job a little easier. Because we could all use a little more care and thoughtfulness right now.
At Spoonful of Comfort, we’ve been touched by the many professionals (yes, often admins) who are reaching out to their teams with gifts of support. Whether it’s words of encouragement in this tough economy or well wishes to someone who is stressed or sick, we admire the co-workers and colleagues who are not just supporting the office, they’re supporting each other.
Wishing you all a Happy Administrative Professionals Day. Thanks for all you do.